LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- These drought conditions are not taking its toll on everything around Arkansas right now.
State tourism officials say that they're getting lots of inquiries about our popular lakes and this season is proving to be far different and better than last year.
There's a little bit of irony in this story here. As we're all praying for rain these days, last year around this time, flooding plagued some of our popular lakes in Arkansas, like Greers Ferry in Heber Springs. Now in our current drought, the lake seems to be thriving.
Boats come and go Tuesday at the Dam Site Marina along Greers Ferry Lake. And on one of them, we find Brittany Hart from Memphis enjoying a more accessible visit with her family.
"A lot easier to get out this year, doesn't take as long, get out here, get on our boat and get on the water," Hart said.
Hart was here last year for July 4th and remembers high water rerouting boaters to different docks.
"We had to travel a lot further with our coolers and our kids and everything that we needed to get on the boat, so it was a lot more difficult to have a good time," Hart said.
"We were probably up ten feet from where we are right now, so theoretically we would have been under water about ten feet right now compared to last year," Marina Owner John Ison said.
Ison says there's a big change this year.
"People are coming out more, they're renting boats, buying gas, boat sales are up," Ison said.
Flooded out campsites also reopened this year and so is a swimming beach we stopped by.
"It was all the way up to that tree line behind me and there was no swimming area here at all," Julie Spratt said of the flood waters last year.
Spratt of Biscoe says that she's happier this time around with her kids, with the water where it should be.
"All the way around, even in this heat, it's a lot better this year," Spratt said.
The official word from the Army Corps of Engineers at Greers Ferry is that the lake was 17 feet higher last year compared to now.
We should note it's not a completely rosy picture all over the state. A call to a marina owner at Bull Shoals lake revealed not as many advanced reservations this year and folks opting for less expensive boating items.