Realtor Buys/Transforms Michigan RV Park
With the scent of fireworks still in the air, summer is alive and well.
In Niles, Mich., a time-honored spot where so many have spent summers camping and fishing and sneaking off from the day to day for a little escape, is new and improved, according to the Niles Daily Star.
Under the new ownership of Bill Graffenius, Riverfront Park Campground is ready and waiting for campers, anglers, locals and visitors – with close to $200,000 in completed renovations.
Graffenius, who works in real estate, just happened to be working with the seller of the property on another project, and one thing would lead to another.
“Once I saw it, I just bought it,” Graffenius said.
Owning a campground was something the new owner “thought would be a good challenge.”
“And it has been,” he said.
The grounds had been “neglected” on a lot of levels, Graffenius said, and visitors had somewhat kept their distance.
Investing in the property, Graffenius said he built new bathhouses with new tile flooring, tile walls, double-vanities and marble accents.
“Each one is an individual unit,” he said. “So they’re unisex, so you can take the whole family in.”
The lodge has also been renovated along with newly added roads and driveways, continuous hot water and landscaping.
“We took down 206 trees and opened it up so grass would grow,” Graffenius said. “It was so thick.”
Purchased last July with improvements starting in April, the new grounds reopened officially on Memorial Day, and Graffenius said the property did fill up.
The property, located just of Pucker Avenue in Niles, is home to 35 riverfront and 35 lakefront sites – both with water and electric.
Full hook-ups are also available as well as primitive spots.
Graffenius said the grounds are home to an estimated 25 people who live there full-time – with room for more.
So what is it that lures people away from their backyards and subdivisions to the rural landscape of the campground summer after summer? And why is it beneficial to do so when they’re so close to home?
Graffenius said the campground’s proximity is one of its amenities.
“I would just say the convenience of it being right on the city limits of Niles and yet it’s like a hidden jewel,” he said. “When you go back in there there’s 50 acres of land and the (Dowagiac) river runs through it and it’s just very tranquil back there.
“And you can be anywhere in just a minute,” Graffenius said. “A lot of people come down here and stay and leave their pets at home and run home and take care of them or go to work…”
The “beauty of the lake and the river” isn’t half bad either.
“It’s beautiful,” Graffenius said, adding that he’s heard the area is prime for fishing.
Walking trails, horseshoes, swimming and fishing are just a few of the activities available at the property.
To learn more or see pictures of what Graffenius calls “a little piece of paradise,” go online to www.riverfrontparkcampground .com.