New Sister Lakes business aims to offer inclusive, unique camping experience
SISTER LAKES — A new business is gearing up to offer the splendors of Sister Lakes to vacationers from all walks of life.
Sister Lakes resident Stephen Westman recently announced his new campground business Wonder Woods for a summer 2022 opening.
The new campground will be located at the site of the former Land of Lakes Campground, 93283 County Road 690, which Westman purchased after the space went on the market last winter.
Described as a “boutique lakeside campground,” Wonder Woods will offer retro Airstream and Avion campers to guests seeking a unique camping experience on the lakes.
“I think it’s incredibly complementary to what we’ve seen happening in the area the past several years,” Westman said. “People have identified Sister Lakes as one of the premier destination locations for southwest Michigan and we’re looking forward to being a part of that.”
After purchasing a house on Crooked Lake five years ago, Westman and his family moved from Chicago into their home on the lake to invest in the Sister Lakes community full-time.
A veteran of the hospitality industry, Westman has owned and operated restaurants and bars over the years and has worked in executive roles for successful hotel brands. He sees Wonder Woods as a marriage of his passion for hospitality and his love for the Sister Lakes area.
“Campgrounds are an incredibly stable market,” he said. “I wanted to transfer to an industry that’s more stable. I’m excited about offering a resort-like experience to folks who may not have the financial means to live on the lakes but want to have lake experience.”
The facility will feature a selection of curated Airstream and Avion RV’s available for rental on a seasonal and monthly basis as well as a limited number of seasonal-only lots available for RV owners, with first consideration to Airstream and Avion owners. Weekly and weekend rentals will also be offered when available.
“The main appeal with Airstreams and Avions is the heart and nostalgia,” Westman said. ”A quick Google or Pinterest search will show you that Airstream has a name association and positive brand equity that resonates with people.”
Amenities will include an herb and vegetable garden, kayak and pedal boat rentals, Round Lake beach access, bicycle rentals, a party barn featuring a variety of outdoor activities and a community area for all campers.
In addition, the campground will be located near several local eateries including The Strand Brewery, 93415 County Road 690, Sister Lakes Brewing Company, 92500 County Rd. 690 and more. Further information can be found online at wonderwoodsmichigan.com.
“It will have a multi-tiered hospitality experience,” Westman said. “We’re identifying folks who might be interested in seasonal lots. We’re providing an approachable way to have that lake experience. Also focusing on vintage units. We’re combining these amenities and the hospitality experience with the charm and soul of a vintage airstream unit.”
The summer 2022 grand opening has allowed Westman the time to complete Wonder Woods in stages. He is in the process of purchasing Airstreams and Avions for Wonder Woods while honoring the contractual agreements of Land of Lakes campers who had booked prior to the selling of the property. The campground is fully booked.
Westman is committed to partnering with and supporting local vendors and entrepreneurs whenever possible and plans to actively work with the community to support initiatives that elevate the Sister Lakes area.
With Wonder Woods, he aims to provide an all-inclusive environment for campers from all walks of life and to bring more visibility to a community he loves.
“All people will be reflected,” Westman said. “We don’t want this place to be one where everyone thinks the same. This is a space where red and blue, black and white, gay and straight and everything in between is welcome. If I could help elevate an A-plus area of town and highlight this piece of land to allow all walks of life to fall in love with Sister Lakes, that would be a dream come true.”
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