b'SUPPLIER INSIGHTS BY RON BARGER & BEN QUIGGLECold River Mining Offers a Chance for Kidsas Well as Adultsto Search for TreasureOwned by the Houchens for about five barrels.years, Turners Falls, Mass.-based Cold The gemstone mining sluices are de-River Mining has been providing gem- signed to look like real mining sluices andstone sluices and mining attractions for allow campers a chance to purchase bagsthepast26years,accordingtoRyan or even buckets of gemstones buried inHouchens, vice president of sales for the sand that they wash through the watercompany.flowing through the mining sluice.TheHouchenswere Park owners make an initial invest-familiarwiththecom- ment in purchasing the sluice and thenpany and the products it continually purchase product that theyoffered before buying the sell in their camp stores. Houchens notedbusiness,astheyhad that the initial prices of a sluice includebeenlongtimecus- gemstone product that the campgroundtomersasownersofowners can begin selling right away. IndianaCaverns in The company sources its gemstonesRyan Houchens Corydon, Ind.from about 12 countries throughout the Cold River Mining offers several different sluices, all designedThe previous owner started the com- world. They offer 12 different bags that to allow campers to sift through bags of sand and rock to findpany after receiving poor service from an- range in size from smaller group bags to hidden gems.othersluiceprovider,Houchenstold the companys larger bucket, which fea-WoodallsCampgroundManagement tures over a pound of amethyst in it. (WCM).In every bag we have emeralds, fossils,Sincetakingoverownershipofthe sharks teeth, seashells, anything that webusiness, the Houchens have expanded can do to make it different and fun, sothe companys product line and made the thatacampgroundcanchangetheirsand and the bags used by customers in choice of products every year, Houchensthe sluices cleaner.noted. That is something we recognized as a He said that campground owners havepriority from what we saw as customers, been skeptical of purchasing the largerHouchens explained.bucket in the past, but that owners whoMaybe you are asking what a sluice have taken the leap have noticed that theyis? Cold River Mining offers a variety of fly off the shelves. different gemstone mining sluices, from If somebody comes in as a family andsmaller units that are eight feet long, all theyve got two or three kids, they can splitthe way up to larger units that can reach it up, Houchens said. For $50 retail they The sluices are designed to be used for decades if they are12 feet. The company even offers a bar- are able to all do it. Theres more material properly maintained.rel sluice, which is made from bourbon Supplier Insightscontinued on page 3214 -May 2021Woodalls Campground Management'