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County Executive's Office

Dane County Awards Economic Development Loan to Help New Cambridge Business, Local Tourism Economy

June 18, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

The county has awarded an economic development loan of $55,376 to budding Cambridge business CamRock Café, County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


The loan is part of the Dane County’s revolving loan program which is designed to strengthen economic development by providing assistance to new or expanding businesses that will create local  jobs.


“The county’s revolving loan program is yet another way we partner with local communities and area businesses to strengthen economic development throughout the region,” said Parisi.  “By tapping into the many assets that Cambridge provides, CamRock Café and Sport is already a prime destination for families looking for a good meal or a good time outdoors.”


The CamRock Café and Sport provides a selection of food and beverages, as well as seasonal sports rentals including bikes, kayaks, snow shoes, and cross country skis.  CamRock’s business model capitalizes on the adjacent outdoor recreation opportunities, such as CamRock County Park and nearby creek, boat launch, and trails. 


"CamRock Caféand Sport will provide a regional destination attraction throughout the year.  Biking, canoeing, walking, hiking, kayaking, and skiing enthusiasts will find some of the most exciting, fun, and exhilarating opportunities at the three Dane County CamRock Parks, at the Lake Ripley Park, and at the many attractions in the Cambridge Area," said Supervisor Bob Salov.  "The Caféand Sport will offer visitors refreshments for themselves and friends in a comfortable venue and highly skilled services for their equipment - all downtown Cambridge at the Parks entrance. I'll be looking forward to seeing you on the trails, on the Koshkonong Creek, at the Ripley Beach, and at the CamRock Café."


CamRock Café and Sport is managed by Jeff Knops and his wife Jessie.  The two are no strangers to restaurant management, acquiring experience while in college at UW-Eau Claire where the pair first met.


"We have been open for 6 weeks and sales have been 40% over budget allowing us to add 16 part-time jobs and 3 full-time positions,” said Jeff Knops.  “The bike shop has been doing very well as we cater to local riders as well as those from all over the area (including Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago).  Our rental boats and SUPs have been booked every weekend and our food sales have been really strong.  We are starting to add group rides and group runs and even live music on weekends."

The $55,376  loan will be paid back over seven years at an interest rate of 5.25%.


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