b'CAMPSITE VISTASKebler Corner Offers a Modern, Environmentally-Friendly SettingToday, Kebler Corner is open and operating with 22 full hookup RV sites and nine cabins. With 200 acres, theres plenty of room for dry camping and unlimited tent camping, but with only two bathrooms andSueBrayshowers the St. Ruths have opted to limit their tents to six. When we found that the Colorado campground our friends had highly recommended was solidly booked for the month of August, we started re-searching alternatives. And were glad we did. Its always great to make new discoveries and finding Kebler Cor-ner RV Park in Somerset, Colo., was the highlight of this summers RV trip. Ive both lived and vacationed in Coloradoformuchofmylife,but never spent much time in the North Fork Valley. Id certainly never visited thetinyminingtownofSomerset, which accommodates a population of 212, including a post office. But justKebler Corner is working to add an additional 30 to 40 sites as it around the bend at Kebler Pass, thedeals with a high demand for campsites. Credit: Kebler CornerRuby-Anthracite and Muddy creeks come together to form the North ForkandPaulwereapproachedbyJimobviously a man of quick action. IEmily and Paul St. Ruthof the Gunnison River, and theres aabout joining him in the RV park in- told Emily we need to rent out our scenic RV park nestled in the beauti- dustry.house, hold our kids preschool spots, ful Colorado wilderness. This is KeblerJim had always been an outdoorbuy a motorhome and travel around Corner.guyandalongtimefriend,saidthe country checking out RV parks. The park is owned by Emily andEmily.He came to us and said the RVIt took me a little longer to process Paul St. Ruth with their business part- industry is changing. I want to investthis, said Emily, but we did it. ner, Jim Smith. In 2015, somewhatin RV parks, and I want you two to beThe family, with their four-year-old tiredoftheircorporatenon-profitmy boots on the ground.This wasand two-year-old sons in tow, were on jobs in nearby Eagle County, Emilypre-Covid, pre-RV boom, adds Paul,theroadina31-footThormo-torhome for a year. They traveled as far as the Florida Keys, around the southeast, to the Pacific northwest, stayingatstateparks,RVresorts, small boutique parks and large corpo-rate campgrounds.We had every- ways an easy task. thing we needed, said Paul.But inTherewerechallengesatevery the end, we decided we wanted to beturn and I often felt that I had been in Colorado.dropped on the far side of the moon, In 2017, they found the Kebler Cor- noted Emily. It was the hardest thing ner property, not far from where theyIve ever done. We didnt have to up-hadoriginallystartedoutinEagleroot our family and change jobswe County.chose to do it. There are definite op-We had given up on traditionalportunities today in the RV industry, properties,explainedPaul.MostbutIdontwanttoromanticizeit. were too old or too run down. We hadYouve got to be ready to do the work put offers on three properties over theandbewillingtouseyourelbow course of two years and nothing hadgrease. Paul knew what he had to do, worked out. Kebler Corner had beenbut I really didnt. My job responsibil-a campground for many years in theities included setting up the market-past, but most recently a billionaireing, the reservation system, the phone had been using it as a private prop- systemall based on the internet, erty while he was building a wild westand Kebler Corner didnt even have a town in the mountains. It was listed asphone line! Raccoons had taken over ranchpropertyandwasahiddensome of our buildings. But we were gem.also lucky to have a supportive family. Fromthebeginning,PaulandMymother-in-lawandtwofriends Emily planned to run their park as acamefromEnglandtohelpusfor business, observing what the hotel in- eight months, but that also opened dustry was doing and watching largeup a whole new dynamic having three companies enter the campground in- extra adults living with us. dustry.Today, Kebler Corner is open and Weneverwantedourcamp- operating with 22 full hookup RV sites ground to run like a mom-and-popandninecabins.With200acres, business financing a lifestyle, saidtheres plenty of room for dry camp-Paul.Were heavily involved with theing and unlimited tent camping, but National Association of RV Parks andwith only two bathrooms and show-CampgroundsandtheColoradoers the St Ruths have opted to limit Campground and Lodging Associa- theirtentstosix.Pauliscurrently tion, which have been really helpfulworking with the state of Colorado for to us.approval on a new wastewater plan, Transitioningthepropertytoawhich would mean they could add moderncampgroundwhilemain- another 30 or 40 RV sites along with taining the environmentally friendlytent platforms along the river. This and peaceful atmosphere was not al- summer,theywereturningpeople 32 December 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine'