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Cruizin' Harrington plans laid, Tipton introduced as Chamber president

 

--Photo courtesy of Timothy Tipton.

The Harrington Hideaway RV Park is a family-owned business.

Chamber of Commerce

On the cold, windy snow-blowing Wednesday of January 4, the Harrington Chamber of Commerce met with its new officers in place. President Tim Tipton led the meeting with Secretary Paula Pike, Treasurer Cindy Haase, Allen Barth, Cassandra Paffle-Dick, Kathy Hoob, Bunny Haugan, Summer Clark, Cherie MacClellan, Dave Michaelson, Marge Womach and Jill Plaskon present.

Discussion was held on the December projects of Santa's Workshop and the food baskets. Coordinating with the school went well and aids in teaching the students about civics in their own back yards. Last year, there were about 26 food baskets delivered and this year about 36. The purpose of the food baskets is to "recognize" Seniors for being a part of the community. They have nothing to do with being needy, as there are other programs that address the needy during the holiday seasons.

Cindy Haase gave the treasurer's report. Discussion was held regarding some of the various "funds" for which the total assets are presently over $8,000. The Chamber voted to gift the City of Harrington $200 toward the rest room expenses for toilet paper and paper towels. The city informed the Chamber that it was difficult to keep the paper products filled and that a new container which holds more rolls was installed. Although everyone seemed to know that the town needed new restrooms, everyone seems astonished at the quantity of traffic that utilizes them. There was general agreement that this was a worthy project to have undertaken.

Volume 1/Issue 1 of the Harrington Area Chamber of Commerce Newsletter is out with its mission statement: "Our mission is to actively promote businesses in the Harrington Chamber of Commerce Area." The newsletter contains an overview of the activity of the Harrington Chamber for the past year, a notice that meetings will continue to be held on the first Wednesday noon of each month with quarterly meetings in the evenings to accommodate those that are not available during the noon hour, and a reminder that annual dues need to be returned before January 31. The Chamber by-laws are currently being reviewed and revised by a committee.

Much of the hour was spent planning and discussing the Cruizin' Harrington event. Concern was shown that vendors be sought early. It was decided that the Chamber sponsor two vendor events, Cruizin' Harrington and the Fall Festival, and that vendors should be charge $25 for a single event or $40 for both if paid in advance. The Chamber voted to allow $500 for advertising on the Cruizin event. Barth said he has a template for the flier that he puts out and that it will go out in March. The group began brainstorming and floating ideas to increase the number of people coming to the event, as well as activities to keep kids busy or interested throughout the day. Comments were made that the Chamber had a "Street Dance" years ago and that it was very successful and well received. The area that is closed off for the vendors could be used for the street dance after the vendors had closed.

Introducing Tim Tipton

Tim Tipton has been in Harrington since the Fall of 2011 and has been involved with the Harrington Chamber of Commerce for several years as part owner of the Harrington Hideaway RV Park, an extended-family-owned business since 2005-06 when his great uncle Don Cowley purchased the park. Don's brother James Cowley was here with him a portion of the years that Don had the park. Jerilyn Key (Tim's mother) and Gabe Garcia came to Harrington from Southern California in 2008. Gabe became manager of the park, and many projects were tackled. Uncle James Cowley invested money and labor into the park to help spur on improvements.

In 2007, Don Cowley had a stroke which impaired him considerably, and a partnership was formed between James Fryer, Judith Fryer and Jerilyn Key to keep the business in the family. James died in 2013 and Don passed away in 2014. The Fryers are parents to Jerilyn, and grandparents to Tim. Jerilyn has two daughters in southern California. Tim became hooked on Harrington, with its quiet and slower-paced life. He seems committed to staying here where he is now business manager of the RV park and part owner. He remarked that he appreciates the expert knowledge and years of experience that his grandpa offers.

The RV park has 15 full RV hook-ups with electricity, water and sewer for each. Of those 15 RV spots, 10 must be backed into and cost a daily fee of $25. Two of the 15 are "pull-thru" spots which face the ninth hole of the gold course. From those two spots customers can watch golfers tee off and putt, many enjoying these locations for the same nightly fee. Three of the 15 hook-ups are rented by a month-to-month lease, currently at $250 per month with the customer also paying the electric bill. These are also back-in spots. In addition to the 15 spaces, the RV Park has a 1978 seventy-foot trailer on the property which is not movable and has been extensively remodeled. It has a living room, two bedrooms, a bathroom, full kitchen, washer and dryer, front porch and back patio area. It is rented by a six-month lease. The owners have been fortunate with the tenants they have had in this unit. The RV Park is open year round, but few trailers or RVs are equipped for the temperatures we get here.

The RV park attempts to provide variety and convenience for travelers. A designated area for a horseshoe pit has been developed at the front northwest side of the property that faces Adams Street where you can watch the trains going by about 70 yards away. There are three or four sets of horseshoes available for play. An area has also been set aside for people who just want to camp for the night in a tent with no RV hook-ups. The clientele for these spaces are cross-country bicyclists, motorcycle riders or others traveling by car. The area is fully manicured with grass, and power is available. It is also a prime location for playing bocce ball, croquet or having BBQ's for entertaining guests. There is a large picnic table available, and Tim is ready with plans and supplies for building more. In 2009, a tree fell on the laundry, shower and bathroom building which required extensive restoration. These facilities built for the traveling public are also available to local citizens. In 2016, the shower area required renovation and the concrete floors were sealed with paint giving a much nicer appearance than unfinished concrete.

The founder of the RV Park in Harrington was the late Wayne Schultz who purchased the house and area from Dick and Silver Layton in the late 1970s. Wayne proceeded to build the park around the house and constructed the original bath house. He put in the permanent electrical, sewer and water connections on the east side and the southeast side of the park. He named his business "Country Club Court RV and Trailer Park," as he wanted it to be an adjunct to the Harrington Golf and Country Club and attract traveling golfers. Wayne was a graduate of Harrington High School in the class of 1967, investing in the community where he grew up, having spent 12 years in our school. Now as the Harrington Hideaway RV Park, the close affiliation with the Harrington Golf and Country Club is seen with what Tim Tipton offers as "a 2 for 1 golfing coupon to be used at the golf course if you stay a night at the Hideaway."

 

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