The Evergreen Resort in Clam Lake Township (Michigan), owned by Karl Thomas, has ambitious plans for an undeveloped part of the property along 41 Road.
The proposal includes the construction of a “glamping” campground and a hotel.
The resort’s vision for the site includes a high-end forested new resort with full hookups for RVs, a shower house, and a 4-5 story hotel with a top-floor restaurant overlooking Lake Cadillac.
The hotel is estimated to cost $10 million, is self-funded, and is hoped to be completed by the following year.
The existing hotel facilities at the Evergreen Resort are outdated, with a septic system that is deteriorating. During the meeting, they also mentioned that the future of the existing Evergreen Hotel will be decided at a later date.
The proposal has been met with resistance from the local community, with concerns about noise, pollution, and increased traffic. The planning commission unanimously voted against the rezoning request necessary for the project to proceed.
As per a market report from Grand View Research, the global glamping market size was USD 2.73 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.2% from 2023 to 2030.
The same report also states that the global glamping market size is anticipated to reach USD 5.93 billion by 2030, expanding at a CAGR of 10.2% during the forecast period.
Despite the setback, the Evergreen Resort owners invited several community members to discuss their plans for the site.
The first stage of the development would be the glamping site, which would include 32 luxury camping spots complete with water, sewer, and electric.
The second stage would be the hotel, which would be four to five stories high, containing up to 100 rooms. It would also feature a rooftop bar/restaurant overseeing Lake Cadillac, banquet facilities, a lounge with a fireplace, an indoor pool, a hot tub, and a sauna.
The proposed Evergreen Resort development provides a valuable case study for private campground owners and glamping business operators who are considering expansion or diversification of their businesses.
Given the rapidly evolving glamping industry, such ambitious projects can potentially bring significant revenue.
As outdoor enthusiasts seek more comfortable and luxurious camping options, developments like these could fill the gap, offering modern amenities while still keeping the essence of traditional camping.
However, the initial rejection by the planning commission at Clam Lake Township also serves as a critical reminder to these stakeholders about the importance of securing community support and necessary permits before embarking on such expansive projects.
Community concerns about environmental impact, noise, and increased traffic are legitimate and commonplace. Hence, business operators must incorporate comprehensive impact assessment and mitigation strategies into their plans. Open communication with local residents and cooperation with municipal authorities are critical to achieving this goal.
The Evergreen Resort’s development underscores the importance of differentiating a glamping business in a competitive market.
The planned luxury amenities and the location’s natural beauty are unique selling propositions that can attract customers looking for an extraordinary outdoor experience. Glamping business operators can take cues from this and strategically incorporate unique elements that set their sites apart and appeal to their target market’s preferences.