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NWRPC News

Posted on: May 25, 2018

NWBDC Approves Financing for That HWY 70 Campground, LLC

That Hwy 70 photo 1.jpg

The Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation (NWBDC) awarded loan funding to Jennifer and Christian Mangelsen to develop their 15-acres of land into a dream campground destination for transient and seasonal campers alike.

Both Christian and Jenny have been raised in entrepreneurial families and it has always been a goal for them to own a campground. They started planning the campground when they purchased the fifteen acre parcel and want to see the business grow into something they can pass on to their four kids.

“The fact that we can achieve our dream, make it a reality and have our kids involved is very important to us,” Jenny said. She added that it is even more exciting knowing they can pass on their entrepreneurial traits by working hand in hand with their children in a very kid-friendly business.

The land itself has a lot of history. It used to be a very well-known water park called Rainbow Park that was started in the early 80s. The park had mini golf, a water slide, and bumper boats. After the park closed it sat empty until the Mangelsens purchased it. The land will rise to use again and be the home to a full-service campground. That HWY 70 Campground will offer seasonal and transient campers full hook ups (water, septic, electricity and Wi-Fi) in ninety-four large and spacious pull through sites.

That Hwy 70 Campground’s users range from all ages, however, the main purchasing customers will include men and women from 30 to 75. Burnett County, Wisconsin is a large tourist area, as it brings in many "snow birds" from Florida, Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and many other southern states. The Mangelsens want to be able to give them a place to stay during the summer while they are on vacation. Burnett County is also a tristate destination for people looking to camp in the Northwood’s. Currently there is no camping place for campers in Siren or the adjacent area. This is a large reason why a campground is not only great for this location, but also for the community.

The Mangelsens have set themselves apart from the other campgrounds by providing larger sites, 94 in total, making them a large campsite. They will give each site a spacious feeling and they want their campers to come here and enjoy the space. Kids can run and play in the space provided and the campers will have privacy. That Hwy 70 Campground provides sites that are 40’ wide by 75’ long. This will be enough room for not only a large camper, but also a nice deck, parking for their vehicle or boat (since fishing is a major attraction), room for a fire pit and room to enjoy!

“We wanted to create a place that was comfortable for the campers and give them a sense of home and a place to safely recreate with their family,” Christian explained.

Finding that opportunity is hard enough in Burnett County, as there are limited campgrounds, with ample recreational opportunities. Many of the campgrounds book up months in advance, leaving it hard for new campers to find their place. However, being a new campground to the area was something Jenny and Christian were concerned about.

What they found was amazing support from the other campground owners. Not once did any of the other owners feel threatened by a new camping option, and it was in fact quite the opposite. The Mangelsens were welcomed with open arms and were offered help and support whenever needed. They were even congratulated and thanked for giving another option to campers.

“The feedback from the community has been overwhelming. We have been floored with the advice and backing we’ve received from other local campground owners,” Jenny stated.

That HWY 70 Campground has also received many letters of community support and verbal support at the zoning hearing by local businesses and the St. Croix Tribe.

Burnett County is a huge tourist area and big on fishing, hunting, biking, swimming and much more. The county has tourist attractions such as Crex Meadows and Fort Folle Avoine. They have casinos, bars, shopping, restaurants and more all within this county, yet still have the country feel that campers are looking for. Right now, existing campground management at other campgrounds are sending potential camping customers to the next county because the current campgrounds in Burnett county are full or unavailable.

The project became a further reality through a joint effort between local resources that provide support for small businesses. The Mangelsens obtained critical startup consultation from Indianhead Community Action Agency’s Business Development program, which included financial projections, a fully curated business plan, and assistance with drafting the business registration applications. Impact Seven out of Rice Lake became the lead financing organization and Northwest Wisconsin Business Development Corporation assisted with gap financing to make this goal a reality.

NWBDC’s revolving loan funding provided the needed leverage to fund, develop and open That Hwy 70 Campground LLC. This project is expected to create 2 jobs in Siren, Wisconsin. To see if your business would qualify for a startup, transition or expansion loan product at NWRPC, contact loan fund manager Ken Pearson at (715) 635-2197.
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