By: Tom Bentley
Opening a large RV park—one with far broader ambitions than being a mere RV park—takes vision, hard work and persistence. And no doubt you can toss “luck” into that framework as well. But the folks behind the work-in-progress CreekFire Motor Ranch are starting out with a shiny face, front and center: a vintage Airstream that will be the food truck for their lake-house bar and grill, as well as used at the pool for events. And because the CreekFire folks know that marketing starts long before the product is final, they’ve been spending time at trade shows, using, of all things, a mocked-up quasi-Airstream as their tradeshow booth. There’s something about an Airstream that catches the eye of the camping crowd, even if they aren’t owners themselves. As Matt Lipman, president of CreekFire Motor Ranch says, “Airstreams have that classical, Americana simplicity that goes hand in hand with what we are trying to create at CreekFire.”
The ranch, which will open next summer, has a prime location 20 minutes outside of Savannah, Georgia, recognized by travel aficionados and experts as one of the country’s most vivid, historically interesting cities. The 105-acre park will have scads of amenities, including a resort-style pool and hot tub, boat and canoe rentals, tennis and basketball courts, a nature trail, a driving range and free Wi-fi. And don’t forget the 1963 22-foot Safari that was sourced from a refurb shop during a recent Alumapalooza week. CreekFire is still working on the menu for the trailer’s grilled offerings, but the preparation is likely to be as polished as the aluminum.
Lipman is looking to purchase more 50s and 60s Airstreams to use around the ranch and to sell. “My wife is an interior decorator and she loves them,” he says. The love was extended to the tradeshow booth, which was custom-fabricated to depict an Airstream sitting at a campsite. “Everyone loves our booth,” Lipman says. “It stands out all over the country.” The company is going to continue marketing up and down the east coast and online up until their soft opening next summer.
CreekFire hopes to open the doors to a broad market of travelers, from seasonal to single-nighters, from the Orlando and Atlanta areas for weekenders, and from families to retirees. The site’s location just a half-mile off of I-95 is ideal, and no one will remember the highway once they’re sitting around that beautiful lake. All RVers are welcome, but if your rig is an Airstream, you’ll get a special nod.
To read the article in the current issue of Outside Interests click http://outsideinterests.info/article/creekfire-motor-ranch/