Rainbow Lakes fishing resort reopens under new ownership

A decades-old fishing lakes property that sat idle in recent years has now reopened under new management.

Rainbow Lakes fishing resort was sold late last year to Michelle and Cassidy Helregel of Springfield.

Property records show KCR Lakes Inc. sold the nearly 51.5 acres of land off Ohio 235 to Rainbow Lakes LLC for just over $1.1 million.

The property’s business address is 3491 Ohio 235. Part of the resort’s land abuts Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Helregels said they would often drive by the Rainbow Lakes property and their interest was piqued when it went up for sale.

“We thought there was just so much potential, so we decided to give the place a shot,” Cassidy said Wednesday. “I think we can do a lot of good stuff here and help out the community.”

Cassidy, a commercial and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base pilot, and Michelle, a former medic for WPAFB who is now a real estate agent, said they quickly got to work revamping the property.

“It was in rough shape at first,” Cassidy said. “We’ve been working nonstop on the inside and outside to make it presentable for the public to enjoy.”

The couple has been working long hours clearing the grounds from overgrowth, mowing, and completing maintenance of the ponds.

“We want people to be able to come out here, enjoy the views, and be able to walk around and take it all in,” Cassidy said. “It’s really like a park out here.”

A grand opening event was held last Saturday with a trout derby fishing contest to mark the occasion.

“We’ve gotten lots of good feedback and everyone seems to enjoy the look and feel of the place,” Cassidy said. “We’ve also heard stories from people who fished here 20 or so years ago and came back for the first time.”

Huber Heights council on Wednesday voted to sell a 1.3-acre surplus parcel to Rainbow Lakes.

This site was previously used as a water well, but has since been abandoned. Council documents show the parcel is landlocked and no longer serves a municipal interest. The Helregels plan to build a covered structure or shelter on the site.

In exchange for the land, Rainbow Lakes will pay a symbolic $1, plus a five-year commitment to provide community programming that benefits Huber Heights youth, details of which are to be negotiated between the business and the city’s parks manager.

“We both have different skills we can bring to the community,” Michelle said, highlighting the couple’s expertise in things like CPR and survivalist training.

“I taught survival training in the Air Force for years, so I lived out in the woods and am definitely familiar with teaching people how to fish, how to hike, and how to build fires and shelters,” Cassidy added.

Rainbow Lakes is tentatively open Wednesday through Sunday, 24 hours per day, and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, though Michelle said the schedule is likely to change to seven days per week once summer nears and more staff is hired.

Twelve-hour fishing passes are available for $24 for adults, $15 for kids ages six through 12, and free for those under six. All passes are half-priced on Wednesdays.

The resort offers catch-and-release fishing, as well as trout fishing, where fishers can keep up to five trout.

“We recently stocked the trout and that’s a seasonal thing this year,” Michelle said. “But we have big plans to have a lake where there’s smaller fish, like bluegill, that are fun for kids to catch.”

Michelle said they’re working to renovate a hatchery system that was left on the site to keep the lakes adequately stocked with fish.

Future plans also include hosting fishing derbies, as well as more competitive tournaments for those experienced in trophy fishing.

“We’re a family-friendly place and it doesn’t matter if you’re a first-time fisher that doesn’t even have a pole, you can come out here and use one, or if you’re an experienced fisherman who loves to catch giant fish, we want to be available for everyone,” Cassidy said.

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