YANKTON, S.D. (KELO) — Because of the pandemic, lakes all over the region, including Lewis & Clark have seen an explosion in use.

So the renovation and expansion at the marina is timely.

“In 2020 we had a huge year with the growth of the area and the amount of people that came to the area and we are expecting the same for 2021,” Lewis & Clark Marina GM Heath Denney said.

In 2015 Donlan Marine, based in Pickstown, South Dakota, took over operation of the Marina in Yankton.

It did not take them long to begin planning for improvements.

“The docking used to make the slips are more than 40 years old, they were installed back in the 1970s,” Denney said.

Denney says some of the oldest dock areas were in danger of going under water.

“They’re the old style, which is kind of a hazardous material, it’s sprayed foam into a frame and after so many years that foam starts to get saturated with water and then weighs down and pretty much losses its ability to float,” Denney said.

More than 400 boat owners keep their boats in the water during the summer, including Bob and Helen Borgmann of Creighton, Nebraska. In fact, they are marking their 30th year at Lewis & Clark Marina.

Bob says the improvements and expansion will give more people the chance to experience lake life.

“I think they’re great, I think it needs it,” Bob Borgmann said.

Paul Bommersbach, has been slip holder for 10 years and an active member of the Yacht Club

“It’s a social club down here, people like to hang out with their friends, and so but everybody is excited,” Bommersbach said.

For 2021 crews are relocating existing docks, and building two new ones. The changes will mean all docks will now run north and south and new ADA ramps will be built on the south side along with parking spots. Crews will be adding about 75 slips.

Denney says they are remodeling the marina in phases to make sure slip holders have a spot during the summer months.

“The hardest part is finding everybody a home and like I said not wanting to leave a single slip holder out for a season so kinda juggling that and trying to keep slip holders happy and continue with our regular marina season through this project,” Denney said,

In the fall they will rip out more of the older docks and begin installing the new ones, some will be covered and others will be open.

For those thinking of leasing a slip, the season runs May 1st through October 15th.

Pricing runs from $3,975 for the biggest boats to $1935 for the smallest. The remodel is scheduled to be completed in 2023.