By Rich Palzewic
BROWN COUNTY – The newest campground in the northeast region of Wisconsin is off to a good start.
On June 3, the Brown County Reforestation Camp Campground, adjacent to the NEW Suamico Zoo, opened to the public.
“Overall it’s going great,” Brown County Parks Superintendent Matt Kriese said. “A new campground opening in northeast Wisconsin doesn’t happen that often, so we welcome customers and campers.”
The county has invested $1.2 million to develop the property and expects around 20,000 visitors per year.
The campground is estimated to generate around $125,000 in annual revenue, a figure that Kriese said he is on track for.
“Despite opening a month later than expected, we still expect to hit $125,000,” he said. “About (two weeks ago) we were already at $60,000, so if the trend continues, we’ll be good.”
Kriese said campers are happy with the setup.
“It’s a unique property,” he says. “It’s 1,400 acres, with hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. With the NEW Zoo and Adventure Park nearby, visitors can stay a full weekend and enjoy the property.
Kriese said August is the busiest month for campgrounds in the area.
“With Packers Training Camp, the (recently completed) football game at Lambeau Field and various concerts, the campgrounds are filling up fast,” he said. “For example, (on the weekend of July 22) we had no openings at any of our campgrounds.”
Kriese said many people are surprised to hear that campgrounds fill up quickly, especially when it comes to Packers season.
“For someone who’s already invested in an RV, camping is what they want to do,” he said. “It saves people from staying 60 miles away in a hotel. Even during the week of training camp, it fills up.
Kriese said it proves that camping is still a valuable resource that people seek out.
“People like to get out and enjoy nature,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons the county council wanted this campground. We know that RV industry trends are on the rise. »
There are RV hookups and two toilet/shower buildings on site.
Kriese said officials are considering possibly adding a few more amenities in the future.
“We would like to add a small playground and a small asphalt basketball court,” he said. “It’s good for parents to send their children to do extra activities. Depending on things, that could be in place for 2023.”
Kriese said the campground is expected to remain open until the end of October.
Sites can be reserved online by visiting browncountyparks.org.
“The online system worked very well,” Kriese said. “People can show up and make a reservation with their phone – or they can make a reservation 364 days in advance.”
To read a story about an upcoming mountain bike race at camp, CLICK HERE.