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Amnicon Acres sports new look

For decades, Amnicon Acres Campground in the town of Summit has been a seasonal business. Sue Clark owns the business with her husband Rick, and always looked forward to the winters off. This year, she's forging a new path. Although campsites clo...

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Maria Lockwood Owner Sue Clark stands in front of the memorial wall in the renovated Amnicon Acres Campground main building. The business will remain open over the winter this year, serving Clark’s homemade pizzas in the building’s brighter, roomier interior.

For decades, Amnicon Acres Campground in the town of Summit has been a seasonal business.

Sue Clark owns the business with her husband Rick, and always looked forward to the winters off. This year, she’s forging a new path. Although campsites close down in early October, the newly remodeled main building will serve homemade pizza and spirits all winter long.

"Now that it’s so nice in here, I hate to close it up and not utilize it," Clark said.

The change in plans began when Amnicon Acres secured a liquor license late last year. The Clarks decided to remodel the main building, taking out a divider wall to make it one large room and allowing space for a back bar. The project ended up encompassing most of the interior, as well as replacement of the south wall and all the windows.

The result, patrons said, is fabulous.

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"It looks more friendly for everybody," said Bob Pretts, owner of Superior Trophy. The new space, paneled in tongue and groove pine, is brighter, more open and more comfortable.

"It’s totally changed my attitude about coming to work," Clark said.

Patrons will hardly recognize the space, except for one section of brick wall. Clark decided not to cover it with pine. Instead, she’s made it into a memorial wall for fallen veterans from all branches of the military. Her son, Ryan, served in the U.S. Army for four years, including two tours in Iraq.

"Probably one of the hardest times of our lives was having him there," Clark said. "I have a soft spot for mothers who lost sons over there."

The liquor license has brought in new customers, yet the business retains its family-friendly vibe, said Marilyn Jensen of Superior. Like Pretts, she’s been camping seasonally at Amnicon Acres for years.

"We stopped there because of gas prices were high," Jensen said, and they’ve returned each year.

The spot is a mere 20-minute drive from Superior, so local campers can stop by during the workweek for a taste of the outdoors. Pretts drives out to Amnicon Acres to cool off with the air conditioner in the family’s motor home when the weather gets hot and sticky, or to snag one of Clark’s signature pizzas.

"There are two (pizza) places in Superior I love," Pretts said. "Hers are as good or better."

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Nestled in the Tri-Lakes area, the campground offers great fishing on both Amnicon and Dowling lakes.

"If you fish, the muskies are fun to catch out there," Jensen said. "Even the bass are fun to catch."

And the company at Amnicon Acres, campers say, is superb.

"If you don’t know them when you go out there, you will when you leave," Jensen said. "There’s such a mix of people out there. The people don’t have labels, you just are who you are."

Clark fits right into the scene.

"She has a laugh that goes on forever," Jensen said. "She’s happy, pleasant, bubbly."

About half the business’ 50 campsites are claimed by families for the entire summer, like a cabin. Many have been regulars for years and have a strong attachment to the place.

"The camping is great," Pretts said. Even though he’s started to travel out of the area more, the Superior man still makes a beeline for the campground when he’s in town.

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"If the weekend’s here and we’re not travelling, we’re there," Pretts said.

If you haven’t stopped by Amnicon Acres yet, there’s more opportunity than ever to do so. The business closes for campers around Oct. 10, but the main building will remain open from noon to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday all winter long.

"It’s nice out there," Jensen said. "Go experience it."

More information on the business, located at 4505 E. Tri Lake Road, can be found on the Amnicon Acres Campground Facebook page.

Related Topics: FOODDOUGLAS COUNTY
Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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