For the last five years, John and Karen Hawkins have dreamt of creating a luxury RV park that blends storage, recreation and camaraderie.
By this summer, that dream, Hawkins Pointe, will finally be a reality.
After zoning challenges kept the project from taking off in Hamilton County, developers and local leaders finally broke ground on a 6.4-acre site in Fort Oglethorpe on March 20.
Sitting on Emerson Circle, the resort will hold 54 outdoor pull-through parking spots complete with electric, sewer and water hook-ups once fully built out. The site will also be home to two long-term storage facilities for RVs, travel trailers and boats.
North Georgia, Chattanooga and the surrounding region is fast becoming a premier destination point for RV owners. According to a study published by the RV Industry Association in 2016, $254.6 million poured into Georgia and Tennessee over the course of a single year from RV campgrounds and related travel.
"Once completed, the facility will fill a niche in our community for high-class motor coach storage," Fort Oglethorpe Mayor Earl Gray said in a news release. "We look forward to its opening."
Standing at 34,000 square feet, the first of Hawkins Pointe's two facilities will be a covered structure capable of holding 60-75 vehicles, said John Hawkins. The second facility, a climate-controlled indoor space of 14,000 square feet, will offer a little more exclusivity with 10 private bays sized at 20-by-55 feet.
The building will include bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities. There will also be a patio area with a fireplace, multiple large-screen televisions, an outdoor kitchen and a bar.
Hawkins said the ultimate goal is to create a place where motorhome owners can forge bonds with their storage fellows while visiting to spend time working on their vehicles or taking their campers out of storage for a brief weekend getaway on the grounds. The dream, he explained, is to cultivate a sense of camaraderie similar to what one might find between boaters at local marinas such as Chickamauga Marina or Big Ridge Yacht Club.
"We really wanted to step it up and bring a country-club environment to this RV park," Hawkins explained.
Additionally, the resort will include two fenced dog parks, as well as other amenities such as wash stations and pump-out stations that the Hawkinses have identified as desirable during their extensive travels to RV parks all over the United States. Sitting close to I-75, Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops, the site's proximity to amenities within the community will also serve as a bonus for recreationalists, they said.
"This is the kind of place where you'll want to spend time in your RV, even on weekends when you can't travel," John Hawkins said.
The storage facility is expected to open by early summer. The camping facility will launch later in 2019.
Those interested in reserving parking spots can visit hawkinspointe.com and request to be placed on the reservation list.
Email Myron Madden at firstname.lastname@example.org.