MASON, Ohio — The rush is on.
Workers have just under two months to complete the new Kings Island luxury campground, Camp Cedar, scheduled for a June 14, 2021, opening.
That may be hard to believe, looking at the piles of dirt and unfinished buildings, but general manager Terry Zajo says the $27 million park will be ready in time.
And what a campground it will be.
"It's not your grandfather's campground," said park planner and co-owner Dick Haglage. "This is 'glamping' (luxury camping) at its finest."
He wasn't stretching the truth, judging by the cabins already in place on the site, which is just north of Kings Island behind the McDonald's and Wendy's restaurants at the Kings Mills I-71 exit.
What campers will experience
During a sneak peek media tour, workers were grading the gravel around the two pools, finishing construction of the "Grand Lodge," and setting up the 73 cabins sprinkled around the 50-acre site.
But calling them "cabins" is a bit of an understatement.
The cottages look like something off HGTV's "Tiny Houses," complete with kitchen islands, full-size refrigerators and ranges, counters that look like granite, and full-size bathrooms.
Most of the cabins, which will rent for around $250 a night, sleep up to eight people, with children having the options of either bunk beds or cool lofts up on top of Mom and Dad's room.
Bringing your own camper? The campground will also have 184 RV parking spots for motor homes or pull-behind trailers.
Tent camping will not be permitted, as it wouldn't fit the luxury image, Haglage said.
In the center of it all will be the Grand Lodge, with a bar, restaurant, gift shop, and a giant fireplace surrounded by couches.
The lodge will look out over one of the two pools in the complex -- one of the pools has waterfalls and other features for children, and the second, smaller pool is adults only (with a bar, of course).
Phil Smith, CEO of the Warren County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said this is the missing piece of the puzzle for Kings Island, which lost its old campground 15 years ago when Great Wolf Lodge was built.
Smith expects the campground to contribute up to $400,000 a year to the county's economy.
Discounts and deals
But don't expect to park your camper for $50 here: This is no KOA campsite.
Similar to sister park Cedar Point's campground, RV spots will run around $100 a night, with cabins ranging from $150 a night in the slow season to $450 a night at peak summer times.
Check rates and make reservations at the Visit Camp Cedar website.
Kings Island spokesman Chad Showalter said guests "will get lots of perks," such as early ride times at the theme park, and discounted tickets if they are not current Gold or Platinum pass holders.
Kings Island pass holders, meantime, will be rewarded with discounts on cabin rentals.
Looking, instead, for a cheap place to pitch a tent for a few nights while enjoying Kings Island? Try the Lebanon, Ohio, KOA or the Caesar Creek State Park campground.
Camp Cedar is luxury camping, and if you are willing to pay a bit more, the experience should be pretty fantastic.
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