SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Nebraska (KCAU)– The Salvation Army Western Plains Camp has opened its newly renovated and constructed cabins to the public.

During the 2019 floods, The Salvation Army lost its Gene Eppley Camp south of Omaha. This prompted Salvation Army officials to acquire The Western Plains Camp back in 2021.

The Western Plains Camp renovation project cost $10 million to come to life. The funds were provided by community member donations to go along with insurance money from the loss of the Gene Eppley Camp.

“There are 7 new cabins, but they are double-sided,” said Major Lee Ann Thompson, with The Salvation Army western division. 

“The new construction component of it would’ve been the 16-unit lodge that we added,” said Patrick Mason, with Dicon Corporation 

The seven cabins can hold 14 campers plus two counselors on the top floor. The lodge has the option of single or multiple beds.

However, before the new additions and renovations, Patrick Mason, with Dicon Corporation, referred to the cabins as ‘bare’.

“They were, I guess the equivalent of basically a screened-in cabin. They had electricity, very limited bathrooms, no ADA accessibility, and so that was very important in upgrading everything,” said Mason.

Size and capacity weren’t the only changes made. Air conditioning, heating, and bathrooms were also added.

“They all had power, but bringing actual water, and sewer, and actually putting in a new lift station to accommodate everything,” said Mason. 

From pen and paper to constructing and renovating, The Salvation Army spent three years on the project.

“Accessibility, comfort, all that you can do at this place vs what you could two years ago has changed tenfold. A lot of the activities have remained the same, but just being able to accommodate more campers and being able to do so more comfortably,” Mason said.

Before the renovations and construction, the Salvation Army Western Plains Camp could hold roughly 125 people. However, with the new additions, 250 campers can relax in style.