b'OWNERS PERSPECTIVE nBY RON BARGERWedding Destination NatureFocused on weddings, Nature also offers glamping accommodations.Offers Glamping on the Side Editors note: This will be part of an ongoing24 canvas camping tents and two large glamping series where Woodalls Campground Magazinetents. The small tents go for $100 per night, with catches up with park owners from around thethe larger tents getting $180. The facility does not country and gets business updates to gain a bet- accommodate RV camping due to local township ter picture of the types of issues park owners areregulations. confronting. Camping is a side business for us, Bryan Nature is located in the rolling hills of North- said. Our main business is events right now, but west Michigans Leelanau Peninsula vacationwe\'re moving toward accommodations to support area. Its a great example of a unique businessthat business. Our camping may actually be an in-model that encompasses destination weddingsterim project. It\'s not something we\'re doing long and events, with tent and cabin glamping. Simplyterm. Corporate retreats, weddings, family re- People\'s businesses and supply chains wont fulfill branded Nature, a Michigan Retreat, the 78-acreunions, stuff like that are taking up the focus. the promises that they make. Whether its for ma-destination resort features a large gathering andWith one other silent investor, the Cloningersterials or supplies or whatever, thats a huge prob-event facility coined The Great Nest that offershave committed a significant investment since thelem. Getting supplies is a pretty serious problem.its event attendees a modern, minimalistic palettevenues inception just five years ago. If a supplier of drinks, food or other assets es-from which to craft unique weddings and retreats.It\'s a $4 million resort, Bryan shared. Thesential to the event cant make it, it effects his cus-Co-owners and managers of the resort, Bryannew lodge is $2 million. It\'s pretty fancy. We havetomer satisfaction index. To defend against this and Emma Cloninger, found the untouched prop- incorporated food service into the mix now, andreality he has to plan far in advance. erty surrounded by the beauty of Northern Michi- we added more, little sanctuary spots in theIts affecting our reviews, our reputation andto maintain than having to wet vac and broom out gan just three years agowoods. There are various ceremony spots also forour brand, Bryan said. Because basically, now Itents. Tents are labor intensive. It takes me over and since then have beenweddings. It\'s our third year, so we\'re still just try- can promise nothing. If it shows up, its here. Andfive hours to flip the whole property after an event.fullybooked.Theytolding to get everything tuned in that we have donethen the clients who expect to be served, under- Bryan uses Davis Tent for the glamping portion WoodallsCampgroundfrom the beginning. standably, dont understand it. Theyre like, Welland handmade canvas tents for the camping.Magazine(WCM)theyThe venue currently has a packed schedule ofpay for it. You got to have it. and I have to sayThe cabins he plans to expand with are based knew the area was perfectweddings and events due to a pent-up COVIDsorry, it doesnt work like that at this point in time." off his own design and will be manufactured lo-for couples, families andbacklog.For the future, as he begins to back off the pent- cally.adventurersseekingtoNormally, we do 20 weddings but this year,up demand for weddings, there are plans for moreWere doing a custom cabin design, he con-build memories and tradi- we\'re doing 42, Bryan noted.permanent accommodations.cluded. Its a very contemporary design. Its re-Bryan & Emma Cloninger tions, while soaking in theDealing with the COVID mask restrictions hasId like to convert to year-round accommoda- sistant to weather and bad situations. It has a lot restorative beauty of the Leelanau Peninsula nearbeen a challenge, especially with the varied per- tions that are all cabins and little houses. Bryanof ant-viral, anti-COVID kind of planning involved Glenn Arbor, Mich. ception of the people attending events. explained. I cant staff to take care of and managewith it, so that the cabins can be sterilized between Like many other camping resorts around thePeople are very polarized and its mostly po- tents as well. Thats gotten me some pretty baduses.country, Bryan stated that labor shortages de- litically driven, he said frankly. But the biggestreviews and there is basically nothing in my powerTolearnmoreaboutthispark,headto layed the start of its season in 2021. Nature hasproblem is labor. You can\'t find people to work.that I can do to solve it. Little cabins will be easierwww.naturemichigan.com. WCM 16 November 2021Woodalls Campground Magazine'