A Twenty Three Acre Dream In North Georgia --
River Vista Mountain Village RV Resort
By John Disque
In 1999 Clark Scherer purchased 23 acres in Dillard GA with the idea of creating the best RV Resort in the nation. Somewhat catering to the higher-class RVer he knew he had the location but wanted to go a step above any competitor by not only giving people a reason to visit but giving them no reason to ever leave.
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In mid-April I was granted the privilege of spending a week at Clark's Georgia paradise, River Vista RV Resort, located between Clayton, Highlands and Franklin, North Carolina.
I didn't quite know what to expect. If it didn't feel right I could always pack my bags and head home, but from the time I arrived heading home was the furthest thing from my mind. I don't think I've ever been more comfortable in my life. In the end, the last thing I wanted to do was head home. In fact I felt like I WAS home and leaving left me with a lost, empty feeling.
While all the attractions and amenities are there what River Vista does better than anyone I've ever known is: make you feel at home. You're not just a person who lives or rents there. You become a part of an incredible family who somehow made a business out of making you feel that way. River Vista manages to capture and magnify the heaven of the entire Dillard community, but the resort goes further - to the point where the visitor actually feels like part of the community.
Centered in the Smoky Mountains in northeast Georgia, between interstates 75 and I-85 and north of I-20, south of I-40 Dillard and River Vista is on the northeastern tip of Georgia, a stone's throw from the North Carolina line.
100 miles north of Atlanta GA
120 miles south of Knoxville TN
70 miles southwest of Asheville NC
150 miles east of Chattanooga TN
60 miles west Greenville SC
With no major highways for miles the first thing a visitor notices is the tranquil peace. It almost seems like you're in another time where the bustle of daily life just doesn't exist. Time seems to slow down; there's no real rush to do anything. When you combine this with the smiling faces, all the activities of the area and the resort – the result is magic.
So there I was just bouncing my way through life from story to story but this one would change everything about me. This one was different. As the week went on I felt myself changing in ways that I didn't know could be changed.
Lots and cabins come with water, sewer, electric, cable TV and wifi Internet connections. The lots are leveled, with gravel pads, picnic tables and many have gas grills. The cabins are beautiful and clean while maintaining a cozy, at-home feel.
The resort itself can accommodate big-rig and oversize-RVs with room for cars. It is equipped with heated indoor and outdoor pools, a spa, a fireplace pavilion and a sauna -- all open year round. At that we are just getting started: River Vista also boasts two bathhouses, laundry facilities, a clubhouse with a kitchen and entertainment area, home offices on the facilities, a big-screen outdoor theatre, a playground and basketball courts -- all topped with incredible mountain views.
River Vista is also pet friendly and will arrange for their staff to walk your dog if you find yourself wrapped up in the area's many activities.
Once I settled into my cabin I started feeling my way around town. I couldn't help but be captivated my the local charm and scenery.
Dillard – Set in the foothills of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains, just south of Franklin and just north of Clayton in Rabun county: A small mountain community known for its laid back atmosphere and outdoor recreation such as rafting, fishing, camping, hiking and horseback-riding just to name a few.
In downtown Dillard I found an array of shopping that seemed to be geared to local artists, restaurants, craftsmen and local farmers.
The town itself is surrounded by lakes, streams, majestic waterfalls, hiking trails, wonderful golf courses and more area shopping. Everywhere you go locals, as well as visitors, are smiling and everyone seems to be intent on relaxing and enjoying their existence.
About a ten minute drive and directly behind River Vista you'll find a golfer's paradise -- one of the most beautiful and friendly public golf courses I've seen. Sky Valley Golf Course holds its own picturesque beauty and is stunningly landscaped at an incredibly high level. One glance proves they spared no expense. If you're a golfer wanting the challenge and beauty of an incredible course, Sky Valley is your place and River Vista is your place to stay.
All lots are now complete and ready. At last count River Vista had 95 sold, 100 for sale and they are reserving 40 to rent. Lots range from 30x55 feet to 40x75 feet with several larger lots to choose from.
I had been invited to River Vista RV Resort the same week that Bus 'n Bikers (a private club of wealthy Americans traveling to and meeting up at the best RV parks in the country) were invited and it turned out to be a magnifying glass or a gateway into information.
While I couldn't see how it could get any better I still had little to make the resort relative. The key question amongst the toughest critics possible: Is everyone happy? It turned out to be less about what I thought and more about what they thought. After all, they've seen them all. The common answer was: "There was nothing to be unhappy about." All needs were met and everyone agreed that the park ranked amongst the best in the nation.
After talking with the visitors I began interviewing new and long-time residents. Everyone felt the same way. "I wouldn't change a thing." "What more could anyone ask for?" "I love it here. It's laid back, clean and it has everything anyone could ask for." "Clark thought of everything." "These people work hard day and night so you don't have to worry about anything. People see that and they appreciate it."
A visitor like myself senses a red carpet has been laid out for them. It's a path cleared by the hard-working staff and a gateway to a stress free existence. The visitor and the resident feel protected and the common thread is: it's appreciated and not taken for granted.
As I said in the beginning of this article: leaving was tough. I felt like I was saying goodbye to my brothers and sisters. In their own community of people intent on enjoying their existence I somehow felt like I belonged, that what I searched for my entire life had been found in Dillard, Georgia. How do you thank someone for handing you everything you could ask for? How do you say goodbye to that?
The night before I was to leave I was hanging out by the campfire with Clark's brother Kevin who works at River Vista. The subject was: all the work it takes to build and keep the park going and the things that most people never know or see. Then Kevin turned to me and wrapped up everything in a single sentence. "The dream of River Vista is to allow our guests and residents to live their dream."
More information is available on River Vista's website at www.rvmountainvillage.com or by calling
1-888-850-PARK (7275). River Vista is also on Facebook and Twitter.
Published April 30, 2011.
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