Bob McGlashen Built an RV Park from Scratch
Bob McGlashen left Michigan 41 years ago, destined to make a significant change in his life. He drove as far south as he could go, into central Florida, and found a wooded piece of property on S.R. 50, about seven miles from a cozy little town called Brooksville.
McGlashen had purchased a Kampgrounds of America (KOA) franchise and had chosen the property to build his campground. With the KOA guidebook as his resource, he built the clubhouse and office and mapped out 110 individual campsites, each with water and electric hookups, Hernando Today reported. Frontier Campground was born.
“A lot of people don’t know that,” McGlashen said. “They think I bought an existing KOA. But I actually built it myself.”
The idea to build a campground actually began years earlier, when McGlashen had come to Florida on vacation from Michigan. “That was 1965,” he said. “I said within 10 years that I would be back. I was either going to build something or buy something,” he remembered.
He went back to Michigan and resumed his position at Pontiac, managing a team of 43 employees. And he saved every penny, working 12-hour shifts, to build the foundation for a brand new dream. “I wanted to get into the leisure business,” he said.
He purchased a KOA franchise from its home office in Billings, Mont., and made his way to Florida, looking for the right location to build his new dream.
“It was between Brooksville and south of Tampa,” he remembered. But property in Hernando County was a better deal and the other location, on a lake, had too many mosquitoes.
Equipped with the manual from KOA, and a little knowledge of building after helping his brother build houses in Michigan, he set to work. He found people in the neighborhood that were handy in one facet or another and willing to offer their skill.
And when it came time to map out the campsites, 110 of them, he relied on his two years of drafting in high school. “That really came in handy,” he said. “But it was the KOA manual that really helped me.”
He was ready to open within six months.
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