By Sterling McGinn
Former Indiana residents Brice and Vicki MacRoberts had a longtime dream of owning a business and wanted to move out of the city.
The couple stumbled across a campground located five miles north of Newberry and felt right away that it would be the perfect fit. After all, the MacRoberts love camping.
The business was Kritters North Country Campground, which had been listed by owners Larry and Kathy Bartolomucci and had been formerly owned by Dan and Cathy Clementz.
“This campground was a successful business, and we really knew this was the place we wanted to be,” Brice said.
The MacRoberts are from Crown Point, Indiana, near Chicago. Brice had worked in management for 24 years, and Vicki worked at a pipeline in East Chicago.
“Our town was small, and it just got larger and larger and grew to 33,000 people,” said Vicki. “It just didn’t have that small town feel anymore.”
The MacRoberts got that small-town feel as soon as they arrived in the area for the first time last summer. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my town and its people, but we wanted to live in a community,” said Vicki.
The couple started the process of purchasing the campground in July of 2022 and closed on the purchase in February. They are very excited for the coming camping season, which opens May 15.
So far, they have been through three seasons in the U.P. and have enjoyed summer, fall and winter.
The MacRoberts do not have a lot of changes in store for Kritters, though they are changing the name slightly. The name has been shortened to Kritters Campground. The new sign and logo will feature a porcupine.
One new feature for the campground facility will be an addition of a store to the office building. “We want to offer other things—I want to sell convenience items, souvenirs, and Kritters stuff,” Vicki said. Brice is currently remodeling the office area and they hope to have the store, which will be available to everyone, open by May.
Kritters Campground is situated on 40 acres of forest with a total of 50 pull-through camping sites for RVs, trailers, or tents. The campground will be open from May 15 to October, but will have lodging for snowmobilers during the winter. Year-round lodging facilities in modern cabins and a fully equipped cottage is available. The cottage boasts a full kitchen with two bedrooms and a bathroom. There are two cabins on site; both offer a queen-size bed, bunk beds, a kitchenette, and bathrooms.
Brice and Vicki ordered additional playground equipment and will be adding Wi-Fi to the facility.
“The campground was left pretty much turn-key ready, we just want to add our spin on things,” Vicki said.
Other features of the facility are nature trails and a sand volleyball court.
Now permanent U.P. residents, the MacRoberts are ready to explore and enjoy the many places of Northern Michigan. They visited the Tahquamenon Falls, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, and Crisp Point Lighthouse last summer, and are ready to see more once they are settled in.
“The Upper Peninsula is gorgeous, and the people are so friendly and welcoming,” Vicki said. “That is the kind of life I want to live.”