> SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE! 

The Elkhart (Ind.) County Plan Commission recently approved the general plan for what developers are calling an upscale RV park as part of the neighboring American Countryside development.
The farmers market and tourist attraction is being built on a 290-acre parcel in rural Elkhart County. The 80-acre campground also could include outlots for hotels, restaurants or retail businesses, said Barry Pharis, a representative of Brads-Ko Engineering, the parcel’s surveying company.
“This land has always been planned to be part of the American Countryside project. We have the investors ready,” Pharis said. “We’re trying to do something first class.”
Gary Cole of Wakarusa, Ind., has followed the development since its infancy.
“It’s a neat thing to know something like that’s going to be built here,” Cole said. “It’s not just another shopping center. It’s a destination for the Midwest.”
Marjorie Crowder grew up on the farm across the street from the proposed development before moving to Florida. Her mother still owns the farm and rents it out. With the entrance being located near a dip in the road, safety is an issue.
Commission members Meg Wolgamood and Blake Doriot said the precise location of an entrance will be discussed once the developer has a detailed plan in place after January.
Pharis said the campground will serve an important function, not only in the development, but also in the county.
Crowder, an RV owner herself, said with her travels to visit her family, she understands the need to have an RV park.
“I do feel Elkhart County needs a super-neat RV park and in a more central location,” Crowder said. “I’ve been disappointed that Elkhart County, being the RV capital, has not had the RV parks I’ve seen around the country. I mean, I can park at the fairgrounds. Big deal.”