Campground gets new local ownership, including a local rocker

Columbus Business First

COLUMBUS, Ohio (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST)–It’s fitting that a member of the band O.A.R. would be interested in a place called River Bend Family Campground.

Jerry DePizzo, a Central Ohio native and saxophonist and guitarist for the rock band and Columbus-based attorney and entrepreneur Matt Crumpton are the new owners of the campground along the Olentangy River in Caledonia near Marion.

“We are excited to continue the traditions and culture built over the years at River Bend,” Crumpton said in a release. “We look forward to meeting the campers, working with them to identify improvements and enhancing the fantastic family atmosphere that is the cornerstone of this campground.”

The ownership group also includes David Babner, founder of M3S Sports, and Gary Gitlitz, owner of Wheeler Lake Apartments in Marion.

The campground includes 215 seasonal campsites with water, sewer, and electric service; 16 temporary sites with water and electricity; and several primitive sites along the river.

Beyond the camping options, there is an assortment of activities and events, including a swimming pool, a catch-and-release pond, river fishing, nine-hole disc golf and mini-golf courses, two playgrounds, football, and softball fields, and numerous pavilions.

The current camping season started in April and runs through Oct. 15. Reservations can be made here.

The new ownership group has launched a new event and activity schedule for the year including outdoor movie screenings on Fridays and live music every Saturday. Those schedules are on the website. Other improvements include new management software, a redesigned website, and new roads and internet service.

This isn’t the first partnership for Crumpton and DePizzo. They also own the Big Mamma’s Burritos restaurant chain, which they acquired in 2019.

It has units in Athens, near Grandview Heights and one that opened in Cleveland late last year. Crumpton previously owned and led the D.P. Dough restaurant brand. DePizzo was a franchisee and executive with that group as well. That business was acquired in 2019.

For more business headlines, go to ColumbusBusinessFirst.com.

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