When Charles Rateliff first rode his horse over the 580 acres he had recently purchased, he could not believe his good fortune. Hidden behind the overgrown pastures, neglected fence rows, dilapidated outbuildings and abundance of blackberry thickets, he discovered acres of hardwood forests, small lakes, year-round live streams, numerous springs and an abundance of wildlife. With the growth of Northwest Arkansas, he had assumed such undisturbed Ozark wilderness was no longer available. It became apparent that this property was a special place and that it warranted a much more meaningful result. Combining many years of business experience with the Wal-Mart corporate world and a lifetime of of love and respect for Mother Nature, the idea for The Cabins at Big Springs was born.
“Never before have I felt such a deep responsibility and stewardship attached to developing such a place,” Charles says. From the beginning the question was “How do we do this, and how do we do it right?” This led to the motto of “less is more”. Less disturbance, less cabin sites, less pressure on the land, less wildlife impact means more natural settings, more undisturbed common areas, more natural vegetation, more wildlife. For many years, Charles has been dedicated to the conservation efforts of organizations such as Ducks Unlimited, Quail Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
In 2008, Lubbock native Jerry Hale, a retired businessman from West Texas, spent one night at one of The Cabins. After that night, he knew he wanted to be part of this development. “My wife Susanna and I were looking for a retreat in the mountains of New Mexico or Colorado, but when we saw what The Cabins at Big Springs had, and the quiet beauty of Northwest Arkansas, we found exactly what we were looking for.” Charles and Jerry believe that their current experience with private development, fund management and private equity investments are great attributes to bring to The Cabins at Big Springs. More importantly, their vision, dedication, sensitivity and proactive environmentalism are what make The Cabins at Big Springs a very special place.
The past fall, the Coleman Team Wal-Mart had the pleasure of visiting The Cabins for an off-site team meeting. We were pleasantly surprised at the level of amenities The Cabins had to offer. The setting is beautiful, comfortable, warm and best of all, remote. The perfect setting for team building. I only wished we had planned to stay longer.
“We bought our cabin at The Cabins at Big Springs in February, 2015. I am not a hunter but I love the country, woods, and am in favor of all efforts to preserve our environment. I also love art and have made several trips during the previous years from my home in Kansas City to Bentonville, to visit Crystal Bridges Museum, a world-renowned art gallery. When I found The Cabins at Big Springs, I knew it was a perfect fit for my outdoors and my art interests–plus a fit for my life-long dream of owning a log cabin. I was sold by the philosophy behind the development, the gated community, the quality cabin, the hiking trails, the lake and picnic area, and the ability to make a quick trip to Crystal Bridges. Also, it is only 3 1/2 hours from my primary home in Kansas City, so the perfect distance for a peaceful get-away home. I look forward to the future and the continued development at The Cabins.”