Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay: The Homestead at 3218 is a clothing-optional members-only retreat exclusively for gay & bi men located on a private cattle ranch in rural Crawford, Texas, near Waco. Mark Mattlage and Rob Snowden, a gay couple for 36 years and married since February 2014, opened this venue on May 20, 2016. The first phase of the retreat covers about two acres and features a two-story Pool House containing five fully-furnished rooms with private baths and full kitchens; an 18′ x 36′ heated swimming pool; free onsite parking; and a Rec Center. The latter is where all new and returning members check-in at the Reception Desk each time they visit. The building provides members with a video and game lounge; drink vending machine; clothes lockers; personal items lockers; a steam room; large, open shower room and restroom facilities; a bunk room with six roll away beds and lockers; seven hostel-style sleeping cubicles; and an outdoor patio surrounded by a high-fence. Other retreat amenities include free WiFi and select DIRECTV channels in the suites. The first floor Pool House suites are wheelchair-accessible and accept small dogs 25 lbs. and under. The retreat’s second phase, scheduled for completion later this year, will encompass an additional three acres accommodating about fifteen RV/travel trailer pad sites with utility connections and a central waste dump station and approximately ten primitive camp sites. It also includes transforming an existing farm tool shed into a bar & grill serving three meals daily. Mattlage and Snowden started planning their retreat after studying gay get-away venues – both clothing-optional and not – across North America. They decided since nothing quite like their envisioned venue existed in Texas that they’d create it on a portion of the 187-acre ranch they own in the Central Texas area near Waco. This married couple plans to add more member amenities beyond those offered in the first two phases of The Homestead at 3218’s development.