East Tawas City Park
During the late 1930s and early 1940s, the East Tawas City Park was known as the East Tawas State Park. The campground was split by Newman Street with half of the campsites located on the now Tawas Bay Beach Resort property and the other half on the west side of Newman Street up to Church Street. In 1965, the State purchased property on Tawas Point and moved the State Park to that location, re-naming it the Tawas Point State Park. Due to a reverter clause in the deed, the City of East Tawas was able to regain ownership of the original park property from the State for $1.00. Since the property was already set up as a campground, the City decided to continue operating it as one. Joe Badalucco was the first East Tawas City Park Manager and Russell Meyers was his Assistant Manager. In 1975, Mr. Badalucco retired and Ron Leslie was hired as the new manager. Keith Frank was hired as a second full time assistant at that time also.
In 1984, the City of East Tawas sold the eastern portion of the campground to the Tawas Bay Associates for construction of a Holiday Inn Hotel. As part of the deal, the Associates transferred ownership of several pieces of property west of the Park Day-Use Area at the end of Church Street. The Associates allowed the City to continue operating the campground following the sale until 1985 when construction on the hotel began. In anticipation of the hotel construction, the East Tawas City Park started construction of new campsites on the properties received from the Tawas Bay Associates in 1984. The new campsites opened in August 1985 and the campers from the old sites in the east half of the campground were relocated to the new sites. In 1992, Ron Leslie was appointed to be the new East Tawas City Manager and Keith Frank was promoted to manage the City Park.
In addition to the Park Manager, operations of the East Tawas City Park are overseen by a six member Park Board. Five of the members are residents of East Tawas appointed by the City Council and the sixth is a non-voting representative from the City Council. Today the campground features 178 sites with full hook-ups featuring sewer, water, 20, 30 and 50 Amp electric and cable television included in the daily fee. The revenues generated from the campground pay for all of the parks and recreational facilities in East Tawas. Those facilities include, in addition to the campground, Dewey Durant Memorial Park, Robert C. Bolen Memorial Park, Tom Dillon Memorial Park and the East Tawas Community Center.
The current members of the East Tawas Park Board are:
- Mark Elliott, Chairman
- John O'Connor, Vice-Chairman
- David Thunberg
- Sue Fountain
- John Carroll Jr.
- Craig McMurray, City Council Representative
The East Tawas Park Board holds their regular meetings on the second Thursday of each month in the East Tawas City Park Office, 407 West Bay Street, at noon. For further information on the East Tawas City Park and campground including rental rates, maps and pictures of the various parks, visit our Web site.
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