Little River Escape tiny homes

One of the Park Model Homes tiny homes now being marketed in Rome by businessman Ed Watters. The homes are being showcased at 511 Shorter Ave. Watters has purchased approximately 50 acres on Lookout Mountain in Chattooga County to develop a tiny home community with access to the East Fork of Little River. (Doug Walker, RN-T)

Ed Watters’ Little River Escape tiny home community is scheduled to host “The Tiny House Roadshow” crews Friday through Sunday.

The roadshow is a unique opportunity for folks to see the type of trade show activity that generally occurs inside huge arenas and civic center. 

Watters said nine versions of the show have taken place in larger markets all over the country.

The tiny homes at Little River Escape (map), and a few that are not so tiny, are set up on wooded lots between the highway and the Little River near Lake Lahusage between Menlo and Mentone, Alabama.

“We’re able to give people an idea about what the tiny homes will actually look like on a lot, not on a concrete trade show floor,” Watters said.

Dale Geist and his sons Scott and Jesse Geist founded Tiny By Design in 2014.

Interest in his work has exploded with the number of programs that focus on the tiny home industry on HGTV, and cable networks.

Geist realized quickly the tiny home movement isn’t just for millennials seeking a simpler lifestyle. He said they are also growing in attraction for baby boomers who want to downsize. Geist designs tiny houses with first-floor living — no climbing ladders to sleep in a mini-loft — specifically with the baby boomers in mind.

“I reached out to him about doing a booth at their spring show in Cookeville, Tennessee,” Watters said. “He came down and toured my property and he loved the idea about doing a show on location.”

The tiny homes at Little River Escape are as large as 400 square feet, but Geist and his crew will bring in even smaller units that can be towed behind an SUV or pick-up trucks.

“The tiny house movement is one of the hottest trends in America,” said Geist. “It is popular among people from all walks of life. It is a cross-cultural phenomenon that is sweeping the country. The roadshow is for anyone who seeks a simpler, less cluttered life, and also those who are just curious.”

Watters’ Little River Escape has 28 lots, 11 of which are occupied. He is in the process of developing a second Mountain Woods Escape where 18 lots will actually be sold along with tiny homes. Lots in Little River Escape are leased to homeowners.

The trade show will be held at Little River Escape, near Menlo, and will take place Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time each day.

Tickets to the roadshow are $15 each with free admission for children 11 and younger.


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