When Jason Camp and family moved from Naples, Florida, to the Ashland area four years ago, establishing Camp Landing was not the initial reason. He had received a call to look at opening an establishment to feed construction workers for Braidy Industries’ proposed mill project at the Industrial Center.
Despite the initial business ventures that brought him here, Camp says he and his wife Elisabeth quickly found what he describes as a great community built on faith and family. “After visiting, we quickly fell in love with the community,” he said.
Raised in the Miami, Florida, area, Camp says his father was a Miami firefighter and his mother was a faithful woman. “My parents instilled a wonderful work ethic and faith in me, “Camp said.
“We have five children, four boys and one girl, and there’s only a specific amount of time to build a strong foundation in your children. I want to make sure they are given a strong faith, family, and work ethic just like I was given.”
Although the Braidy project never happened, Camp started the 3J Group – a trio of businessmen choosing to partake in Ashland’s rejuvenation. In three short years, Camp spearheaded the birth of Smokin’ J‘s Rib and Brewhouse, The Winchester of Ashland, and The Winchester of Morgantown.
Despite the devastation that the Covid-19 pandemic had on the restaurant industry in 2020, Camp has been able to survive this difficult time by still achieving upward of $8 million in revenues for the brands.
Having a strong, successful 23-year career in sports and events and entertainment, Camp has a keen eye for area potential. “I was in sports for many years. I worked in Major League Baseball, the NFL and the NHL. I have also run tournaments and concerts,” he explained.
Using his sports background, Camp knew there was a major need for a sports complex in our area. As he became more familiar with the area, he began the search for locations on which to build.
Camp credits Boyd County Judge Executive Eric Chaney for helping him in the property search. According to Camp, Chaney urged him to consider the KYOVA Mall location. “At first, I had no interest whatsoever in purchasing the KYOVA Mall,” Camp said, “but after eight months of discussion, I started thinking of how we could take the space and turn it into something for the community.”
In July 2021, Camp purchased the 92 acres that housed the previous KYOVA Mall and is now re-developing the property as a vibrant entertainment center for eastern Kentucky. His idea: to bring something you usually see in larger cities to the Ashland area.
The property is currently home to a newly renovated, 10-screen, stadium-seated movie theater; an art walk showcasing local talent; and Malibu Jack’s Indoor Theme Park – all of which are open to the public.
Camp said when conversations over Malibu Jack’s began, he intended to bring something family-friendly and community-oriented to the area. After carefully pitching his well-thought-out plan, Malibu Jack’s told him he was exactly what they were looking for.
Inside, spectators will find a mini-golf course, arcade games, carnival-style rides, a new bowling alley, interactive go-kart racing, laser tag, cabana spaces for parties, and more!
“Malibu Jack’s is amazing, but it’s just the first flag in the ground,” Camp said.
Over the next few years, Camp plans to add a 120,000 square foot indoor sports complex, an 85,000 square foot convention center, a more than 200 room hotel, and various bars and restaurants. “Many things are coming, and we are excited,” Camp said with a smile.
Aside from being CEO of the 3J Group, Camp is currently president and owner of Camp Investments and Camp Management. He also currently serves on the executive board for the Tri-State Angel Fund, is chairman of the marketing committee for the Boyd County Tourism
Board and sits on the Paramount board of directors.
10699 US-60, Ashland, KY 41102