Escape to Pearl Lake Resort in South Beloit
Jean's story previously appeared in the summer edition of the Stateline Connections newsletter, published by Balsley Printing.
Summer is here, and with it, thoughts of crystal-clear water, sand, and sunshine.
Pearl Lake Resort might be just what you’re thinking of.
After being closed to the public, Pearl Lake Beach opened Memorial Day, May 29, 2023. The park will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., mid-April through mid-October. The 270-acre RV park and 50-acre lake property are located at 1220 Dearborn Ave, South Beloit, Illinois.
New cabanas, a huge inflatable water park, standup paddle boards, volleyball (in and out of the water), and lake fishing will be available.
Once a large sand quarry, the lake was originally developed by the Witte family. Mike Witte sold the property to Zeman Homes, a manufactured homes company in Illinois.
Today it has expanded into a camping ground, RV resort, and pristine beach. Unfortunately, due to COVID, the previous owners were forced to close the beach about four years ago.
Recently, Lance Beatch visited Pearl Lake and was enamored with what he saw. “I loved the natural beauty of the sand, the water and the location. The emerald water looked like an aquarium.”
A native of Canada, Beatch was formerly a senior vice president of Equity Life Styles Properties. After seeing Pearl Lake, he decided to buy the property himself, make improvements, and open the resort to the public. “It was such a beautiful place and a unique opportunity.”
The property includes the lake and sandy beach, a restaurant, and 350 RV and park model sites. Beatch says there is plenty of room for expansion.
Beatch closed on the property in April and started making cosmetic changes to the restaurant. It will become a bar and grill, offering hot dogs, hamburgers, ice cream, soft drinks, beer and wine.
Only non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake. Kids under ten will be required to wear lifejackets in the water.
Beatch said the lake will continue to be a training site for area scuba clubs.
“It’s a convenient regional vacation spot, for people who want to stay in the area. It’s close to Rockford, Beloit, Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago.”
“Whatever I do, I want to do it right,” Beatch said. “I want Pearl Lake Resort to be exceptional.”
For more information, visit http://pearllakebeach.com, or call 815-389-1479.
Editor's note: We spoke again with Lance Beatch on June 7, who says he's "super excited" about attendance since the lake opened. One change in policy since 2019: the previous owner charged $15 per person, but in addition, guests had to buy their food and drink from the resort, since no outside food was allowed in. Instead of that, Beatch lets guests bring in their own coolers. He says people are "having a great time," coming back on multiple days with their families. He appreciates the community, saying the crowds have been very respectful, "very tidy," with very little garbage left behind.
• $20 person. 2 years of age and under are free of charge.
• $10 for 50 minute session on Wibit inflatable water park
• $20 per hour for stand up paddle boards
• Beach access
• Water volleyball
• Food trucks
• Yard games
• Water park and rentals (if leased)
Beach pavilions are first come, first served. Coolers are permitted, but no alcohol is allowed on the beach. There are no lifeguards on duty. Children 16 and under need to be accompanied by an adult. No fishing and touring around the rest of the property, where people live.
- Air fills for scuba divers are available at the lake.
- The City of South Beloit approved the resort's Class AA Bar/Restaurant Liquor license on May 15, 2023.
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