New Duck Creek Resort Gets Rave Reviews
The first customers to stay at the new Duck Creek RV Resort near Muskegon, Mich., drove their RV all the way from Alaska, taking eight days to reach the upscale campground filled with amenities.
State and local tourism officials are not necessarily expecting the destination resort across from Michigan’s Adventure amusement park to draw many people from Alaska and the Pacific Coast. But they do expect it to be a regional draw, according to The Muskegon Chronicle. That alone should bode well for local tourism, an industry that kicks off its busy season this weekend and continues to play a large role in the local economy.
Those same tourism officials cite the potential of the resort to make a big splash for Muskegon County tourism. The resort, owned and operated by Roger and Casey Jourden, is among the largest tourism infrastructure projects in Muskegon County since the cross-lake ferry service was re-introduced six years ago.
Bruce Barker, account manager for West Michigan Tourist Association’s Southwest, called the resort a “perfect fit” for the area. He checked out the resort’s 157 sites and amenities last week during a visit.
“This is one more piece of the jewel,” Barker said of the resort’s fit in the county’s tourism offerings. “There’s a great need in the area with Michigan’s Adventure, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, the lakes and streams. It all fits in well with camping.”
William Sheffer, director of the Michigan Association of Recreation Vehicles and Campgrounds, marveled last week at the resort and its amenities, including the duck-shaped swimming pool.
“Technically, they’ve done a great job,” said Sheffer, who has seen many over the last few years in his role in the industry. “This one stands up with the rest of them as far as amenities.”
Roger Jourden II, the son of Michigan’s Adventure founder Roger Jourden, and his wife, Casey, opened the resort May 15 after an aggressive construction schedule of 10 months.
“It’s exactly what we envisioned,” Roger Jourden II said Friday during a small opening celebration where he thanked the engineer, architect and landscape designer for their work on the project. “We just have to get the grass to grow and it will look beautiful.”
The downpour rains that have hit the area recently have made it difficult for the new grass. He said most areas have been seeded about four times.
Despite the lack of thick, green grass, the rest of the campground and amenities have reached the high-end level of which the Jourdens hoped. Avid campers themselves, they used their camping experiences with their two young daughters in the design of the resort. The Jourdens pointed to the River Ridge Resort in Stanwood, Mich., a self-described luxury RV resort, as the inspiration for much of the design.
The amenities include a large clubhouse with laundry, showers and community room next to the heated swimming pool and Jacuzzi, an elaborate children’s playground structure with nine slides, a sandbox, a tennis court, a shuffleboard court, a basketball court, a sand volleyball court and theme-focused weekends.
The sites at the resort feature a paved RV pad and patio, irrigated grass and full hook-up for water, sewer, electric and cable television. The winding rows of sites are separated with a grassy area where children can play.
The Jourdens plan on expanding the resort. Designed as a two-phase project, the second phase would feature construction of 142 additional sites and a five-acre pond. That would bring the total number of sites to 299.
“If we have a good year, we’re excited to do the second phase in a year or two,” Roger Jourden II said.
Jill Foreman, Muskegon County tourism manager, said Roger and Casey Jourden are enthusiastic about their new business and credited their commitment to the community during difficult economic times.
“We’re expecting real good things,” Foreman said. “This is top notch. It will have a high level of service and amenities.”
Foreman called the resort a “great addition” to the county’s tourism offerings.
Stephanie Barrett, Dalton Township’s zoning administrator, said she expects the new resort to help out the other businesses in the area.
“It will bring more activity,” she said. “With the economy the way it is, it will be nice to keep some more of those tourism dollars here rather than going to Ludington or Saugatuck.”