NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A piece of Nacogdoches County property that once provided a safe haven for neglected boys is today providing a fun retreat for large group gatherings.
The prospective owners of Tall Timbers Retreat are holding true to the property's original intention of making visitors happy.
Beneath this pine forest south of Nacogdoches Blake Arrant learned as a child the importance of self-worth. He knew some boys weren't so lucky.
"I am currently purchasing this property from my father who owned the Nacogdoches Boys Ranch," said Blake Arrant, the owner of Tall Timbers. "He's the land owner and building owner."
The safe haven for misfit boys closed in 2013 due to an inability to meet strict state building codes. Afterward, the family wanted to re-purpose the property, but continue to make people feel safe and joyful.
"He said, 'Hey, maybe we can make this into a retreat," Blake said.
What followed is Tall Timbers Retreat, a place for all sorts of fun events.
"Family reunions, birthday parties, weddings, business meetings," Blake said. "We have people inquiring to come here nearly every day. Even booking out to 2016."
Extensive improvements inside and out have been made to three cabins.
"We can sleep up to fifty people comfortably," Robin Arrant said. "Each of the cabins are conveniently connected by a covered hallway which makes it wonderful if the weather is bad. Each of the families can go back and forth and visit with one another."
The couple is particularly proud of a facility that can serve as sleeping overflow or a party house.
"Here we are in the dance hall and this dance hall is huge," Blake said. "It's 2600 square feet. Big, open facility. Obviously, it's heated and cooled."
Other entertainment keeps in mind the hometown patrons.
"We offer here pony parties and just horse riding lessons, breaking of the horses," Blake said.
Tall Timbers Retreat is serving out of town visitors to East Texans who like the idea of staycations.
"I'm really excited to be a business owner here now," Blake said.
Tall Timbers Retreat marketing catchline is, 'We provide the location...you provide the imagination.'
Tall Timbers Retreat is on FM 1275, five miles from the Nacogdoches South loop. It has its own website. We'll provide a link at ktre.com.