By Nancy Allen
People logging on the Auglaize-Mercer Counties Convention and Visitors Bureau Web site and cam at seemore.org now get a new view of the lake.
Just before Celina Lake Festival weekend, CVB officials installed a new Web cam at the West Bank Inn on West Bank Road in Celina, said CVB Director Donna Grube. The original Web cam installed in 2000 at Wright State University-Lake Campus has been deactivated.
Grube said CVB officials decided to get the new Web cam to give visitors to the CVB's Web site a better, more enticing view of the lake and lake conditions. The image on the old web cam refreshed every 90 seconds while the new one refreshes every 15 seconds.
"It was high on top of the Lake Campus and you got a really nice view of the lawn, but not much of the lake," Grube said. "Now it's located on the top corner of the balcony at West Bank Inn and now you can see some of the docks and a large portion of the lake."
The new web cam already has been noticed by people who regularly check it out, she said. "We received some e-mails from people, one from Columbus and a guy from Dayton who sails on the lake and they were both thrilled," Grube said.
Grube said she hopes that once people learn about the new Web cam, they make the West Bank part of their boating route.
"They can tell people to get on the Internet and wave at them when they go by in their boat," Grube said. "We hope it becomes a fun thing."
Grube said unlike the old Web cam, the new one can be turned to view activities on the lake, like the upcoming Governor's Cup Regatta on Aug. 28 and 29.
Tom Knapke, chairman of the CVB's marketing committee, said he thinks the new Web cam offers a more active view of the lake. The new cam cost $1,089, which came out of the CVB's marketing budget, he said.
"We think we can get a better view, closer to the lake with more activity, and more images other than just looking at the water," Knapke said. "There should be much more boat traffic with the boat launch nearby."