Kasper Family Works Hard to Be Successful
Let's be frank: Unless you choose to ignore the zipline, candy bar bingo games, organized craft sessions and occasional appearance by a live disc jockey, spending a weekend camping at Lazy River at Granville near Granville, Ohio, isn't exactly "roughing it."
But the place has been proven to be a favorite among campers from near and far, and the Kasper family works hard to ensure it stays that way, the Newark Advocate reported.
The husband-wife duo of Mark and Kathy Kasper came into ownership of Lazy River more than 10 years ago amid a search for a family business they and their five children could participate in together.
Having both grown up in "camping" families, the Springfield couple deemed Lazy River a perfect fit for their lifestyle and business aspirations.
Of course, the 55-acre property about five miles north of Granville didn't always look the way it does now, with its neatly manicured lawns, landscaped walkways and creek complete with sculpted bank.
"When we came here, it was kind of a diamond in the rough — and it was really rough," Mark Kasper said. "It needed a lot of attention."
So the Kaspers began working. Throughout the years, a miniature golf course has been added, and the camp store has evolved from a pop-and-candy joint to a miniature grocery store that also serves pizza and other hot meals.
The facility boasts a game room with pinball games and a pool table, a fitness room, wireless Internet, a playground, horseshoe area and sand volleyball court.
More than half of the campground's property is set aside for hiking trails and a BMX track.
Regularly scheduled activities — often themed according to a holiday — fill weekends with family fun, while on rainy days, campers can watch a movie on the projector in the recreation hall or even enjoy cable TV from their campers.
And as alternatives to camping in a tent or camper, guests can choose from a number of cabins and lodges of various sizes — or the five-bedroom "Family Home" that sleeps 16.
Of course, campground life is not all glamour for the Kaspers.
They have had to learn a lot about basic maintenance, sometimes at odd hours of the night, and hardly put in 40-hour work weeks.
"It's not a job. It's really a way of life," Mark said.
"You couldn't do it as many hours as we do if you didn't think of it as a lifestyle," Kathy added.
The Kaspers live in a house on the adjacent property and spend the offseason — November through March — planning projects and activities for the upcoming season.
It keeps them busy, but they do it because they enjoy the people — they've had campers from all 50 states as well as England, France, Germany, Canada and South America.
"We get to learn about so many different things, and we get to meet so many different people," Kathy said.