Dinner Boat Cruise on Summersville Lake Seeing More Business This Summer

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va (WOAY) – Sarge’s Dive Shop on the Summersville Lake offers everything from diving classes to boat rentals but you might not know about their nightly dinner boat cruise.

Miss Sophie, the $95,000 diving vessel owned by Sarge’s is a dive and tour boat by day and a dinner cruise by night.

“We began the dinner cruises in earnest last year,” Dive Shop and Marina owner Mark Allen said. “We tried it two years ago and it was slow taking off and last year I started advertising, and this year it’s really picked up. We’ve got people coming in from campgrounds, calling me, texting me.”

The cost is $50 per person and this includes a 2 ride around the lake and a meal from Tad’s Smokin’ BBQ up the road. 

“It actually puts the business out there to where people actually off of the cruise actually come and eat afterwards,” Jennifer Gaston, a cook at Tad’s, said.

Allen says most of the guests he’s had on the cruise are from out of state, so he fills the trip with the history of the lake. This includes a story about the  ghost town of Gad that lies underneath that was originally going to be the namesake.

The Corps of Engineers decided to built a dam up the Gauley River to control flooding on the Kanawha Valley and Ohio Valley, and so it took about four years to build the project. It opened up in 1966 and they were going to call Gad Dam, and then they got to thinking about that decided well, that probably wouldn’t be a good name,  so the next town up was Summersville so they called it Summersville Lake and Summersville Dam.”

And Allen makes a stop at all the prime scenic spots at the lake like Long Point and Waterfall Cove. 

“You don’t have to answer phones. You don’t have to babysit anybody. You’re out here in fresh air,” Allen said. “The vistas are just amazing. It’s a beautiful project. And that’s why they come here. They just want to kick back, relax, let somebody else do the driving and just enjoy nature.”

If you want to go on the dinner boat cruise, you must call to make a reservation, and if the headcount reaches eight, you will receive a confirmation. The number to make a reservation is: 304-872-1782.


Sponsored Content
Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.