EAST JORDAN, Mich. (CBS Detroit) – “It’s still happening” — if just a bit delayed.
That’s the word on Michigan’s first glampground, Bella Solviva, which will be located on a 229-acre property near Torch Lake, northeast of Traverse City, in Northern Michigan.READ MORE: Whitmer Tours Eastern Michigan University Vaccination Clinic
Since Bella Solviva began taking reservations last year, developer Brad Carlson says there has been “tremendous interest” in the project — with more than 1.3 million hits to the website advertising a glamorous, posh, luxury or boutique camping experience they’re calling “the new Up North.”
They’d hoped to be in business last September, but Carlson said the new target is 2017.
“We’ve been forced to push off our opening until next spring. Engineering and permitting has just slowed things down beyond when we had hoped,” he said in an interview with CBS Detroit on Monday.
Billed as first-of-its-kind “comfy camping eco resort” the plan is for Bella Solviva to feature up to a dozen different types of unique accommodations. These may include tree houses, safari tents, hobbit huts, vintage RVs, B&B suites and cabins — some with king-size beds — and even a themed area in the style of the 1970s TV show M*A*S*H.
Unfortunately, nothing has been built yet.READ MORE: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
“We had hoped to start building last fall — and things just didn’t happen. At this time there’s stakes all over the ground and sites are laid out, but there hasn’t been any actual construction done,” Carlson said.
After online surveys gave them an idea of what types of accommodation people want, Carlson said construction on the first tree house modules will begin shortly. “So it’s going to come together very quickly through the fall, winter and spring,” he said.
But with such a lofty vision, money is tight. Carlson said, frankly, they could use more and are considering starting a crowd-funding campaign or perhaps bringing in an investor.
Some who booked for this year ended up disappointed.
In a Facebook post, Tami Phillips Martin said she’s waiting for a refund of her $350 deposit after a May, 2016 reservation was rescheduled for September, and then cancelled all together. “What a shame…because I have no doubt that if it ever opens, it will be beautiful!,” she wrote.MORE NEWS: Michigan Reports 9,674 New COVID-19 Cases, 12 Deaths For Sunday And Monday