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Empire Lodge is located in Pine haven, Wyoming. A total of 16 sites are available to guests, which entail both cabin and RV sites. Apart from the reservable units, the four-acre expanse of land on which the establishment is situated additionally features a main office, laundry facility, and shower house. The property's current owners have been running the business for the past two years; however, the RV park itself has been in operation for around 30 years. The owners of Empire Lodge have the goal in mind to help their guests feel "at home." Patrons can visit some of the nearby attractions and activities during their stay, many of which may vary in the duration of travel time from the RV park. Recently, the Empire staff has begun offering visitors a guided fly-fishing tour for an extra fee.
Located in Pine haven, Wyoming, Empire Lodge gives guests the option to stay in a cabin or RV site. There are four cabins that a patron may reserve, and according to the owners, the units are generally "uniform" in their appearance. Even so, there are differences in some of the interior amenities. Some of the amenities that are provided in each cabin are a private bathroom, kitchenette, and propane grill, to name a few. Two particular aspects that vary between cabins are the number of beds in each unit and the general size. Some of the units come with one or more queen-sized beds, though one cabin has a king-sized, and others have a bunk bed included in the room.
In addition to the cabins, 12 RV sites are available for reservation. Each site is equipped with full hook-up amenities such as 30 and 50-amp electrical service, water, and sewer. Every hook-up amenity is included in the base price of the reservation. It should also be noted that each RV site comes with a picnic table as well. There are a few differences between the placement of the spaces as some sites come with a shaded area, while others may not. Moreover, some sites allow for pull-through parking, as the rest are back-in.
The owners of the establishment describe the grounds to be "very open" with "a little bit of shade." Empire Lodge occupies a four-acre expanse, featuring a number of buildings and amenities that are accessible to guests during their stay. A shower house and a coin-operated laundry facility are situated on the premises, the laundry facilities requiring an extra fee for patrons to utilize. There is also a greenhouse where the park grows flowers and vegetables. With regard to the encompassing land that surrounds the property, the owners say that the park is located in a rural area. For those who are hoping to explore the surroundings, the staff offers guided fly fishing trips for an extra cost. As part of the guided tour, guests will be taken to Keyhole Reservoir, which is considered to be part of a state park that resides in close proximity to the RV park.
While visitors are staying at the Empire Lodge, the owners remark that the staff seeks to create an atmosphere that can help visitors feel "at home." Furthermore, they mention that they try to "treat everyone like family." In an effort to provide this experience for visitors, the staff tries to give patrons space with the intention to allow them to enjoy their time at the RV park. In addition to this, the staff also strives to be accessible to guests should they have any questions or concerns. Interaction between visitors and management typically occurs during the check-in process.
The property has implemented policies and guidelines that visitors must abide by. Generally, the park allows pets, however, in the cabins, there is an extra fee to bring a pet due to post-reservation cleaning. Smoking is prohibited inside the cabins, but it is permitted in designated places on the premises.
A fair amount of people have highlighted different aspects of the business in reviews after having stayed at Empire Lodge. One previous guest said, "I stayed in Cabin four while on a road trip and was impressed with the interior space and furniture. The town of Pine Haven is gorgeous with ample opportunities to get outdoors. The lodge is family run, and they provide friendly and personal service." Another previous visitor made remarks about the service and location of the park as they said, "The owners were so accommodating and made us feel welcome. Close to Devil's Tower and great hiking in South Dakota. The local state park is stunning."
Outside of the park, people can visit several attractions and participate in different activities. One of the places near Empire Lodge is Keyhole Reservoir, where people can travel without a guide and go kayaking, wakeboarding, and tubing. If guests do not mind traveling a farther distance, they can visit attractions such as Mount Rushmore, Devil's Tower, and the Black Hills. For those who are searching for places to eat, three of the following restaurants are located in Pine haven: Keyhole Country Club, a café that has a golf course; R Place Bar and Grill; and The Reservoir, which features a bar and grill. Moreover, a gas station and grocery store can be found across the street from the park grounds.
The park operates year-round, and the busiest season of operation generally takes place from Memorial day to Labor day. According to the owners, the demographics of those who stay at the park range "across the board." The owners further explain that many patrons come to visit for tourism opportunities.
The current owners of the property purchased Empire Lodge early in 2021. Prior to when the current camp hosts took ownership, the establishment had been serving as a place of lodging for nearly 30 years. The building that is now used as the park's office was initially constructed as a ranch house, which was then converted into a bunk house on a sheep and cattle ranch. The structure changed roles a second time after the land was transferred to the park.
After the current staff took over the park's operations, they cleaned up parts of the grounds and planted 52 trees. They also added gravel throughout the premises and tried to level each site. Inspiration for what they wanted to update and add came as the owners thought of what they believed should be included at each location. Currently, the Empire team has future plans for the property. One specific plan is to host community events and activities for the town and the park guests.
The owners previously worked on ranches and farms in the past, and they say that they attribute the Empire Lodge's success to management's "work ethic and drive." When the owners bought the acreage, they planned to retire from their previous careers but wanted to continue working. The owners also say that they find value in "hard work," and one of the things that they enjoy most about managing the RV park is the people. They explain that the fact that most visitors who come to the property are in a "good mood" due to them being on "vacation" is one aspect that they particularly enjoys.