Longtime Butler County mobile home park cleared to take advantage of coming Spooky Nook

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill construction February 2020

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

In 1955, Hamilton pilot and jack-of-all-trades Virgil Wardlow bought a mobile home park and car salvage lot in St. Clair Twp. and renamed it Airway, for his love of flying.

This month, demolition of the park that was showing its age at 60-plus years began to make way for a rebirth to capitalize on new development.

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The park just outside the Village of New Miami along the railroad tracks on U.S. 127 was purchased by Patriot Holdings last summer, along with land between and including Linda Mobile Park, from Nellie Wardlow, widow of Virgil, who died in 2005.

Most of the mobile homes were vacant, and others were in poor repair, so clearing the way for demolition didn’t take long, according to Jeremiah Boucher, owner of Patriot Holdings.

“I have been buying mobile home parks for over 10 years and have been talking to Nellie over the years,” he said. “Last year she finally decided she wanted to sell.

Crews have demolished and are working to clear the area of the former Airway Mobile Home Park in St. Clair Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
Crews have demolished and are working to clear the area of the former Airway Mobile Home Park in St. Clair Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Patriot Holdings is based in Las Vegas, but Boucher owns parks in Fairfield and near Oxford.

The land was largely cleared by last week, and Boucher said a combination RV park and storage area will take its place.

“In the wooded sections we will do some long term, secured RV storage,” Boucher said. “And there will be spaces for 65 RVs for overnight and or longer stays.”

The camping space will include water, sewer, power, bathrooms, showers and laundry service along with barbecues and tables with awnings, he said.

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Part of the driving force for project was the development of Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill gigantic indoor sports complex and convention center that is estimated to be completed by late 2021 in Hamilton’s North End.

“That really tipped us in this direction to make our decision to redevelop it,” Boucher said.

The park is just a few miles down Ohio 127 to the development, and officials have said they expect to need more places for visitors to stay when coming to events at Spooky Nook.

“We have heard that there is such a lack of overnight housing or hotels, that I think a lot of families may choose camping,” he said. “We believe the RV park will also fill one of the many demands created by Spooky Nook when it is up and running.”

Boucher said plans are to repurpose the iconic black-and-red Airway Mobile Home Park sign that has stood at the entrance for 50 plus years.

Also taken down last week was a building that served most recently as the Airway office, but it was a meat market in the 1980s, according to Mike Shallow, Wardlow’s grandson who is managing the new project.

Nellie Wardlow, now in her 80s, had a “few tears for sure,” when the demolition began, Shallow said, but he added she is thankful to not have to be concerned about he future of the space anymore.

Boucher said the goal is to have at least the first part of the RV park open by August, but total completion will take several more months.

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