A proposed new campground for West Hants aims to add a touch of glamour to outdoor vacations.
Tiffany Wild and her husband David Martin recently moved to the municipality with the dream of creating a ‘glamping’ experience for visitors.
“It’s technically a campground because they don’t have any other term,” says Wild, of Natura Wilderness Resort.
“Glamping is so new to Canada. It’s pretty big in Europe and Great Britain… They’ve been doing it for a few years.”
But it’s beginning to catch on in the United States and Canada as well.
“Right now, in Canada, I would say B.C. and Quebec are the ones who are pioneering the glamping industry at the moment,” said Martin.
So how does glamping differ from traditional camping?
“Glamourous camping is where the word comes from,” said Wild.
“It’s like camping but with all the amenities that you get at a hotel.”
Wild, who had experience helping her father run Wild Nature Campground in Shubenacadie, said when
an 80-acre property off Lynch Road in Newport Corner became available last year, they jumped at the chance to start their own business.
“West Hants is awesome. It’s a great location,” said Wild, noting the area’s proximity to Halifax and the Annapolis Valley and the potential for tourism.
“We wanted something home-based. It just met all the criteria for what we wanted to do,” added Martin, who is originally from Quebec.
Since purchasing the property in September, the couple have been slowly working their way through the necessary steps to open their business.
A public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. April 9 in West Hants’ council chambers to allow for a development agreement. If second reading is approved, it will be forwarded to the provincial government for final ministerial approval.
Wild said one of the biggest complaints she’s heard about people going camping is the lack of privacy. That won’t be the case at Natura Wilderness Resort.
The business plan is to start off with eight camp sites, each one having a timber frame fitted with a canvas tent.
“There is going to be a fair distance between them so you shouldn’t be able hear your neighbours too much. It’ll be pretty quiet,” said Martin.
The majority will have their own flushing toilets and hot showers, though three tents will have a communal bathroom area. There will be solar electricity, and each room will be decorated. Fresh linens will adorn the queen-sized bed, and towels, dishware and firewood will be provided.
“In essence, it’s a hotel room. It’s everything you get in a hotel room but in the woods,” said Wild.
The couple say glamping is a far cry from ‘roughing it’ in the wilderness.
“We won’t be able to offer Wi-Fi this year, but we will be looking to do that in the future.”
The property, which was once home to a sled dog racing business, boasts about eight kilometres of trails, which Martin said they’re working on getting groomed and keeping well-maintained for guests.
The owners are hoping to open Natura Wilderness Resort in time for Canada Day and said the community support they’ve received to date has been amazing.
Wild and Martin said glamping will appeal to a wide variety of people — from nature lovers to urbanites — and say they are pleased to be contributing to the region’s tourism industry.
“There will be tourists from out of province, out of country, but also just people on staycations and from different areas,” said Wild.
“It’s for people who want to get out of the city or their general routines and escape a little bit,” said Martin.