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The Mihailides At Their Luxurious Outdoor Haven In Rhode Island.
Discover how Fieldsport Journal spotlights The Preserve Resort & Spa, blending luxury with outdoor adventures.
The path of the fieldsports enthusiast doesn’t often lead to the lap of luxury. One is far more likely to be found crawling through a bog in the Scottish Highlands for the promise of a stag, or layering up in preparation for a long morning out on the moors. Chamois call us to rocky outcrops, trout to wind-swept burns, and duck to the frozen saltmarshes. None of these can be called luxurious, even though we may think of them as home.

Between these excursions, however, those moments when we can mix fieldsports with family are just as precious – and it’s for these times that the Preserve Sporting Club in Rhode Island was born. Set across more than 3,500 acres of natural landscapes, the resort is a remarkable holiday destination for British hunters, where you can be shooting driven pheasants in the morning, popping at clays with the kids in the afternoon, and relaxing in a spa retreat with your partner in the evening.

Paul Mihailides, the entrepreneur who dreamed up this venture, grew up in the state to Greek national parents. He was determined that the Club would be somewhere that welcomed multiple generations, providing them with entertainment, great food and wine, and, most importantly, access to the great outdoors.

“My mother, and best friend, always inspired me,” Paul says. “She would say: if you can dream it and believe in it whole-heartedly, anything is possible. And I did: I dreamed it, I believed it, and I executed it. This place has been built around creating memories that last a lifetime with the ones you love, your family, your dog, and whoever is special to you. The Preserve can be enjoyed for multiple generations. My priority at the resort is the happiness of our members and guests; the joy that it brings their families.

“For me, success is measured by the love of my family and my few friends who I call family. I am so fortunate that all my kids are involved in the business in some way, and also like shooting sports. My wife is more into shooting pistols at the range, but it’s nice that we all have our different passions – it kind of what makes it fun, you know?

“What we strive for at The Preserve is enjoyment of the outdoors and conservation for future generations. I believe that it’s such an important thing to do with your kids. You can tease each other and have a laugh, but you always leave with a sense of exhilaration because no matter what you can’t have a bad round of shooting clays.”

As a boy, Paul lived in a tenement community, but as a young teenager, he and his peers earned money picking vegetables at the local farm and was introduced to hunting rabbits by one of the farmers. “I was actually pretty young when he first let me shoot his Savage side-by-side. Self-praise is no praise, but I was always a pretty good shot. They started to invite me out and we would hunt rabbits and woodcock on the farm after work.

“These experiences have given me a real love for the outdoors. It became a hugely significant part of my life and is a place I find immense solace. Every place I go to hunt becomes a new favourite place. I’ve been fishing and shooting all over the world and no matter where I am it is just the most beautiful thing. I like to hunt bear and whitetail deer, but I think my favourite thing is to hunt elk. I also love wing shooting due to the diversity of bird species, whether that’s pheasant, chukar, or turkeys in Florida.

When Paul was 13 years old, he discovered a love for carpentry, and got a job earning 75 cents an hour. Even at a young age, he realized that he could make far more money if he embarked on a venture of his own, and managed to get a mortgage for an $11,000 home, which he renovated and flipped in several months for $17,000, which seemed like a better option. From that beginning, he grew from general contractor to developer, and now his company oversees more than a billion dollars of construction.

“Part of my business success is down to the fact that everything I do is vertically integrated into my main business. The business I have built over the years now owns our own piping supply company, our own excavation company, our own electrical and plumbing companies. I’m always excited at new business ideas, but with a focus on how it develops my construction and development of companies. I also invest in yachts, fine guns (FAMARS) and knives, which plays into my other passions.”

Another reason behind The Preserve’s success is their quest to align themselves with the best in every industry. This has led to partnerships with brands such as Bentley, Orvis, and Maker’s Mark; a premium dealership with Rigby, Blaser, and Beretta; and arestaurant with renowned US chef David Burke.

For shooters, The Preserve

SOURCE: The Fieldsports Journal – Benjamin Palfreyman