Where it all Began
Len and Barb purchased Clare-Mar Lakes in August of 1970 from the two originators, Clarence and Marvin, hence the park name, "Clare-Mar." The name was kept because it was already established and surprisingly "catchy". Len and Barb had been a very successful team in their other business for many years and continued their team work as park owners and managers of Clare-Mar Lakes, Inc. They brought with them their four very young children to take part in the business. Rich was the oldest at 18, Wendy was next at age 16, then there was Don who was 14, and the youngest, Jim, who was 7.
We were pioneers in the industry. At the time we purchased Clare-Mar Lakes, (1970) it was called a "Mom & Pop" business. There was no government rules, nor were there any local government rules. As problems cropped up with the increase of campers, local and national rules started to develop. As years went on and we began selling Park Model Trailers, the county tax people came to us for help. There were no tax departments for this kind of trailer and they didn't know what to do with us. It was because of Clare-Mar that Park Models were not taxed as mobile homes. Because we were "pioneers", other campgrounds were contacting us to send them samples of our operation forms (registration, out passes, seasonal and visitor forms). We did everything by trial and error, but it all seemed to work for us.
The "Mom & Pop" is gone out of the camping industry all because of government, local and national, ecology ruling. Everything now is taxed and governed by insurance companies. This makes it hard to improve or rebuild. Licenses are applied for and a lot of them are denied.
However, there are pros and cons to every business and I would not trade the campground for any other business in the world. Where else do you have the opportunity to meet great people and enjoy the peace and quiet away from the cities and traffic. That's the reason we are still here after 44 years. We love what we do and we try to do our best. I am proud of my family for taking on this large endeavor but this is and has been their life and they wouldn't have it any other way.