Just In Time Campground is located in Ithaca, Mich., just six miles east of the M-57 and US-27 junction, northeast of Grand Rapids and southwest of Saginaw, the location is pretty much in the center of the state. It was established in 1994.
“We think this campground is pretty unique,” said Jack VanGessel, a real estate advisor that is part of the new ownership group of this little Michigan gem. “We have access to our own private lake, Lake Earl, that has a nice beach with swimming areas.”
The campground has 61 RV sites with 35 full hookups and 27 with water and electricity. There are 12 primitive tent sites, for 83 total sites.
“We’ve got three waterfront cabins and there is a three-bedroom house for rent as well,” noted VanGessel.
The park is all 30- and 50-amp service and has Wi-Fi access.
He went on to explain that the three-bedroom, two-bath house has a patio and porch over the lake and is perfect for family reunions and weddings that attract relatives that simply don’t own RVs. The site also has a camp store with men’s and women’s bathrooms, some storage facilities and a community space for kids’ programming, card games and gatherings.
Just In Time Campground has all back-in RV sites that are better for small to mid-sized RVs, but its waterfront sites are 40-foot and 50-foot capable.
“Lake Earl is an old sand mining pit, that’s still occasionally active,” VanGessel said. “At certain points of the lake, it’s over 100 feet deep. We’ve got beach boat and pontoon rentals as well. It’s a no-wake lake that we stock with walleye, pike, rock bass, bluegill and perch. It’s an extremely pure lake that actually has a species of freshwater jellyfish.”
The ownership markets the campsite on Campspot, but the listing can also be seen online at TripAdvisor, Pure Michigan, The Dyrt and RoverPass. The season runs from May 1 to Oct. 1 for the seasonal campers. But is also open for snowmobiling, hunting and fishing throughout the year.
“In the future, we will definitely be open for electric camping during the winter,” VanGessel added, as he explained how his group of five partners put the acquisition together with a great deal of fortitude. Campers should understand that the investment group is still upgrading the grounds with plans to make it more modern in every respect.
“We just redid the road this week,” he reported in early May. “We redid the beach this week. I’m painting all the buildings this week, and then my plans are to redo all the electricity. My goal is that we’ll be at 50 full hookups, with 23 additional water and electric sites.”
The campground caters to many longer-stay seasonal guests.
“We make sure the park is clean, it’s nice, safe and quiet hours are enforced. If you don’t have a big camp store, have a partnership with the local grocery store. All our seasonals get a gift card to the grocery store and they get a nice preferred rate there too,” VanGessel explained.
Just In Time is focused on kids as well, with a little train ride on the weekends.
“I’ve got an old John Deere ride-along converted and a conductor’s outfit,” noted VanGessel. “We do that Saturdays at 6 p.m. It is very much a family-oriented park. There is a lot to do for the kids between the fishing, the playground, we’ve got a washers and bags tournament area and we’ve got a basketball court.
“We have an outdoor movie theater set up in a gazebo with a movie projector that we do movie nights on Friday with,” he added. “We make popcorn in the store, so we always have fresh caramel and regular popcorn here.”