BURLESON, Texas – When Ronnie Bowyer opened the RV Ranch nine years ago,
it had 125 RV sites and not much else. “There was nothing here at the
time,” he said. “We didn’t have any trees. Our office was a trailer. Our
‘park’ was just a plot of land.” Since then, however, the property has
been completely transformed with hundreds of oak, pecan and pine trees.
More campsites have been added, bringing the total to 248, along with 37
fully furnished, luxury cabins that are perfect for a romantic getaway.
And more improvements are on the way.
Bowyer plans to invest about $2.5 million in additional
improvements, starting this winter and extending through the next 12 to
24 months. The improvements include installation of decorative paving
and curbing of campsites throughout the park as well as construction of a
playground; a covered picnic area for family reunions, complete with
barbecue grills and electrical outlets for cooking; a dog run; and
150-seat outdoor amphitheatre.
Bowyer and his staff are also planning a host of special activities
for their guests this fall and winter, including a harvest festival on
Oct. 24, which will include live music, an old-fashioned hay ride and
pumpkin carving opportunities. Other activities include a Thanksgiving
potluck dinner in which the park provides the turkeys and a romantic
Valentine’s Day weekend with carriage rides are also being planned. The
park is also planning to go all out on Christmas decorations in December
and will serve as a toy collection center Dec. 4 and 5 for Harvest
House in Burleson.
“We hope to eventually get to the point where we have activities
for our guests every weekend,” said park manager Steve Stafford.
But, alas, there is one other detail: the name change.
As RV Ranch has worked to diversify its business base by marketing
itself as an ideal location for family reunions, weddings and romantic
getaways, it’s encountered a little resistance with its name.
“When people mention ‘RV park,’ the image of a bare bones, poorly
managed park often comes to mind,” Stafford said. “This is particularly
true,” he said, “among travelers who are not aware of the dramatic
changes that have taken place in private parks in recent years as they
have worked to transform themselves into appealing vacation destinations
that can accommodate RVers and non-RVers alike.”
With this in mind, RV Ranch is changing its name to Rustic Creek
Ranch. “We’ve done this to bring our name in synch with the improvements
we’ve made and to better reflect what we’re building, which is a
resort,” he said.
And while business levels from RVers have declined somewhat during
the past year, partly as a result of rising fuel costs, demand for
cottages is up.
“We started with nine cottages five years ago and kept adding more
and more to keep up with demand,” Stafford said, adding that the park
now has 37.
The cabins at Rustic Creek are luxury accommodations, with stone
fireplaces and handmade pine furniture. The resort has also developed an
interesting architectural look in the cabins by using antique doors as
headboards and footboards on the beds. The fireplace mantles are also
handmade, and 28 of the cabins have two-person spas with separate
“Each cabin is distinct,” Stafford said, adding that the resort has avoided a cookie-cutter approach with its cabins.
Looking to the future, Stafford says the park is considering
building “tree house” accommodations along a river that runs through the
park, which could be especially appealing to families with children.
“Our imagination is our only limit,” Stafford said.
For more information on Rustic Creek Ranch, please contact Steve Stafford at (817) 426-3479 and visit the park’s Web site at rusticcreekranch.com.