In June of 1977, Marty established Kentucky Lake Sails. The first office was a 32’ mobile office trailer located on Hwy. 62 in Calvert City. The first two years Marty sold AMF Sunfish, Catalina, Cape Dory, Irwin, Macgregor and various other sailboats. In 1978 he picked up the Hunter, J Boat, and San Juan sailboat lines.
In the fall of 1979, the business was moved across the highway to higher ground and more permanent buildings including a small service shop. Tim Colburn, Marty’s brother, came onboard in the fall of 1979 to help service and commission the sailboats. Most slips in the area were covered and open slips were hard to lease. Marty started considering options for a marina.
Brenda joined the team in the spring of 1980 as bride, bookkeeper and boat cleaner. Brenda learned to sail that spring on a 27’ Stiletto catamaran. They spent a lot of time sailing and often took people for rides showing them how much fun sailing on Kentucky Lake can be.
Dreams can come true. In 1982, Brenda and Marty bought a run down marina known as Grand Rivers Boat Dock and moved KY Lake Sails to the new location. After extensive dredging, several extreme floods and building new slips, break walls, cottages, and various other buildings, the original marina with 50 dilapidated slips and rundown campground was gradually transformed into the full service resort Lighthouse Landing is today.
They all wore a variety of hats while growing Lighthouse Landing, from designer, contractor and builder to bookkeeper, boat washer, boat sales person. Every day seemed rewarding, some days more than others.
During a ceremony on June 11, 1992, the United States Coast Guard presented Tim and Marty Colburn, Silver Lifesaving Medals for a boating incident that happened on April 12, 1991, which involved “the rescue of two children and two adults from certain death by preventing their disabled pleasure craft from being swept over an open spillway of Kentucky Dam on the Tennessee River”, (as stated on the citation). The presentations were signed by J.W. Kime, Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard.
Lighthouse Landing Lighthouse was built to celebrate their 25th year in business. The Lighthouse, located on the south break wall was started in the fall of 2002 and completed in the spring of 2003. The 186’ lighted boardwalk leads you along the top of the break wall to the Lighthouse which stands 40 feet above the water at winter pool. Lighthouse Landing Lighthouse is a welcome sign to all those who visit Lighthouse Landing.
Lighthouse Landing currently has 180 boat slips, 60 campsites, 22 cottages, 2 Guest rooms, Meeting Room, sailboat sales, service and sailing school. Also, Marty Colburn Photo galley with photographs of wildlife, nature and sailing on display.
Lighthouse Landing will be celebrating 40 years in business June 2017.
Listed below are employees, who have been with Lighthouse Landing 5 years or longer and helped Lighthouse Landing grow to what it is today.
Marty Colburn, Owner/President – 1977
Tim Colburn, Service Mgr and Sales –1979-2006 (in our hearts forever)
Brenda Colburn, Owner/Bean Counter – 1980
Robin Colburn, Rental Mgr/sales – 1987
Chip Riddle, Sailing Instructor/sales – 2007
Emily Shelton, Office/Rental Mgr – 2008
Beth Cheswick, Guest Services – 2011