Building a Campground from Scratch!!!

Blue Bayou Resort in Cape Breton Highlands Inaugural Season will Start on May 31. We are excited and can’t wait to welcome our guest to our new Resort. We have been busy with getting sites ready. As You should know, Building a Campground from scratch is definitely not an easy task. It involves many steps that we started in mid September. Here’s a breakdown of what is done and more to come before we open this Gem in the Spring.

  1. We started with selectively cutting wood to create sites along existing roads on our Beautiful piece of land. This was the first site that we cleared and we ended up using the backhoe on the tractor to pull the tree stump out of the ground. I realize quickly that the tractor was too small for that kind of work.  We ended up renting a mini excavator for one month to speed up this process which made a world of difference. ( Don’t forget, we needed to do this 30 times, I still need to complete 5 more to have my 30 sites.) Snow came too soon. 
  2. We used the tractor to pull out trees to an open area where we were cutting them down and splitting it up into firewood. The same firewood that will be use for campfire.
  3. We also use excavator to remove huge rocks (The Land is full of Rock) Some of them where at the limit of what the machine could handle and I could only push them to an area that was close to where it came out. The biggest one must have took me over a few hours to have it successfully out of the ground. These are boulders that probably weigh over two ton, I will have to ask my friend Steve, he’s a landscaper.
  4. As all of this work was progressing well, I’ve applied for a building  permit for the Garage to store tractor, canoes, kayaks and tools… Oh, not to forget my Dune Buggy ; ) We also applied for building permits to construct the Bathroom facility. Then We started the framing for these pads in late October. Therefore, it was very hard to cooperate with the bad weather we were getting at the time. We ended up pouring concrete pads just hours before getting hit with this year first major snow storm in mid November.  It took me two days to finish concrete while dealing with the snow storm at the same time.  It was not so fun at times and definitely wasn’t an easy task to deal with but the will was suffice enough to conquer this and a few days later we started to bolt these shed up again in cold and snowy weather.                                   
  5. I contracted an engineer to design and approve a septic system for the campground. This was approved, therefore we schedule a septic guy to come in and install the system. Bad weather push that project to spring. Hopefully the snow will melt quickly this year in the Highlands.
  6. Once the septics are in the ground this spring we will be able to run all the piping and electrical.
  7. I will be heading back in March to complete the inside of the bathroom facility. This will facilitate getting plumbing and electrical ready when septics are in.
  8. I will also be building a lot of decks for the geodesic domes and tipis. . We have received our first dome. Therefore, we started to build it inside the bathroom facility so that we would have a good idea… What we got is actually bigger than I originally expected. It seems that the 12 ft high steel shed wasn’t tall enough for the geodesic dome to fit in. The dome should be about 12.3 ft high. Lesson learned in time. We decided to build it inside shed because of the crappy weather. But that soon came to a halt when we ran out of space. At that point it was time to simply close everything down and call it a year.
  9. Once these monster domes are all up, we still need to build walls, add bathrooms in all of them, add lights, hot water systems, flooring, beds, curtains and the list goes on… There will be a minimum of 19 of these domes and 11 Tipis in total in the Tipi Village. Tipis will be more conventional with no bathrooms incorporated inside of them. In return, they will add art and culture to this campground.
  10. Building a Campground from Scratch is very different than renovating one. Unlike Old ones, newer campground have different guidelines like lot sizes and new environment codes. Rest assure that in the spring and there will be a little army of people helping us to get this project ready for the season. I personally believe that we are the biggest campground project that the Highlands have experience in many years. You hear of projects like 5 units here and 6 units there but 30 units ready within 8 months is not an easy task. I will make it achievable, I will make this campground the place to be next Summer in Cape Breton.

I would like to thank everyone that have worked, helped and supported us to this point. I’ve already made good long term friendships up in the Highlands. These people are a big part of our dream project.



Stephane and Shanshan

2 thoughts on “Building a Campground from Scratch!!!”

  1. Can’t wait to experience it all & we know a lot of others that are pretty excited to. Wishing you & your crew the best,see you in the spring.Merry 🎄 Christmas to you & yours from SOUTH HARBOUR Richard &Nina Connors

  2. This is a beautiful project and dream in the process of coming true for two beautiful people. You have to be determined and courageous to embark in realizing a dream but on the way to it’s realization, there’s a lot of planning, shopping for the right materials, a lot of physical work in preparing the sites and we are very proud of this couple, Stephane and Shanshan as they are on their way to a very successful venture. Wishing them only the best, Mom and Dad, with 💕.

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