Campground: Country Lane River Resort
Location: Kingston, Idaho
Owners: LE McDaniel & Amy Rex
Campspot Interview with LE McDaniel
How did you get into the camping industry?
My mom, Amy, and I used to manage a motel in West Glacier, Montana. Within the first two years, we took the property from 1 & 2 star ratings to 4 & 5 star ratings on TripAdvisor! Because we had so many ideas, we decided we wanted something of our own and to expand.
What is unique about your property?
We are a year-round RV and camping resort located on the Coeur d'Alene River in northern Idaho. We have a full bar, a restaurant with homemade cooking, lodging at our River Inn, an expansive game room, and plenty of parking. We also have space for beautiful weddings or special events and a large stage for performances. Country Lane is open 365 days starting at 7:30am for breakfast every day — we stay busy! We’re very family-oriented and look forward to hosting the camping groups that want to join in on our activities and fun.
What led you from Montana to buying a park in Idaho?
When my mom and I were managing the Vista Motel in Montana, we wanted to buy it, but the owner wouldn't take our offer; she wanted more. Mom drove around for months looking for the right property. Finally, she found Country Lane just over the state border in Idaho and now here we are!
How has Campspot benefited your campground?
Campspot’s support team is accessible every day, even on Sundays. The moment I need something, Campspot is right on it. I’ve had customers comment on how quickly I could get back to them, and that’s because Campspot was so quick to get back with me.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
That I get to wear “all the hats!” Being the owner makes wearing so many hats each day very exhausting, but it is also very rewarding and certainly never boring.
What has been the greatest challenge as a campground owner?
Knowing when the customer is wrong. Our campground used to be a party place, but we are gradually making it more family-oriented. I know you never want to lose customers, but when those few customers are disturbing our other customers, then tough calls need to be made.
What is the most valuable lesson or information you've learned since working in the hospitality industry?
To have tough skin. Since owning a bar, I've learned to balance each situation against both my emotions in the moment and the customer service-centered environment where our business exists. Everyone is looking to make suggestions or even ask for freebies, but as a new business, we need to stick to our guns and do what we believe is right for our resort and its future.
Tell us one of your favorite stories about your park.
In 2019, we hosted a fireworks show with all of our campers for the Fourth of July. We had people coming up to us saying that it was the best Fourth of July Country Lane ever had. We didn’t think we’d hear that about any holiday for a few years because the previous owners were well known for their parties. We were proud to host such a great show and live up to the previous owners’ legacy.
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