Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Shady Dell & Dot's Diner
In a previous post I told you about our trip to the old mining town of Bisbee, AZ and shopping at their great antique and jewelry stores. This was a must for the ladies...and for the guys as well but for a completely different reason. The fact that the ladies got to "shop a lot" meant that us guys had built up enough "credit" to impose on them to visit a very famous bit of kitsch located in the same town.
The Shady Dell trailer park is Arizona's oldest continuously operated trailer park. Opened in 1927 it has been serving travelers for over 80 years. It didn't start it's life as the Shady Dell though. It had had numerous names over the years and before it became the Shady Dell it was called Snowbird Heaven. In 2004 two entrepreneurs bought the property and turned it into a haven for classic trailers. Even better, they restored these trailers and turned the place into a trailer motel.
Continuing on the theme, the owners purchased a 1957 Valentine diner in California and added it to the property. It's called Dot's Diner and seats a whopping 10 people inside and another 8 outside, so if you want to eat either breakfast or lunch there you'd better come early. Unfortunately, we arrived in late afternoon and the diner was closed.
Ownership changed hands a year or so ago and a young energetic couple now owns and is expanding the place with more classic trailers, a Tiki bus and a 1947 Chris Craft yatch. The Shady Dell is one cool place.
We spent some time talking with the new owners and it was refreshing to see a young couple so involved and excited about their business. The reported that at this time of year, the high season in AZ, they are pretty well booked up for most of the weekends. They extend this kitsch to their private lives as well and have a gorgeous classic Shasta trailer that they use on family outings.
The Shady Dell was one of the must do things I had on my list for the trip and I was not disappointed. Some day I would love to stay overnight in one of their classic trailers! Here's a few more pictures.
Thanks for visiting.