Private landowners and state parks go glamping

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You don’t have to know how to repel a bear to glamp. You don’t even need any camping gear. Glamping is where luxury and nature meet and sip tea together. The self-defining coat rack bridges the glamorous amenities associated with typical getaways – starting with a comfy bed and overhead shelter – places guests in nature, with no sleeping bag or tent needed .

Last year’s lockdown in the state and strict social distancing rules enacted to keep people safe have made glamping sites popular vacation destinations for New Yorkers who feel like getting away from home. them – but not too far.

“Last year was our busiest time ever,” says Laura Sink, founder of Germantown glamping site Gatherwild Ranch, which opened in 2016. “There has probably been an increase in 30% of our stuff although I think it would have been even more important if we had WiFi here and it could have been a working option from the campsite.

Sink is one of the many glamping hosts who have opened up their Hudson Valley fields and meadows to explorers keen to disconnect from gadgets and connect with nature and their non-digital inner selves. Her 15-acre property, which also has an on-site vintage store, was built from the ground up by Sink and her husband Paul Jacobsen, a talented carpenter and builder, and professional artist.

The vibe is artist-chic Brooklyn meets “Treehouse Masters”. The unique shelters – a mix of A-frames, bell tents, plus a guesthouse and caravan cabin – all feature comfy Queen beds, locally made Adirondack chairs and tables, and artwork. vintage art, vintage rugs, a private bathroom, and extra camp beds for the kids. . But it’s not just a fun project, Sink explains, it’s his passion and his business. Rates for potential campers fluctuate depending on the time of year, but typically start around $ 175 for an overnight stay on weekdays.

“We see ourselves as a farm stay,” says Sink. “We have goats, chickens, ducks, an acre vegetable and herb garden. Families or individuals can stay in one of our four tents or our four cabins, hike, picnic, feed the animals, enjoy bonfires and gaze at the stars. People come here to relax and spend time with nature, and unplugging is one of them.

Not everyone has the know-how to create a personalized glamping property. For potential hosts who have the space, but not the time or skills to erect viable sleeping and bathing structures on their own land, Tentrr makes it easy to create a rustic glamping site right in their backyard ( if your neighborhood zoning regulations allow it, of course).

At Hacienda Don Pedro in Shawangunk, Tentrr made it easy to turn a working farm into a farm stay. The company grew twelve-fold last year and now has 75 private Tentrr sites in the Hudson Valley.

Hacienda Don Pedro

Their “camp in style” service offers guests a fully equipped campsite, including the delivery and professional installation of a bespoke platform, Class A canvas tent, queen bed, side storage tables, an Adirondack table, a picnic table, benches, CampBox, retractable dome tent, compostable toilets, outdoor solar shower, fireplace, metal grill and more. It also includes $ 2 million general liability insurance and 24/7 customer and host support, for $ 6,500 per configuration.

The company was founded by former investment banker Michael D’Agostino in 2015, with the aim of introducing a new way for rural plot owners to create secluded and luxurious camping experiences for guests. Unsurprisingly, Tentrr experienced stratospheric growth during the pandemic, a year in which glamping checked all safe but elusive travel boxes.

“Over the past year, Tentrr has grown to 12 times its original size,” said Todd King, vice president of marketing and communications. “This includes the number of guests and the number of new CampKeepers or hosts interested in deploying a Tentrr site on their land. The increase in bookings alone has been multiplied by seven. “

Locally, King says his properties in the Hudson Valley have grown to 75 private Tentrr sites and 45 sites in local state parks, as part of a new initiative that began in 2019, in which Tentrr has started managing part of the state campground sites. Currently, they are in 40 state parks across the country, and this is the first year they have managed sites in New York State Parks, including the Sebago and Silver Mine areas in the park. Harriman State Park in Orange and Rockland Counties, Taconic State Park and Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County, and Mills-Norrie State Park in Dutchess County. Like its private hosts Tentrr, the campgrounds keep the bulk of the booking fee, in this case 80%.

“Since the inception of the company, growth in the Hudson Valley region has been tremendous,” King wrote via email, adding that the New York-based company “sees the number of sites increasing every year. “.


For Tentrr hosts David and Mia Serrano, of the new family farm and glamping facility Hacienda Don Pedro in Shawangunk, the company has made it very easy to use their land as a Tentrr site.

“It took us about a month from start to finish between us and them who go to the site, inspect it and build the two tents,” says Mia, adding that Tentrr also provided them with tables and chairs. “We upgraded the cabins with carpeting, vintage decorations and wind chimes, but they really made it easy for us to get started quickly. They have a reservation platform, so they basically drive customers to us, and they take 20 percent of each rental.

Tentrr now offers 45 sites in four New York State parks in the Hudson Valley.  The arrangement is the same as revenue sharing with private hosts: the parks keep 80 percent of the reservation fee.

Tentrr now offers 45 sites in four New York State parks in the Hudson Valley. The arrangement is the same as revenue sharing with private hosts: the parks keep 80 percent of the reservation fee.

Tentrr

The Serranos also reached out to Hipcamp, an Airbnb-style platform that connects campers with hosts. But unlike Tentrr, David says Hipcamp only provides an SEO service, without the build.

“We’ve been pretty well booked since our partnership with Tentrr, but we haven’t had any foot traffic from Hipcamp yet,” he says. (Hipcamp did not respond to Times Union: Hudson Valley interview request at press time.)

At Hacienda Don Pedro, visitors have a camping and farming experience.

“We have 10.5 acres, two of which are forested,” says Mia. “The property is quite wild, with plum, apple and pear trees, as well as three sheep, four goats and 36 laying hens. We practice all-natural regenerative agriculture and we have many projects, including rebuilding our pond with live fish. “

They are also in a research and development partnership with Cornell Agricultural Extension and the New York Department of Agriculture. They are allowed to grow hemp for animal bedding, grains, and hemp seed oil, and eventually they hope to get a cannabis license so they can grow and distribute cannabis from the Hacienda Don. Pedro.

Meanwhile, David and Mia are “gifting” their guests cannabis, now that recreational use and possession of small amounts are legal in New York City. “I like to leave joints on people’s pillows,” says David.

For an overnight stay, rates start at $ 140. For the sanitary facilities, there are porta-pots. For showers, guests have access to that of the Serranos’ house. For glampers who want a more immersive experience (and a little more weed), the Serranos offer Tomahawk Throwing, a bundle of handmade cannabis cookies, cannabis yoga, S’mores kits, and tent dinners. .

“Our vision is to give people a truly relaxing, comfortable and inspiring experience in nature,” explains David. “We have a bit of everything here: the woods, a farm, the stars, the campfire experience at night. And while a traditional campsite would offer the same surrounding benefits, it would be a lot more work for customers. “We take relaxation very seriously,” he said.

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