Here’s a little bit about the Akaska campground owner Larry Gillies.
This website tells you why people come to this rural area year after year. The Missouri river runs through the center of South Dakota nine miles west of the town of Akaska. This area is known for pheasant hunting, walleye fishing, and friendly people.
In the 1970’s I was introduced to Akaska, Lake Oahe, and the Swan Creek State Park. It didn’t take long to turn into the only area I wanted to fish and hunt. As my family grew older they joined me on overnight trips and we stayed at Swan Creek State Park or with friends in Akaska.
In the 1980’s, the road from Akaska to Swan Creek State Park was blacktopped and the area soon became a very popular place. It was hard to get a campsite or a place to stay as more people came to the area. I started looking for a place to buy.
My neighbor in Aberdeen moved to Akaska and bought a house at the intersection of Hwy 1804 and Hwy 144. He told me about a large lot the church was selling across the highway from him. I purchased the corner lot in 1994. It was too big for one trailer so the decision was made to put in sixteen campsites with web water, city sewer, and electricity. The campground was named after my two kids, David and Sarah.
Over the next several years several campground hosts managed the campground in the summer. This allowed me to open a guide service for hunting and fishing. It created the need for lodging of customers for the guide service and the campground. Work and time do not allow much guiding for me personally any more. Customers still rent the rooms and campsites without guides or hire them locally. We refer room customers to local guides without any fees. We are not involved in their guide business or liability.
Several lots were purchased west of the original sixteen campsites. Six more full service campsites, five electric boat parking sites, a garage, and a building were added. The building now houses the campground bathrooms, three rental lodging rooms, and the contract Post Office. The rooms are set up with accommodations like refrigerators, microwaves, tables/chairs, and flat screen TV’s for longer term rentals.
The opportunity to purchase more room for the campground across the alley became available about ten years ago. Another building, seven campsites, and a tent site were added on this property. The building houses one room rental, a garage, and the campground owner residence/office.
The campground grew over the years with more seasonal and monthly campers. Space was needed to park pickups and boats to free up campsites. The corner lot east of the campground was bought along with three other large lots. On this land eight electric sites were added in addition to twenty garages. The garages are 36 feet long X 14 feet wide with 12 wide X 10 high doors. They have concrete floors and electricity.
The location of the campground, lodging, storage, and guide service has been the key to our success. Owning two corners of the highway intersection make it hard not to drive by our business. Most of our business is repeat customers that have been coming for years.
In the next couple years Jean and I will consider selling all or part of this turnkey twenty-six year business. While we’d love to sell the property as a whole, we recognize it may not be possible and the property may need to be split. If needed, have a conversation with your financial institution to determine your capacity to purchase. If the right, circumstances and passionate purchaser comes along, we may consider some seller-based financing as well. If you’re interested in discussing the sale of all or part of this campground, Contact Larry at 605-380-3701.