Campground ready for second season
April 17, 2019
After taking reservations for Marshall’s Whistle Stop Campground since December, the staff is ready to build on its first-year success. Opening weekend is slated for Friday, April 19, with reduced rates for overnight camping through May 16. The last camping weekend is Oct. 5-7.
The campground season is typically Memorial Day to Labor Day, Camp Consultant Bud Styer of Bud Styer & Associates, said. According to the Whistle Stop Campground website, there will be activities each weekend from Mother’s Day to mid-September such as Whistle Stop Olympics, science weekend, Easter in August and a pirates and princess weekend.
After getting feedback from last year’s customers, the campground will have sturdy shade structures that will be in place by Memorial Day, Styer said. He also said the carpet is currently being installed in the camp store, a bathhouse has already been built, and they also are touching up on the landscaping by adding grass seeds and straw. In the future, he said, more trees will be added.
Another added attraction is a little tram for the young children as the park is huge, Styer said. And he said, the train connecting the campground to Little Amerricka is unique. “No other campground has that,” Styer said.
“The major things to accomplish are right on schedule,” Styer said. “Last year, no one knew we were there.” Styer and his staff attended many trade shows advertising the campground. “The best advertising is the word of mouth. They will be back and will tell their friends,” he added.
Styer also is predicting that the day pass users will most likely double. “We had a lot of people last year who took advantage of the day passes so the parking lot was full,” Styer said.
He said that the number one goal is to take care of the guests who made reservations to go to the campground. “We don’t encourage weekend day use. The (swimming) pond is not big enough,” Styer said. “Most people (who come for the day) can come during the week.” New this year, Styer said is that they will be service Chicago style hot dogs from Portillo’s, which just opened in Madison.
He also said that are now going to sell 16-inch pizzas and ice cream again so people can go to the campground store, which has outside seating, for lunch. He said that the store will be open to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 to 10 p.m. on weekends.
“Our bookings are 60 percent better than last year,” Styer said.
Last year, the campground took in $237,590.97 in revenue which exceeded the village officials’ projected revenue of $149,000 and that the current year’s expenses were $229,000. The campground is financed by Tax Increment Financing (TIF) No. 2.
“We shoot for growth every year,” Styer said. “We are looking forward to the season.”
For more information on the campground, visit https://whistlestopcampground.com.
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