Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Small Business Success Story - Four Sites Camp Wildwood
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways. This Success Story from the Canton SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report.
Dennis & Kelly Forsyth
Dennis and Kelly Forsyth have owned property on Black Lake for many years and love the region. They had the opportunity to purchase Camp Wildwood, a business that had been in business for more than 50 years. The property included a gorgeous house as well as four cottages and four RV sites. Black Lake, often called a “freshwater fisherman’s paradise,” attracts thousands due to its proximity to the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Thousand Islands, the Adirondack Park, and Canada. Dennis and Kelly realized that if Camp Wildwood closed, it would impact tourism in their area. They felt they were uniquely suited to run the facility due to their connections in the region and skills at maintaining the cabins and grounds. They came to the Canton SBDC for assistance in developing a business plan and financial projections to obtain financing to purchase the property.
With assistance from Advisor Jennifer McCluskey, Dennis and Kelly were successful in purchasing Camp Wildwood, which they renamed Four Sites Camp Wildwood. They obtained a loan from SeaComm Federal Credit Union for $300,000, to which they added personal equity of $125,000. The project resulted in the creation of 2 jobs for the owners. Dennis and Kelly reported that their first summer and fall tourist season resulted in nearly full bookings for Camp Wildwood, many from customers located beyond the borders of New York State. They reported that many of their customers had been coming for several years, and several of them referred new friends to Camp Wildwood. Dennis and Kelly are very thankful for the assistance received from the SBDC.