Campground grows under AWAYSIS plan

Monday, August 30, 2004

$2m plan, projected to turn a profit for city

The theme "something for everyone" could easily apply to the Project AWAYSIS destination park concept as planners Thursday laid out their ideas for improvements to the campground area on the east edge of Storm Lake.

Bob Baschke, chair of the campground committee, and Storm Lake Administrative Services Director Justin Yarosevich discussed plans for campground improvements that include cabins ranging from rustic to luxury-level plus expanded water and sewer hookups for the camping area.

Baschke said the seven-member campground committee recognized a need to make improvements to the existing campground and offer additional space. A key objective was to balance the natural feeling of the campground area with making camping accessible and convenient. "We're going to try to hold onto the natural setting as much as we can," Yarosevich said.

Projected new features include two to three resort-style three-room cabins, each featuring a great room; two intermediate cabins which would include comfort features such as a dining area with air conditioning; and four rustic cabins which would

These sites would have bunks, electricity, and a cooking grill. There would also be an additional comfort station somewhat closer to the proposed rustic cabin area.

One major change is to go from a horseshoe configuration to a linear space to make the site more aesthetic yet use space better. Baschke said the changes would make camping more functional and also offer a better lake view.

Yarosevich said the current campground north of Lakeside is a revenue generator for the city, bringing in money for other projects such as the city pool. He said the revamped campground would also generate revenues over its own operating costs. Yarosevich said plans provide that Vision Iowa funds will help pay for the $2 million in campground improvements.

"The cost to stay here will be competitive," Yarosevich said. "It will be competitive with other campgrounds. We would anticipate for this to still make money. We would look for it to cover its expense in the long run."

The slightly larger facility will also accommodate more visitors, Yarosevich said.

"There's probably a small increase in the number of spots out there," Yarosevich said. "The number of spots with full amenities will be there. What we have is a nice facility."

Baschke said plans are to make Storm Lake a destination spot rather than a weekend or en route stopover. Yarosevich agreed.

"We're going to bring more tourists to this region," Yarosevich said. "I think we're going to end up bringing more business to the area."

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