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Site work has begun on Garvin’s, an ambitious 965-acre self-described RV mecca on Interstate 65 south of Bowling Green, Ky., that in April was annexed by the city of Franklin.
“The annexation was important because it will allow restaurants and bistros planned for Garvin’s to be able to sell liquor by the drink,” said David B. Garvin, the founder and former chairman of Camping World Inc., Bowling Green, and the driving force behind the Kentucky venture announced in March that carries his name.
“The annexation will change the character of the restaurants that we will be able to attract,” he added. “They will be better than the ones you typically see at an interstate interchange.
“The reaction we’ve gotten from local officials and people who live in the area has been tremendous.”
Estimated to cost more than $53 million, Garvin’s is expected to attract 1.8 million visitors a year and provide up to 800 jobs. It is located on more than a mile of frontage on each side of I-65 about 35 miles north of Nashville, Tenn., and 15 miles south of Bowling Green.
As envisioned, Garvin’s will feature: “free-range” dry camping for RVs for up to 30 days; a permanent 600,000-square-foot trade show and retail supplier exposition; the nation’s largest Camping World store; an expansive service plaza with dump stations; a 250-bay service center manned by RV manufacturers’ technicians; a Museum of Recreational Travel; an IMAX theater; and a track where prospective buyers will be able to test drive motorhomes and towables.