TRENTON — On Monday, Oct. 22, Colton Sanborn closed down Timberland Acres RV Park for the season and closed on the sale of the 33-year-old business.
“It was a double closing,” he said about his purchase.
After working two seasons at the RV park, located at 57 Bar Harbor Road in Trenton, Sanborn, 23, decided to purchase it, returning to a business familiar to his childhood.
While growing up in Southwest Harbor, Sanborn’s parents owned and operated White Birches Campground on Seal Cove Road.
“I grew up in a campground,” said Sanborn. “The deal’s been 20 months in the making, working out the financing. I had to learn the ins and outs of the campground before purchasing.”
Sanborn, who lives in Seal Cove with his fiancée, Morgan Williams, has been a lieutenant on the Southwest Harbor Volunteer Fire Department for the last three years.
He has spent previous summers working on a lobster boat, but this summer focused mainly on the RV park and working for John Goodwin Jr., a family business.
In 1985, Jimmie and Elizabeth Awalt purchased a parcel on Bar Harbor Road in Trenton to harvest firewood and turned it into a campground, according to Sanborn. More than three decades later and after a few more land purchases in the area, that campground has grown to 35 acres with 200 sites for recreational vehicles, campers, motor homes and tents.
“You name it, we welcome it all,” Sanborn said. “We are offering winter storage. Anything they want to store, as long as they don’t mind it being outside.”
Timberland Acres is open seasonally from May to October. Specific dates in those months are weather-dependent each year. Once the doors open for the season, the action doesn’t stop.
“They’re just about full every single day they’re open,” Sanborn said. “That’s because of Jimmie and Liz’s hard work that they’ve put into it.”
Reservations are already on the books for next season at the RV park “where friendly people meet.”
Visitors to the campground can enjoy the swimming pool, a pavilion, Wi-Fi, a recreation room, two playgrounds, playing horseshoes and shuffleboard, a laundry facility and lots of other hands-on activities. Ice, firewood, propane and supplies are for sale at the park, and next year Sanborn is planning to sell lobsters.
Opening weekend of the 2019 season at Timberland Acres, Sanborn intends to host first responders.
“We’re booking up quick,” he said. “Fourth of July we’re almost full … We have to offer something Walmart can’t.”