By Wayne Schutsky
Known primarily for peaches, hayrides and fresh produce, Queen Creek’s Schnepf Farms is now branching out with the town’s first overnight accommodations.
The new offering is called The Cozy Peach – a reference to the farm’s status as the largest peach grower in Arizona – and features eight vintage trailers guests can rent from Wednesday through Sunday.
As the first overnight accommodations in Queen Creek, The Cozy Peach will be the first business to contribute lodging tax, also called bed tax, to the town. Queen Creek first adopted a bed tax during farm owner Mark Schnepf’s tenure as mayor.
“Back in the 1990s when I was mayor, we knew there would be a day when hotels and accommodations would come to Queen Creek, though we thought it would be sooner,” he said.
He added, “I am happy to pay the bed tax, and I am hopeful that the town will take that (money) and future bed tax collections to promote tourism in Queen Creek.”
Schnepf said that the farm receives more than 250,000 visitors a year, most of whom come from out of town.
“We were working on a concept for a hotel on the farm for several years but couldn’t put it together,” Schnepf said.
He said that his wife Carrie Schnepf came up with the idea to go in the direction of “glamping,” a relatively new branch of hospitality that combines camping with resort-style amenities.
The trailers include Airstreams, Spartans and Silver Streaks from the 1940s through 1970s that are on the 300-acre Schnepf Farm site. The couple bought the first trailer more than a year ago and has spent the intervening months renovating them with a licensed contractor they have on staff.
“Some of them were pretty rough (when we bought them),” Mark Schnepf said.
Though no one will confuse The Cozy Peach for a Hilton or Marriott, the Schnepfs spent considerable time and money turning the vintage trailers into high-end accommodations. They feature flat-screen televisions and plush bedding and also include private bonfires and barbecues.
Each trailer cost between $5,000 and $10,000 and a substantial investment was made to renovate them.
The farm will offer “trailer service,” similar to a hotel’s room service, and have breakfast or lunch delivered right to their trailers.
Guests will have the opportunity to explore the farm on rentable Schwinn bicycles and pick fresh vegetables at the UPICK Organic Garden or order a picnic basket from the farm bakery.
“It’s the perfect fit here on the farm,” Mark Schnepf said.