Open under new ownership with new management since April, Blue Lake RV Resort has undergone a huge renovation and modernization process since it changed hands in February.
Jointly owned by Pat and Xyla Carson, their adult children Matt Carson and Heidi Carson, and Heidi’s fiancé James Boraski, Blue Lake RV Resort is quickly becoming, in Heidi’s words, “The kind of place where you can bring everybody. Aside from being an RV park for tourists, we want to provide Boundary County with a gathering place for all kinds of groups: meetings, reunions, clubs, organizations, associations, luncheons and barbecues. We want everyone to feel welcome here.”
Purchasing Blue Lake RV Resort is a dream come true for Heidi and James who are planning to marry this fall.
Heidi, a BFHS Class of 1983 graduate, met James in college and toured for a year in a travel trailer. Heidi said that is how they found the RV world. With James’ long history of estate management and general maintenance work, coupled with Heidi’s background in Resource Recreation Tourism and Marketing, they thought that owning an RV park would be great. To make sure that it was a good fit, they applied for and were hired to manage a successful 5-star RV resort on Anacortes Island, which they did for two years. When Blue Lake RV Resort came up for sale, Pat called Heidi and James and told them about the potential awaiting at Blue Lake. When Heidi and James first saw Blue Lake, they realized that it needed a tremendous amount of renovation, but also recognized the potential for a successful business. Heidi remembers thinking, “Oh wow! Our own lake!” the first time they saw the property. Still, they did a lot of research to make sure that it was going to be a viable business. Things fell into place, and the five partners took over Blue Lake RV Resort in February.
The atmosphere of Blue Lake RV Resort is very serene and pleasant; it’s not one of those RV parks that feels like a parking lot or a subdivision. Walking through the beautiful grounds definitely feels like camping in a park-like atmosphere. It’s nicely wooded with tall trees for lots of shade and that great “wind in the trees” sound to lull tired campers to sleep at night.
The park itself is very clean and well organized. This young, energetic couple has recently built a brand new bath house featuring individual bathrooms which contain single showers for privacy. The clubhouse is undergoing extensive remodeling and will soon include a great room with a gas fireplace and a full kitchen for groups to use for reunions or meetings.
The 20-acre grounds include 11 camping spots with full hook-ups that are “big rig friendly,” 20 sites with partial hook-ups (electric and water), four super sites with an unobstructed view of the lake, six big rig pull-through sites and several tenting spots.
This kind of diversification is quickly becoming one of the hallmarks of Blue Lake RV Resort. Heidi and James have every intention of making Blue Lake into a multiple-use campground. Their dream is to be able to accommodate everyone’s taste for getting away; spanning the entire gamut of the camping experience from the most rustic tenting sites to medium-size sites for those with smaller RV’s and tent trailers that just want a weekend getaway spot, to large camp sites for those with big rig motor homes. In the future, they are even thinking of building several park model cabins that would rent like motel rooms for those who don’t want to do the traditional camping at all.
Another recent innovation is the boutique tent, which provides a private get-away. The large tent includes a log bed with bedding, a mosquito net over the bed and a bistro table. Soon it will have an electric light. It provides the perfect setting for a romantic getaway for those who want to feel like they are camping in a tent, but who don’t want to pitch the tent, blow up the air mattresses, get out the sleeping bags and all the tent camping accoutrements. Heidi said that the people who have stayed in the boutique tent have really enjoyed the experience.
“We are definitely more of an adult retreat although older kids really like it here for the fishing, kayaks and the games,” Heidi explained. “More and more of the boomer generation is retiring and choosing to live in motor homes in order to travel from north to south each year. We are finding that the people who stay here want the conveniences, amenities and facilities for big rigs. That is why we have an awesome Wi-Fi system, a recycling center and water conservation. They also want to feel that they are camping like when they were younger and used to go tent camping. It’s really hard to find RV parks that are like that. Many state parks can’t accommodate the big RV’s but here we can.”
Blue Lake RV Resort features many activities for guests such as ladder ball, badminton, volleyball, horseshoes, ping pong, giant checkers, giant pick-up sticks, DVDs for rent and a community fire pit. The three-acre, non-motorized lake is stocked with trout each year. Because the lake is privately owned, no fishing license is needed. There is a dock with a canoe and a kayak for rent. Heidi said the lake is very swimmable since it is spring-fed from the bottom of the lake by an aquifer. There is a large, shaded deck on the shore of the lake with a patio set, exercise bike and a heater for chilly north Idaho evenings when guests want to sit near the lake and watch the stars. Soon, James and Heidi plan to build a small amphitheater adjacent to the deck for those wishing to get married near the lake. In fact, that is where Heidi and James plan to marry.
Of the extensive remodeling, landscaping and renovating, Heidi commented, “It’s like developing your own property except you’re hosting all the time, so you’re always thinking of ways to make your guests happy and keep them busy. Since we’re right off Highway 95, six hours from Calgary and right on the way to Glacier, we feel that we have found a unique niche. We’re hoping that it will definitely bring business to the whole county. We have lots of big groups come through but it takes the whole town to make things work.”
To book a gathering or for more information visit www.bluelakervresort.com
. Blue Lake RV Resort can be reached at 208-946-3361.