‘Lake Champagne’ Sold, New Owners Dive In

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Front Page / Apr. 20, 2017 10:30am EDT

By M. D. Drysdale

Now at the helm of the Lake Champagne operation are Sheryl and Clark Campbell, who will open the popular Randolph Center campground for the season on May 12. (Herald / Tim Calabro)Now at the helm of the Lake Champagne operation are Sheryl and Clark Campbell, who will open the popular Randolph Center campground for the season on May 12. (Herald / Tim Calabro)One of Central Vermont’s favorite places to spend a sunny day will reopen May 12 under new ownership.

Clark and Sheryl Campbell have purchased the whimsically named Lake Champagne from Pierre La­France, whose family developed it as a popular campground and swimming pool for local residents and visitors from afar.

The Campbells have expanded the official name a bit to be Lake Champagne Resort Vermont, and they will add some new events in attempting to attract folks looking for more of a resort-type of vacation spot.

The events will be announced, starting in the near future, on the new Facebook page. The user-friendly website, lakechampagne.com, will let prospective campers see a map of the whole campground and to pick out the campsite they’d like to have.

As for Clark and Sheryl, they are starting a new phase of what has been 30 years of a business-oriented lifestyle—and they’re very, very happy about it.

A native of New Brunswick, Canada, Clark Campbell was in manufacturing for 30 years, working in the automobile industry in Detroit and elsewhere.

Sheryl hails from New Jersey and lived 10 years each in Boston and Orlando, mostly in the catering division of Marriott Hotels.

They met in Virginia through their work and have no children but plenty of “pet friends,” according to Sheryl.

Time for a Change

They enjoyed successful careers, but for both of them, 30 years seemed enough.

“After living a corporate lifestyle, I wanted to do something different,” Clark told The Herald in an interview.

They carefully researched ideas about what to do next and even attended a class on various careers. “But we kept coming back to camping as an idea,” he said.

With that in mind, they began to look at maps, first of the whole country, then narrowing down to the Northeast. That led to tours throughout the region looking at— and sometimes staying overnight at—various campgrounds. A couple of years ago, they paid an overnight visit to Lake Champagne as part of a tour of six campgrounds. They liked it.

Asked why, Clark was quick to respond.

“The serenity,” he said. “The beauty—a lot of campgrounds are flat, but this isn’t, and the views are wonderful.”

There’s also room to expand if they have a mind to. The little lake and 123 campsites are located on only 45% of the 104-acre parcel which, according to town records, LaFrance sold for $816,000.

Loyal Campers

They were also impressed by the loyal base of campers. Already, Clark said, they have sold out all the campground’s 40 season sites. Half of the renters are locals, coming each year from surrounding towns.

The others come from all over the country, he said.

Clark and Sheryl stressed that Lake Champagne will continue to be open to the community for day use, including swimming and picnicking.

Season passes for day use are being kept at $75 for the season. Individual or family day passes will also be sold, and will include a pass to the SHAPE pool as well.

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