Campground Reopens With New Owners, New Vision

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The Payson Campground has been closed and all but abandoned for four years. Its last two owners failed to keep the business afloat.

But neither of those details are enough to keep the property's new owners, Mike and Cheryl Schlotman, from reopening the nearly 12-acre RV and tent mini-resort April 14.

"We came by, sat up here, saw the beauty, and just

decided to buy it," said Cheryl, who with her husband operates a high-end custom home building business in Carefree.

When the couple first began considering purchasing the campground last summer, Mike said, "I was thinking of a longer-term investment. But this property's highest and best use is as a campground."

Once a KOA Campground franchise, the new and improved Payson Campground will offer approximately 100 individual campsites 56 for RVs, with full water, sewer and electric hookups, and 44 tent sites

a newly installed heated swimming pool; a renovated clubhouse with a manager's office, laundry room, updated bathrooms with showers, video and pinball machines coin-operated pool table and a sitting area.

In its previous incarnations, Mike said, the clubhouse housed a store, a gift shop and "I don't know what else. Instead of doing that, we just wanted to create a place where people could hang out."

The campground on east Highway 260, he said, will be "relatively self-service" in terms of site registration. "You'll be able to drive up to a little kiosk, read the instructions, find your spot, and if you decide to stay, go back to the kiosk, fill out the paperwork and drop the fee$25 for RVs and $20 for tentsin a box."

For the needs that customers can't take care of themselves, campground managers Kyle and Jan Angregg who last ran a large RV resort in Mesa will be on site at all times.

"We're not looking to compete with the RV parks," Mike said. "We want to be more of an RV resort, where people come to spend 30 to 60 days. We're hoping to attract the weekend warriors who want to stay a while right in Payson and enjoy the beauty of the area, but don't want to pay motel prices."

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