New Park Owners Focus on Seasonal Campers
There's nothing better than owning your own campground, say lifelong campers, the Thompson family, according to the Leader Times, Kittanning, Pa.
A 2-acre pond complete with canoe and paddle boat rentals, a great place to fish, room for plenty of other campers and only a stone’s throw from Keystone Lake, offering 10-horsepower boat service, canoe rentals and even more great fishing – "What could be better than the Silver Canoe Campground?" they said.
So they bought it.
After operating the Milton Loop Campground near Dayton, Pa., for the past three years, Ron and Pam Thompson and their daughter Kayla and son Tyler are now owners of the Silver Canoe Campground along Route 210 on the upper banks of Keystone Lake, east of Kittanning.
The campground is located in a highly competitive area with seven other campgrounds within 20 miles of theirs.
"We learned that Silver Canoe Campground was up for sale," said Pam Thompson. "We thought about it a lot and decided to move on and purchase our own campground where we could better accommodate our customers. It was a big decision."
"We had made many friends and loved the park (Milton Loop), but at the end of the lease we would own nothing," she said. "With many thoughts running wild in our heads, in October we gave up the lease and purchased Silver Canoe Campground."
The family has been making improvements to the campgrounds during the winter. They have added new sites, upgraded the bathhouse and made other improvements.
A new camp store is on the site offering bait, ice cream, candy and snacks.
The Thompsons have planned activities on most weekends from duck races to a murder mystery dinner.
The big event for the campgrounds is a modern-day rendezvous – a gathering of many vendors, crafters, flea market, games and more on May 16 and May 17. The event is free to all vendors and is $2 per person for those attending.
The main season is April 1 to Oct. 31. They are open year-round with a heated bathhouse available.
"With the economy the way it is, more and more campers are looking to become seasonal campers in which they leave their units all summer, have sewage hookups and more," said Thompson. "At Milton Loop that just wasn't possible for us to offer those services."