Ocean Lakes’ Biggest Renovation Ever!
Ocean Lakes Family Campground, a subsidiary of The Jackson Companies, is excited to announce that renovations are complete on the new “Camptown Center,” the most ambitious Ocean Lakes’ renovation to date. Located in the heart of the campground, this area previously included the Main Snack Bar, Main Laundrymat, the water purification station and the Camptown Store, all sharing a parking lot. The new facility still includes a laundromat, store and snack bar, plus several new amenities, all sharing a redesigned parking lot and new covered brick walkway connecting them together. The water purification station has been relocated. Logically, the entire complex was named the “Camptown Center.” New names were selected for each amenity based on the campground’s overall theme and its mascot, “Sandy,” a starfish. Management and teammates worked together on the renovation plans from the redesign of the snack bar, laundromat and store, to brainstorming on ideas for additional amenities and their new names. Guests are already complimenting teammates on the new facility, even comparing it to Disney. “Located on the main road into the campground, the new Camptown Center makes quite an impression as guests drive by,” comments Lance Thompson, Vice President and General Manager. “It brings Ocean Lakes up to the next level.” The new Camptown Center is part of Ocean Lakes’ ongoing master planned improvements that began in 1996.
The Camptown Center Amenities
Dining at “Sandy’s Meet n’ Eat” is a pleasure. Formally known as the Main Snack Bar, the Meet n’ Eat menu ranges from breakfast to dinner and of course, includes our world famous ice cream! Nearly 200 guests can enjoy covered outdoor seating overlooking a large wooden deck nestled in the corner against a dune and surrounded by majestic live oak trees. The wooden deck provides additional seating for more than 150 guests. The 4,000 square foot deck is constructed of recycled materials and includes a walkway over the dune and through the live oaks to Sandy Harbor Family Fun Center (the recreation complex that opened in April, 2002). The deck also features a gazebo and a propane fire pit. Guests can relax on the deck, enjoy a meal or snack, surf the internet and enjoy various performers including storytellers, musicians, and magicians at the deck’s gazebo, “Sandy’s Center Stage.” During the fall and winter, guests will enjoy visiting with family and friends around the deck’s cozy fire pit. As the tourism and campground industry struggles to keep up with technology and consumer demand, Ocean Lakes continues to embrace it. The Camptown Center is also known as the “Wireless Zone,” free Wi-Fi service (wireless internet) is provided for up to 250 people, all they need to bring is their laptops. Guests can relax at a table with a meal, snack or beverage or do some laundry while catching up on email, work, or researching their next destination! “Many destinations charge for wireless service,” explains Barb Krumm, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, “Ocean Lakes decided to provide wireless service at no charge was just another step towards providing outstanding customer service. Travelers look for and are beginning to expect such amenities.” Modem friendly phone jacks have been included at all 893 campsites providing free internet access since 1998.
Laundry is more enjoyable at “Sandy’s Soap Suds” featuring 100 machines in heated and air-conditioned comfort. Large items, such as blankets and sleeping bags can be washed in our oversize washers. Guests can purchase detergent at our convenient on-site vending machines or at the adjacent Sandy Mart. Seating is provided for waiting guests. Folding and sorting laundry is more enjoyable at our large tables. Or guests can forget about doing their laundry and let us do it! “Sandy’s Fluff n’ Fold” features a drop-off laundry service and is our newest endeavor at striving for outstanding customer service. Guests are charged by the pound for this on-site service. “The campground industry, like any other, is driven by consumer demands,” explains Thompson. “We wanted our guests to experience the “Wow!” factor, and we think Sandy’s Fluff n’ Fold is a great idea. It’s kind of a test market,” admits Thompson. “But who wants to come to the beach for a vacation and do laundry?”
Shopping is even more fun and convenient in the expanded store, “Sandy Mart,” featuring 12,600 square feet of shopping. Formally known as the Camptown Store, Sandy Mart features groceries, hardware, fishing supplies, swimwear, jewelry and gifts. The 2,600 square foot expansion allowed Ocean Lakes to increase the size of the gift and clothing departments, giving guests even more merchandise from which to shop.
During peak season and holidays, the Camptown Center is a busy place, making access to the free purified water station difficult at times. With customer service in mind, the water stations were relocated to areas to allow for easier access and convenience. Two new water stations have been built. The improved water stations allow guests to fill one gallon and now five-gallon containers. They are located in the 4000 section and on Sand Dollar Lake in the Southside Section.
Camptown Center raises Money for Charity
Commemorative brick pavers are available for families who dream of always being part of Ocean Lakes and they help raise money for two great charities. The idea came from a teammate suggestion submitted through Ocean Lakes’ StarPower program. The brick pavers are being purchased by long time guests and annual leaseholders, as gifts for families and grandchildren, or in honor of a loved one. They are being implemented along the brick walkways. Ocean Lakes donates 80% of the proceeds to the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes (the purchaser can choose).
The Jacksons, Ocean Lakes’ founders, celebrate 63rd Wedding Anniversary!
Mary Emily and Nelson Jackson celebrated their 63rd Wedding Anniversary with friends and family during the Camptown Center “Ribbon Cutting and Dedication Ceremony.” Mr. Jackson addressed the crowd thanking them for making Ocean Lakes what it is today – a place families can come to spend time together and have fun. Mrs. Jackson cut the anniversary cake and shared it with more than 200 guests.
High resolution photos available on CD or via email.