An increased interest in glamping has spurred Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) to develop Terramor Outdoor Resort in Bar Harbor, Maine, a first-of-its kind glamping resort located on the west side of Mount Desert Island, according to Toby O’Rourke, CEO and president of KOA.
Located close to Acadia National Park, Terramor Outdoor Resort is set to open in the summer of 2020.
“Our vision for Terramor Outdoor Resort focuses on the heart of hospitality through upscale, yet authentic experiences that create a unique opportunity for travelers to explore and immerse themselves in the outdoors,” said O’Rourke. “The name Terramor blends ‘land’ and ‘love,’ which reflects our approach to personalized hospitality and celebrating the benefits of time spent in nature.”
Built on the site of a former KOA park, the 60-acre property will feature 64 luxury canvas tents set among the trees and oriented around a lodge featuring a bar and restaurant, store and equipment rentals. The property will also feature a nature-inspired pool and outdoor recreation areas where guests can relax and socialize.
Designed to blend the aesthetics of the surrounding nature with the comforts of an upscale hotel room, the “rustic-luxe tents” feature exposed, finished wood beams, premium beds and linens and upscale amenities such as in-room Chemex pour-over coffeemakers. All tents also have their own verandas, private campfire rings and outdoor patio seating.
Terramor’s double occupancy tents feature a queen bed while the four-person two-bedroom tents, designed for families or groups of friends, have one queen bed plus a set of bunk beds. Almost all come with en suite bathrooms, and some have private outdoor showers for those who want to enjoy a steamy shower in the open air under the white birch trees. Pets are welcome at Terramor Outdoor Resort with an onsite dog park and other pet-friendly amenities.
“We have spent a lot of time doing research on glamping, and we feel that we have developed something that is really going to appeal to people,” O’Rourke told WOODALLSCM.com.
The new glamping park is set to be built on the site of a former company-operated KOA campground.
“It served primarily the tent camping market,” O’Rourke pointed out. “It’s heavily wooded and just a gorgeous campground, so we decided that we could probably be doing more with that park. We wanted to do something special and the way the park is setup, it’s not really suited well for RVs. Realizing that, we decided a couple years ago that we wanted to try a glamping resort.”
Targeting “boutique hotel stayers,” O’Rourke said she didn’t view the park as being a competitor to traditional campgrounds or other KOA’s in the area.
“There might be some overlap, but we’re trying to position this campground to compete with the resorts in Bar Harbor, as another way to stay when you go to Bar Harbor,” she explained.
O’Rourke said that a lot of detail went into creating the resort, including the positioning of each tent.
“Every tent was placed very specifically, for the view that the camper is going to have,” she explained. “We also wanted to have nice seclusion between the tents and the outdoor fire experience at every tent, and I think that’s a differentiator. We’re not seeing that at a lot of places, and I think that’s very important, because we’re campground people, we know that the fire is important. We wanted to make sure that we deliver that.
“We are going to have central recreation spaces, which is common in the campground environment,” O’Rourke added. “We have a place we’re calling ‘The Field,’ and this is a natural gathering place. It could be used for pop up events, it could be used for outdoor movies. It will have a pavilion if campers want to grill their own food or they want to have a party or a gathering. Then the lodge is key to the whole experience, too. This is a place people can come and eat and it will have a bar. We’ve got decks on the lodge that will overlook the property and there will be a big central fire experience for group campfires.”
Each park will also feature what O’Rourke called an outfitter, someone who will be stationed at the park to help answer guest questions and help the guests have the best possible experience.
“Unique trails will also connect each tent and the community buildings,” she said. “They will create a really nice way for the campers to immerse themselves in nature, and walk through the beauty of the Bar Harbor environment.”
Down the road, O’Rourke said that there are no plans to create more parks yet.
“We are going to see how this park does and then keep an eye on whether this model makes sense in other markets,” she explained.
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