Former Yorkville camp site transformed into a family-friendly ‘glamping’ destination

Recently bought beach and campsite has renovations planned

Former Hide-A-Way Lakes campground has a European-style pool and hot tub, among other amenities. Lance Beatch purchased what is now Fox Bluff in December 2020 and has put over $2 million into renovating the property.

What once was Hide-A-Way-Lakes, now Fox Bluff, has been transformed into a family-friendly ‘glamping-style’ campsite after Lance Beatch bought the Yorkville property in December 2020.

Before its construction, the campsite, located at 8045 Van Emmon Road, received over 50 violations in 2019. A full inspection was required after several crimes occurred on the site, including an apparent hit-and-run, an aggravated assault involving the unlawful use of a weapon, a crash involving a car and a train and a residential burglary.

Beatch had to remove 225 RV trails as well as relocate 80 to 90 people off the once troubled area.

“About 80 people or 90 people were there, so anyway, they’re not there anymore,” Beatch said. “The Kendall County Health Department helped me relocate those people. I just told them they needed to get out by a certain time and was very polite. It was a massive undertaking, but the transition has been absolutely awesome.”

Fox Bluff has 650 RV sites, 1.5 miles of waterfront on the Fox River and Morgan Creek, eight renovated cottages, a resort-style pool, a hot tub that can fit 20 people, cabanas, a pickleball and basketball court, sand volleyball, a playground, a social house and a fun house and a renovated bathhouse and laundry. More than $2 million was put into the site’s transformation, Beatch said.

Fox Bluff has 650 RV sites available, 1.5 miles of waterfront, seven renovated cottages, a renovated bathhouse and laundry and more.

“The difference is, I’ve added a resort-style pool, a 20-person hot tub and cabanas,” Beatch said. “I’ve redone all the buildings and made them beautiful, and almost all of the electricity is 50 amp. The swimming pool is super cool. I situated it in between a bunch of soaring trees and we put super cool cabanas in the properties.”

The eight cottages were completed last season and are just now being advertised, Beatch said.

In the last 13 months, Fox Bluffs has seen an increase of about 101 seasonal guests. The site typically hosts seasonal guests for about six months, and the average price is about $4,500, Beatch said.

“Gaining 101 new seasonal guests in the last 13 months is pretty awesome, and in fact, it’s almost unprecedented in this business,” Beatch said.

“It’s just incredible, I mean the bar is really beautiful and the glass panels, and it’s just really relaxing and beachy and tropical and family-friendly because, you know, everybody here is just really nice and friendly.”

—  Ginger Smith, the manager at Pearl Lake Beach

Plans to install a second pickleball court are on the rise, as well as continuing to upgrade utilities and site electricity, Beatch said.

“Everyone is just very excited to see the improvements and the direction of the property, and an overall [thing] everybody has always commented on is how pretty the property has been,” Beatch said. “It’s so close to everything, like it’s only a couple miles to Yorkville; it’s only a couple miles to Oswego, so you can feel like you’re out in the middle of the country and nature with the trees and the river and everything. It’s awesome.”

Pearl Lake Beach has 50 acres of water and an 8-acre beach. It was purchased in April 2023 and has since been renovated.

Beatch made a second purchase in April 2023 of Pearl Lake Beach, a former sand quarry and now an RV park and beach located at 1220 Dearborn Ave., South Beloit.

The site has a 50-acre clear blue lake, an 8-acre beach, 339 RV sites, 24 waterfront sites, a clubhouse with an indoor bar and ping-pong table, live music opportunities and more, Beatch said.

“What’s extraordinarily unique about Pearl Lake is just that, I guess, what the name implies that, like, it itself is absolutely extraordinary with the clarity of water and the powdery soft sand,” said Ginger Smith, the manager at Pearl Lake Beach.

Between renovating the clubhouse and the site itself, $500,000 has been put into Pearl Lake Beach, Beatch said.

“There’s a bar, and then on the weekends we have food trucks, and then in the downstairs of the building there’s ping pong room so people get hot on the beach there’s air-conditioned rooms and ping pong tables for people to hang out, there’s a covered deck, an inflatable waterpark and then the campground,” Beatch said.

Pearl Lake Beach gets about 50-100 guests on weekdays and 300-1,000 on weekends. There is a clubhouse with a bar and ping pong table, an inflatable waterpark and more at the site.

Beach admission is $20 and similarly to Fox Bluff, campers tend to be seasonal, typically paying about $4,700. The beach averages between 50 and 100 guests on weekdays and 300 to 1,000 on weekends without special events, Beatch said.

“It’s just incredible, I mean the bar is really beautiful and the glass panels, and it’s just really relaxing and beachy and tropical and family-friendly because, you know, everybody here is just really nice and friendly,” Smith said.

Plans for expansion include adding 140 campsites, including about 40 waterfront sites with cantilevered decks for water and fish viewing, Beatch said.

“There’s really just nowhere like our property I would say in the whole Midwest, so I came up with this tagline, and I like to say that we are ‘the most unique experience in the Midwest’ because I honestly believe that,” Smith said.

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