Show Business

Lake Forest entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis returns for his second season on CNBC’s The Profit.
 

Marcus Lemonis of Lake Forest

If anyone in Chicagoland embodies the phrase ‘The more you do, the more you can do,’ it’s Marcus Lemonis. The Lake Forest-by-way-of-Miami entrepreneur not only runs a $2.5 billion, 6,000-employee business with Camping World, the No. 1 RV and camping company in the country, and Good Sam Enterprises, he is also currently filming the second season of CNBC reality show The Profit. On the show, which starts airing Feb. 21, he invests his own money in distressed businesses with potential for success. And that’s not all: Lemonis also finds time to support myriad philanthropic causes. He recently underwrote the Lemonis Bridge Program at the Joffrey Ballet, which brings ballet training to kids at inner city schools; is responsible for gifting the Zoo Ball its headliners in The Village People and K.C. & The Sunshine Band the last two years; and supports such diverse entities as Ravinia and St. Jude’s Research Hospital.

“It’s tough,” Lemonis says of the demanding schedule required by his two day jobs. “Filming [in winter] is easier because it’s my slow season [at Camping World and Good Sam Enterprises]. And my people have learned to adjust and I’ve learned to adjust. When I’m in California, I can actually get three or four hours of uninterrupted work in during the morning; then I have breaks throughout the day. It’s easier because I have unbelievable people, and this season, I’ve learned to manage my time better.” It’s no surprise that Lemonis finds his home in Lake Forest a tranquil, welcoming respite. “I love the North Shore,” he says. “It’s comfortable living. And I love downtown Lake Forest. There aren’t a lot of chains there, so it’s kind of a hotbed for small businesses.” And, we might add, big businessmen.

Lemonis’ Hots
The Grille on Laurel in Lake Forest is very quaint—I go there two or three times a week; Amedei in Lake Forest for produce; my bakery, Rose’s, in Evanston; a good hot yoga class at Forever Om Yoga in Lake Forest; an appetizer crawl down Randolph Street in Chicago at the latest and greatest spots

Lemonis’ Nots
Pretentiousness; Dominick’s because they fail at my three Ps—people, process and product—and they’re putting people out of work; construction on Lake Cook Road in December