Gaston’s White River Resort Offers New Ozark Limo Ride
Jill M. Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
Limousine rides evoke the idea of a large luxurious vehicle often used for special occasions. And that’s just what you’ll get on the new Ozark Limo Ride offered at Gaston’s White River Resort in Lakeview, albeit an outdoor version.
The new “limo ride” is on a 16-foot John Deere cotton wagon pulled by a tractor. Gaston’s purchased the 1940s wagon chassis in Blytheville, Ark. especially for this new offering. Then restaurant manager Keith Larson and bartender Troy Campbell built the seating area from pine.
The wagon seats up to 20 people. Riders are taken on a four-mile, round-trip excursion through the Riverside Nature Trail area at the western end of the property with a stop at the Riverside Pavilion. At the pavilion the group can roast hot dogs over campfires, and then make S’mores. The driver attends to the fire and assists with the food. Gaston’s serves bottled water, but you can bring your own cooler of beverages if you desire. The lighted pavilion has tables and is also used for the Gaston’s shore lunch for anglers.
The limo ride is appropriate for children six and older, teenagers and adults. Groups primarily made up children under the age of 12 must have one adult for every five children. It lasts about two hours and is ideal for families, scouts, school and church groups. “We can do birthday parties, wedding parties, company parties, family reunions, bachelor and bachelorette parties,” says Larson.
He adds that he intends to offer a longer trip around a pond on the property. And, Larson works with groups to create more specialized menus as well. “They can do anything that they can dream up, I suppose,” he says. “Hot dogs and S’mores to steaks and lobster tail if they want.”
A minimum of 15 people is required for the ride, or if you have less than 15 in your group the minimum is still charged. For the basic food and ride package, the cost is $20 per person plus tax for adults and $15 per person plus tax for children ages 6-12. Multiple limo rides for large groups are available. Groups over 100 require special scheduling. Trips are offered year round, and reservations are required by calling 870-431-5203. For more information on Gaston’s visit www.gastons.com.
Gaston's White River Resort began in 1958 when Al Gaston purchased 20 acres of White River frontage with six small cottages and six boats. Today, under the ownership of Al’s son Jim for more than 50 years now, the resort covers more than 400 acres with two miles of river frontage, and has 79 cottages ranging in size from two double beds and a bathroom to a two-story cottage with ten private bedrooms. The resort’s airstrip has grown from 1800 feet to 3200 feet. The six boats are now over 70, and with a massive state-of-the-art dock to hold them all. The years have brought a restaurant, private club, gift shop, tennis court, playground, swimming pool, duck pond, game room, conference center, and two nature trails.