Ready for company

The new management of Roughrider RV Resort promises positive changes for the popular campground this summer.

The former Roughrider Campground became part of a family-owned business headed by Dan Williamson last December. The family also owns Black Canyon Ranch RV Resort in Arizona.

Paul Barlows, director, St. Louis, Mo., said cleanup and improvements have been going on all spring at the Roughrider campgrounds, located just west of Minot. Roads have been widened and resurfaced. Plantings and landscaping has started. More activities are to be added to complement the existing playground, volleyball, basketball and horseshoe areas. There’s also cleanup occurring around a river oxbow for boating, fishing and picnics. A book exchange operates for visitors who enjoy reading.

The campgrounds are being redecorated with a western theme. Wagon wheels and old equipment are giving character to the grounds.

“I think it is going to be a huge asset to the community. That’s our goal,” Barlows said of the resort.

Resort managers Bob and Jean Crandell are in their first year with Roughrider, having worked campgrounds in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Oregon and Washington.

“We like doing this. We like the adventure,” Jean Crandell said.

She noted that the resort’s visitors include people who have been coming for 20 years. They travel through the area every year and stop routinely to camp in what they consider to be their spots. Finding a place to temporarily park an RV is getting more difficult in the region.

“About 90 percent of the RV sites in the area are occupied by long-term (campers),” Barlows said. “We want to create a place for the vacationer to go.”

The campground recovered quickly after the 2011 flood, getting back in operation later that year. The camp replaced its playground equipment, which the new owners want to expand, and laundry and shower facilities were restored with modern updates.

“We brought a lot of dirt in here and rebuilt the dike. We want to make sure it doesn’t get flooded again,” Barlows said.

Roughrider RV Resort is an approved campground of the Good Sam Club, an organization of RVers. The resort draws travelers from across the country and Canada.

“We are pretty much planning for full capacity all the time,” Barlows said of the peak camping season, which got under way this month. The park accommodates 86 RVs and has 10 camping sites.

The high demand for RV parking and the limited capacity has forced Roughrider to turn people away at times, Barlows said. The new owners want to expand onto undeveloped resort property to the north. A plan to add 140 RV and camping sites raised concern at a Minot Planning Commission meeting because of the proximity to the nearby Boy Scout camp. Barlows said the owners are considering reapplying for just 50 sites on the south end of the expansion area, keeping some distance between RVers and the Scout camp.

The new section would be seasonal, Barlows said. Certain spots in the current campground are suitable for year-round occupancy and are used by RV travelers coming through in the winter.