By Cedar & Spruce Consulting
Williamson’s Lake is one of Revelstoke’s gems. On any given summer day you can find families fishing, couples paddleboarding, kids splashing around, and people of all stripes basking in the sun. Visitors love to camp by the warm waters, while for locals it’s the ultimate spot for family fun.
This year, Michael Shellnutt and Alicia Jackson, the owners of Cedar & Spruce Consulting, are excited to take over management of the city-owned park and 42-site full-service campground. With a decade of campground experience between them, they’re eager to put their energies into the beloved park.
“I love being able to learn about different cultures and traditions that campers bring to each campground,” expressed Alicia. “Being outdoors and using different skills everyday keeps things fresh and exciting.”
Alicia, hails from Ontario and moved to Kelowna with her parents in 2004. In 2014, she moved to Revelstoke with her husband Dean, who was hired to manage the Revelstoke Golf Club. Their daughter was born here in 2015. With a love of camping and experience working for Saskatchewan Parks behind her, she worked at Martha Creek Provincial Park for two years before being named manager last summer.
Michael has lived in Revelstoke since 2011. Also a native of Ontario, his story is classic of many younger Revelstokians – coming for winter, but staying because of the summers and the abundance of outdoor adventure possible here. He met a local girl, started working at Blanket Creek Provincial Park and a few years later he was promoted to manager of Martha Creek Provincial Park. When Blanket Creek was expanded, he returned to operate the popular campground.
Mike and Alicia met while working together at Martha Creek and they started Cedar & Spruce Consulting. When the opportunity arose to operate Williamson’s Lake they saw it as the natural evolution of their careers.
“Williamson Lake is a very unique opportunity, where locals and foreigners get to experience just a tiny piece of what Revelstoke has to offer,” explained Alicia when asked what drew them to the park.
Families have been flocking to Williamson’s Lake since the 1890s, not long after Revelstoke was founded. Named after local farmer Mr. A Williamson, it remained an undeveloped spot until 1930 when the newly-formed Revelstoke Rotary Club decided to pour their volunteer efforts into developing the area as a family-friendly park with a beach, docks, diving boards, and more.
Almost 90 years later, Williamson’s Lake remains the swimming beach of choice in the area, its warm waters and proximity to town making it the perfect place to cool off on a hot day. Mike and Alicia recognize the history behind the campground and its significance to the community.
“Williamson’s Lake Campground is one of the only family oriented parks in the Revelstoke area,” related Mike. “We understand the importance this place has in Revelstoke. We will put all of our energy into making sure locals and guests alike enjoy their time at Williamson’s Lake.”
Working at BC Parks exposed Mike and Alicia to all aspects of running a campground, from maintaining the grounds and greeting campers, to the behind-the-scenes work that goes unnoticed. They’ve cleaned campsites, mowed the grass, and know what it means to be Bear Aware. For Alicia, the key to a good campground is friendly staff, reasonable privacy, clean and safe amenities, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
“Campgrounds and parks are a place for leisure and relaxation,” added Mike. “We are huge promoters of family fun.”
They’ve been working hard to get things ready for the upcoming camping season. They’ve launched a new website and have begun taking bookings. The campground is set to open May 3 (earlier if possible) and they’re looking forward to running at full-capacity this summer and offering all the great amenities visitors are used to like paddleboard rentals and mini-golf.
“We are very much looking forward to working with the community of Revelstoke,” expressed Alicia. “We can’t wait for the season to start and hit the ground running!”