Annie’s Campground sold for $2.05M

Positive Ventures from Appleton submits winning bid
Lee Pulaski
City Editor

Annie’s Campground west of Gresham will be under new ownership after the Shawano-Menominee County Circuit Court approved the sale of the property to Positive Ventures LLC, based in Appleton.

The sale was finalized Aug. 23 after Judge Katherine Sloma approved Positive Ventures’ bid for over $2.05 million. There were nine sealed bids total for the property, according to attorney Seth Dizard, who has been the receiver for the property since May.

In a report to the court, Dizard wrote that there were 128 separate expressions of interest, and out of those, 90 executed confidentiality agreements. The bids ranged from $527,777 to $2.5 million.

The $2.5 million bid came from Bob and Geri Enterprises LLC, which owns the Black Otter Supper Club in Hortonville. However, according to the report, the officials did not present evidence of its ability to pay for the sale by the deadline of Aug. 19, so the next best offer was Positive Ventures.

The campground was put into receivership April 25 after Bank First reported that it was owed about $1.5 million, excluding collection costs and attorney fees. Since then, Dizard paid past-due property taxes of over $25,000 to the Town of Seneca, which were the taxes due in 2020 and 2021, along with getting extensions from the state to prevent the campground from being closed due to the lack of a seller’s permit and three failed inspections.

The campground had been owned by Ann Retzlaff, who is charged with fleeing and eluding officers and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety from the 2021 incident, as well as a misdemeanor count of resisting or obstructing an officer. She also faces misdemeanor charges through Menominee County for resisting and failing to stop.

When arrested again on April 20 in Wittenberg, the Shawano-Menominee County District Attorney’s office filed felony and misdemeanor counts of bail jumping for not appearing in court in November 2021. Retzlaff is also facing two misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct during her arrest and her subsequent processing in the jail.

In the criminal case, Retzlaff has claimed she was rescuing an employee from an alleged sex trafficking operation on the Menominee Reservation when law enforcement from two counties tried to pull her over in May 2021. Since initial charges were filed, Retzlaff has skipped court appearances and had bench warrants taken out against her, the latest of which put her in the Shawano County Jail in April of this year, when Marathon County Judge Mark Moran ordered she be held on a $25,000 cash bond, which was later reduced to $15,000.

Retzlaff posted bail in early August, and shortly after her release, Dizard filed a restraining order against her, claiming she entered the property without permission and could potentially disrupt the operation of the campground.

A man stood up in the gallery at the hearing, claiming he was representing Annie’s Campground, but Sloma immediately rebuffed his request to approach and speak.

Sloma said at the beginning of the hearing that Retzlaff has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and claimed the campground is still hers, but Sloma reiterated that the court’s position is that Retzlaff and the campground are different entities because the bankruptcy was filed after the campground went into receivership. She said only licensed attorneys representing the campground could be part of the hearing.

Dizard said that he and an attorney with Bank First had come to an agreement that any surplus money left after paying back the bank and other entities will be held in trust until the bankruptcy proceedings commence.