New $27 million campground complex near Kings Island nearing completion: Here’s the latest

Construction crews are busy working on the new $27 million Camp Cedar complex about a mile from the front gate of Kings Island.

The new luxury outdoor resort in Mason is expected to open in mid-June to welcome visitors who travel by RV or who might want to rough it by staying in one of the 73 cottages that can fit up to eight people, complete with a full-kitchen, bathroom and shower, ceiling fans, and a 50-inch television. The resort features 184 back-in or pull-through full-service RV sites as well as bathhouses for those travelers.

General Manager Terrie Zajo said the hybrid resort and camping area will feature Wi-fi, five different styles of cottages, bathhouses, a bark park, laundry facilities, heated adult and recreation pools, poolside cabanas, huge family activity areas, walking trail, a fitness room, a food truck inspired food court featuring American fare, Mexican fare, and casual sit-down dining with seasonal outdoor patio dining. She said visitors can also rent golf carts to get around the 52-acre site.

In addition to indoor dining and tap bar, the Grand Lodge lodge will also feature a store in case something was forgotten at home, snacks, a coffee shop, a small grocery store, welcome center, family and children activities and a gathering area in front of a large fireplace.

Zajo said there will be Play and Stay packages that will include Kings Island admission tickets and a shuttle to transport guests to and from the park as well as early ride times. She also said visitors can stay at Camp Cedar and explore other Warren County and Cincinnati area attractions.

Zajo said 60% will be RV guests and 40% cottage guests. However, another 100 cottages will be added in the next two years. The hybrid resort is expected to welcome 200,000 guests according to officials. The cost for a cottage will depend on the time of season from $139 to $250 a night. Zajo said.

She said Camp Cedar will employ 125 people and applicants can apply for the many positions available.

Richard Haglage, an owner of Camp Cedar, said his company Terra Firma Associates and partner Small Brothers LLC purchased the property in 2003 with possibly developing a retail destination. He said over the past five to six years, they came up with a luxury resort concept.

“Of the $27 million investment, $12 million has gone to local contractors and suppliers,” Haglage said. “I’m really excited about this project. It’s one of the most exciting projects in the Cincinnati area.

“We are very appreciative of the efforts by all the partners we’ve worked with throughout the course of this project.” he said. “It has been a true partnership, all of us are excited to see the positive impact the finished product will have in this community.”

Chad Showalter, Kings Island communications director, said that Camp Cedar will be operated and managed by Cedar Fair Entertaining Company, the parent company of Kings Island.

“Kings Island is all about making family memories,” Showalter said. “The location makes sense and will be fun for our guests.”

Kings Island operated a 45-acre RV campground but closed it in 2004 and sold the property for the Great Wolf Resorts.

Zajo, who also worked at the former campground, said the difference between that and Camp Cedar will be the amenities being offered to guests starting in June.

Phil Smith, president and CEO of the Warren County Convention & Visitors Bureau, said that tourism is a $1.2 billion industry that supported 13,000 jobs in 2019.

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