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Meet the Couple That Quit Jobs to Start a Campground Business; Here's how the Move Paid off

Mark and Karla Lemoine's bold shift from corporate life to campground ownership yielded a $6 million Michigan campground oasis. Their unconventional journey, fueled by innovative upgrades, highlights the joy of prioritizing lifestyle over traditional success metrics.

Tales of creative minds leaving the corporate life behind to turn their innovative ideas into reality have formed the basis for a wave of entrepreneurship that has inspired young people across the globe. There are also success stories of individuals who used social media and dedication to turn their side hustles or forgotten passions into full-fledged businesses, to break the barriers of the traditional workplace. Another such remarkable tale is that of Mark and Karla Lemoine, who embarked on an unconventional journey, and bid farewell to corporate life as they drove towards the camping ground. Their bold move has not only transformed their lifestyle but turned their initial $1.6 million investment into a thriving $6 million Michigan campground business.

It all began in 2016 when Mark, who earned $200,000 annually in a Michigan state government job, expressed his desire to quit his employment and venture into campground ownership. Despite the financial risks, including a loss of their steady household income and two college-bound children, the couple decided to take a leap of faith with the new venture.

To finance their dream, the Lemoines adopted a creative financing approach. They sold their car, held a garage sale, and tapped into personal savings, Roth IRAs, and 401(k)s, while also securing a bank loan. With their house on the market, they embraced a frugal lifestyle, moving into an apartment above the campground's store.

The campground, initially valued at $1.6 million, required substantial renovations totaling $1.5 million. The Lemoines strategically invested in upgrades, from renovated bathrooms to a revamped general store and a robust café. Innovations like glamping tents and deluxe cabins added non-traditional revenue streams, and enhanced the camping ground's appeal and financial performance.

Despite being $50,000 shy of their previous annual income, the Lemoines emphasize their newfound happiness as business owners. The ability to manage stress on their terms and create a healthier lifestyle has outweighed financial considerations. The campground, now valued at $6 million, generated $1.2 million in revenue last year, allowing the couple to pay themselves a combined $150,000 in salary.

As the Lemoines continue to operate and grow their campground, they have embraced a unique lifestyle by purchasing a 34-foot RV to travel during the offseason. Their unconventional journey serves as proof of the promised rewards of stepping away from the corporate grind and pursuing a dream that aligns with their values.

In a world where financial success is often measured by traditional metrics, the Lemoines have redefined prosperity by prioritizing fulfillment, experiences, and the joy of campground ownership. Their midlife reset challenges all the conventional notions of success and proves that sometimes, the road less traveled leads people to the destinations where they were always meant to arrive.