Brick’s: From Off-Road Dream to Reality!
“It’s a whole ’nother world, a whole ’nother culture,” says Scott Brickell, who, with father Jay, took the plunge and converted the family homestead into Brick’s 4×4 Farm 2 ½ years ago. (A born multi-tasker, Scott is, additionally, a music industry professional based in the Nashville area. As owner of BrickHouse Entertainment, he manages such acclaimed Contemporary Christian acts as MercyMe and Phil Wickham.)
Now officially known as Brick’s Off-Road Park, the Brickell spread in Poplar Bluff is home to a variety of adrenaline-boosting diversions for the hard-driving SEMO set.
According to its website, the park’s got a “mud pit; a donut field; hill climbs; crawler tracks; an ATV drag strip; and assorted trails” to explore. Visitors might spend the day mudding, racing, or taking in the sights, then perhaps picnicking with family and friends. They might elect to camp out for the weekend, reveling in the ultimate anti-Hilton experience at an unbeatable rate, and close to home.
The impact of the off-road park phenomenon was “something that I didn’t even know about when we first started,” says Scott Brickell. But after much research, “I got together with my dad and said, ‘let’s give it a shot’. I didn’t see our future being in cattle and hay, especially with me being based in Nashville. But this is something we can do for a long time”.
Starting an off-road park was not the first idea the two had come up with for, in Scott Brickell’s words, “making the family farm financially viable”; rather, it represented the end of a lengthy search for a practical use for a farm in need of sweeping change.
It was a private mission to Mississippi, of all things, that put a new course in motion. Brickell and his father had “decided we were going to go to Biloxi and help out with fuel and chainsaws for [Hurricane] Katrina relief”. While traveling, the two were told of a popular Tennessee off-road-vehicle haven; then suddenly, on the highway, they began to really take note of “all these vehicles on these trailers coming out of Birmingham. We were seeing them and thinking, ‘Oh, my goodness!’”.
With a combination of curiosity and excitement, they arranged to meet with the owner of the Tennessee set-up on their return from storm-ravaged Biloxi. He counseled them for two hours on the joys and pitfalls of off-road park ownership.
Jay Brickell knew he could bring together the men and the machines for such a proposition. His son knew he could easily harness the power of the Internet for the bulk of their marketing and community-building objectives.
In short order, the Brickells had a plan for the family farm.
“My dad’s never been afraid to go out and try something new,” says Brickell, whose mother, Ruth Ann, does not share precisely the same level of enthusiasm for Brick’s as the men folk—though her enthusiasm for the domestic aspect of the family operation is, says her son, crucial to its overall success.
“She thinks we’re crazy,” admits Brickell. “She’s very supportive of what Dad and I decided to do, but she’s not exactly in the office taking tickets and selling t-shirts”.
Brick’s Off-Road Park, by all indications, was an idea whose time had come here in the Bluff. The reception’s been stunning from the beginning, and, according to the younger Brickell, “it doesn’t show any signs of stopping”.
* * * * * *
Brick’s has a special 3-day event planned for summer’s end, on the last weekend in August! For details, call 718-7388.