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Meet Jill Spevacek of Pinecrest Retreat in Julian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jill Spevacek.

Jill, please share your story with us.
Pinecrest Retreat was started in 1961 as a place for the employees of Convair to recreate. Convair was a division of General Dynamics (a San Diego aerospace company). In its heyday, Pinecrest had over 400 site holders. General Dynamics Convair was sold in 1993 and Pinecrest Retreat went into private ownership. In 2003 part of the Park was burned in the Cedar Fire and needed clean up and restoration.

In 2005, Kathleen Rosenow and Frank Spevacek (my parents) purchased the Park. There were less than 100 siteholders at that time. My husband (Wilson) and I joined the workforce in 2012 to spearhead more renewal projects. Our first project was hard labor — renovating the Clubhouse and pool area. We liked the freedom of working for ourselves and the challenge of bettering the Park. We have stayed on and expanded visiting opportunities by adding overnight rental trailers, hook-up sites, and tenting. Wilson is very knowledgeable in construction and I have learned many new skills with each year of working at Park. We continue to work towards our goal of making Pinecrest Retreat an escape to nature for our site holders and the public to enjoy.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Pinecrest is an old park that has been managed by many hands. There is no blueprint of the Park and we are constantly discovering new things. It has been a process by trial and error to understand how the place is stitched together.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Pinecrest Retreat – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Pinecrest Retreat is a Vintage Trailer Park that offers annual leased sites for personal travel-trailers. We are located outside of Julian, Ca on 80 acres of oak, pine, and cedar forest. Our prized gem is our Junior Olympic sized swimming pool that is heated by solar and located in the center of the Park. We hold a variety of events at the pool from potlucks, outdoor movies, to live music. Overlooking the pool is our fleet of vintage trailer rentals each decorated with its own unique look. We recently renovated an onsite A-Frame cabin with plans to rent it as an intimate gathering area for small retreats such as family reunions or corporate team building.

We are unique in that we offer people an opportunity to have a spot in the mountains without having to purchase a second home. We encourage our site holders to express their personality and to make their site their own. Our site holders have access to their site 365 days of the year; in winter site holders can enjoy snowfall and in July the hot summer nights in the pool. Many of the original trailers from 1960s still exist at the Park so we have built on this and cater mainly to vintage trailers. Walk around Pinecrest Retreat and you go back in time. A variety of classic American travel trailers are eye-candy to all who visit.

Most importantly Pinecrest provides a community for people who like to be outdoors and mix with people they otherwise may never meet. Site holders vary from retired folks whose kids played at Pinecrest and now have grandchildren carrying on the tradition, to young families who are first exposing their children to mountain living, to singles who write, read and create. They are white and blue collar, rich and poor, many shades of skin color, Republicans and Democrats, believers and non-believers, and most importantly people who love nature and meeting people around a campfire.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
We are in the process of refurbishing our final weekend rental unit – nicknamed La Hacienda. La Hacienda is actually two trailers, a 1964 Boles Aero will serve as the living room/kitchen and it will be accompanied by a 1950s Airstream for the bedroom. They will be connected by a large family-sized deck with a fire pit and outdoor seating area.

And maybe we will start taking credit cards…

Pricing:

  • Annual site holder fees $2,500 a year for a site with electrical/water, $1,800 for a site with just water
  • Overnight vintage trailer rentals vary from $100 to $180 a night
  • Overnight hook ups $50 a night for water and electrical hook ups
  • Overnight tenting $40 a night

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Julie Pruitt

    November 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    I love this camping retreat, it is a very cool place! The pool area is my favorite for relaxing. Such beautiful views and very comfortable chaise lounge chairs to rest and read upon. Friendly personnel, occupants and a well stocked snack bar to keep the party going. My son and I were guests last year, did some tent camping, we had a great time, built fires, roasted marshmallows, went bike riding and swimming. Being so close to Julian, we enjoyed activities and shopping, and dining at their various restaurants. Would love to return to rent a trailer some time. It’s a great place for families to gather.

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