People who go RVing through McDuffie County may soon have a new hookup.
White Columns is hoping to add full hookups for campers and recreational vehicles on the North end of its property. Owners Epp and Jim Wilson got a preliminary go-ahead on the project from the McDuffie County Planning Commission on Jan. 6.
The hookups, which will include water, sewer, electricity, phone and cable at each station, still need the approval of the County Commission at their meeting on Jan. 20. The Planning Commission approved the project with the stipulation that a hedge be erected to shield the area from view.
"We've had a number of requests for that, and you know you see more and more nice RVs on the road." Epp Wilson said. "A night or two sleeping on the little fold out sofa is fine, but then by the second or third night, if you're like me, you're ready to park it at a motel."
Adding the RV hookups will increase the number of amenities White Columns has to offer. Mr. Wilson thinks the addition to the service line-up will help bring in people who would normally by-pass the area.
"Not everybody uses the swimming pool; not everybody uses the gazebo; not everybody uses the grill. We want to be a well-rounded facility for travelers," he said.
According to Mr. Wilson, this is a project not only to improve White Columns, but to help the economy of McDuffie County as well.
"It's another draw. It's another reason to stay in Thomson," he said. "This isn't just good for White Columns, it's part of the overall economic development picture."
He said many events will come to McDuffie County if more options are available for lodging. Mr. Wilson used the yearly Bike Ride Across Georgia as an example. That event has set a tentative date to come through Thomson in June.
"When you have an event like Bike Ride Across Georgia that hasn't come for ten years, and they're coming back this summer," he said. "Some of them bring campers; some of them want to rent motel rooms.
"The more convenient it is for them to have all that in one place, I bet money they're not going to wait 10 years to come back. ... If it brings one or two new events or old events to town but brings them back more frequently, then that's how I see it paying itself off."
The White Columns staff will not be alone in the design stage of the new RV section. Representatives from the Southeastern Campground Association will assist in the layout and design of the area.
Pending final approval from the County Commission, work on the hookup stations will begin in March. Mr. Wilson hopes to have the work completed by June.