Revive 66 Campground closes less than four years after opening

The nonprofit organization that opened the Revive 66 Campground in Springfield, Missouri, has closed it permanently less than four years after opening it.

Revive 66, at 3839 W. Chestnut Expressway, shuttered on April 22, reported the Springfield News-Leader after the Gathering Tree opened it in early 2021. Gathering Tree operates tiny-home communities for the homeless.

During a press conference held at Eden Village I on Thursday, Chief Visionary Officer Nate Schlueter said The Gathering Tree decided to close the campground to better focus its time and resources on the construction of three more Eden Village locations in Springfield. The Gathering Tree’s hope is to complete or be in the midst of constructing its fifth tiny home community by 2029. […]

The Gathering Tree will save about $100,000 per year by closing the campground, Schlueter said on Thursday.

On an average, not-below-freezing night, Schlueter said Revive 66 Campground served about 20 individuals. In total, since its opening in February 2021, the campground operated 30,128 nights of sleep.

The Springfield Daily Citizen also reported other details about the closing:

At the press conference, Schlueter was asked if there was a specific incident that led to the campground’s closure. He responded, “absolutely not.”

“It had nothing to do with staffing. We are proud of the work our campground coordinator has done over the last several years,” he said. […]

According to Schlueter, the Gathering Tree’s leadership came up with the idea for the Revive 66 Campground in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when there was a need for shelter options with social distancing. […]

By all accounts, the concept was not perfect. The solar-powered campers proved difficult to heat when temperatures dipped below freezing. Staffing issues led to the campground closing on the weekends.

Revive 66 Campground initially offered tiny, solar-powered teardrop campers for rent to anyone — including homeless people — for $10 a night. Tents weren’t allowed because the property was an all-asphalt lot.

It wasn’t clear how many Route 66 tourists used the tiny campers for overnight lodging. A total of 14 Google reviews had an average rating of 4.4 out of 5, which is quite good.

Schlueter said Gathering Tree intends to donate the campground land to a local nonprofit. He said Revive 66 Campground had a total of 71 units, including teardrop trailers and small sheds. It will keep 10 trailers but may also donate the remaining 61 to a local nonprofit.

(Image of the tiny trailers at the Revive 66 Campground in Springfield, Missouri, via its website)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.