In a previous review I expressed concern that the owner might be starting to cut corners in a tight market. Unfortunately, during my most recent stay I noticed two disturbing trends that tend to support my theory. First, lawn maintenance was being performed at intervals so infrequently that I found myself looking around for the "prairie restoration" plaque. But most disturbing was the fact that several sites have been rented on a long term basis to a company employing laborers, who appear to be Mexican nationals. While they are quiet and well-behaved, since they are unfamiliar with what I shall call RV park etiquette, they don't hesitate to transit your site at all hours of the day and night, if it is convenient for them to do so. It is quite disconcerting to suddenly notice someone passing within a few feet of your windows at 10:00 at night. Now, while I would expect to find this type of belt-tightening at a much cheaper park, seeing it HERE is incongruous with the price structure, as well as the RV resort "aura" that the owner wishes to promote. To be completely fair, however, it should be noted that the word "resort" is not used in their brochures or on their website. It is now apparent that was a wise decision.
This is the second consecutive KOA I've encountered on this trip which supplies its RV sites with hard, smelly well water. Only here, it's so bad that they actually advise you (in writing) to not fill your fresh water tank with it. Naturally, they do not mention this unpleasant little factoid during check-in: Let's see, $43.00 a night for gravel, dirt, and bad water too? Instead, that information is conveniently buried deep within a five or six page handout, which, according to the nice lady behind the desk, "most people never read." Whether you read it or not, your first taste of their water should prompt a fact-finding visit to the office, at which time you'll be shown a complete selection of RV water filtration and softening systems, all available for sale in the camp store! The final disappointment was finding the men shower facility to be filthy and in desperate need of renovation. My unfortunate conclusion is that it's KOA'S like this one that are beginning to make overnight parking at Wal-Mart look like a smarter choice.
This has to be one of the nicest KOA'S in the system, with long, level paved sites and interior roads, fast, strong Wi-Fi, resort quality facilities, and a beautiful setting. If it weren't for the hard, smelly well water, I could have easily forgotten that still an overpriced KOA, after all!
Consider this an addendum to my April review. At the time of check-in, guests are offered the free use of a remote control device, which opens and closes the security gate. They do hold a small deposit, which is returned upon check-out. If memory serves, the amount was $35.00, regardless of the length of your stay. This is another thoughtful Lakeview amenity, if you ask me, and I can't imagine anyone turning it down.
Unfortunately, due to continuing budget cuts, this beautiful park is in a gradual state of decline. For example, the riding stables and the swimming pool have been permanently closed, and the park's nicest picnic shelter, built by the CCC, remains closed after having been damaged by fire two years ago. Due to reductions in personnel, the Visitor Center is now closed on Monday and Tuesday in the camping season, and for the entire off-season (November through March). There is some good news, however. The campground recently became 100% reservable, which means that the days of the locals, the homeless, (and others who are unwilling or unable to plan ahead), being able to commandeer campsites for up to fifteen nights at a time with a tent from Wal-Mart, are gone forever, too.
This is absolutely the worst KOA I've seen, and I've seen quite a few awful KOA'S. Thanks to previous reviews, I took a brief stroll through the campground before paying for the night, and found the information to be accurate, including the foul tasting well water. And as for the clientele, now I know where Jerry Springer goes to find guests for the show. Needless to say, I did not spend the night there. However, I did want to credit the nice young guy behind the desk who was polite, helpful, and in general, did his best to put a positive spin on a bad situation.
Consider this the update of the review I posted in April of last year. The hot water issue has been corrected, so I'm a happy camper again while in St. Louis. Without the frequent noise of "planes, trains and automobiles," I could rate this place a "10." But let's be realistic, folks: the "highest and best" use for land is rarely for RV Parks, so every one of them will have some drawbacks. Finally, much has been said here about the attitude of the owner. But if you ask me, I don't expect her to have the personality of a game show host, just to be good at what she does, and she does it well.
Desiring to be in Zeeland for a month or so, we checked out several parks in the area before deciding that this one has the fewest drawbacks. One must keep in mind that due to the limited camping season here, it just isn't feasible for these places to make big investments in infrastructure and amenities, and we must adjust our expectations accordingly. In other words, if you think you're going to enjoy things like parking on concrete or asphalt, plenty of space between you and the next guy, adequate number of shower stalls, etc., you will be disappointed. However, if you're looking for a reasonably priced kid-friendly campground for your summer vacation, not too far from home, (almost every vehicle has Michigan plates), this is the place for you. It is family owned and operated, and they are all friendly and helpful. My only other advice is to call them to check availability, since they seem to be full on the weekends.
This is probably the best all-around RV Park that I've found in several years of full-time RVing; it is truly a "resort". What I appreciate most is management's obvious commitment to spend the money necessary to keep it nice. We spent the winter here, and plan to return this fall.
This is your typical dusty old KOA; suitable only for parking while you do Memphis. For example, two of the four showers on the men's side were designated "out of order", and it appeared that during my two day stay, no repairs were in progress. Also, the room in general looked like it hadn't had a face lift since Jimmy Carter was President. (I know, that's not unusual for some of these old KOA's). What was unusual though, was the condescending, maternalistic and uncooperative attitude of the older "work-camper" type woman behind the desk. I won't bore you with the details; let me just say that next time I'll stay with Elvis!
This is a very nice park. Unfortunately, there is limited hot water available for showers in the mens' side. We're talking less than five minutes, and that's for the lucky guy who happens to be the first, at any given time. Whoever is next gets no hot water whatsoever. I don't know how long it takes to recover, but eventually it does, and will permit one more 5 minute shower! Now, what is so disturbing about this is that I reported this problem to the staff in early March! (I met another customer yesterday who said he reported it in January)! And, my periodic reminders that this situation still exists have been politely dismissed with the usual excuses. I would like to know why it seems to be such a "moon shot" to call a plumber? Let's hope that management isn't beginning to cut corners in a tight market. I like this park; usually stay here a month or two every year. If they will just get this problem solved I can update this with a much better review.