Shady Grove Campground will be getting “a little bit of a boost” with six new glamping sites run and owned by Timberline Glamping, formerly known as Georgia Glamping Company.
On Tuesday, Aug. 24, Forsyth County Commissioners heard from Parks and Recreation Director Jim Pryor about a five-year renewal of a special facility use agreement between the county and Timberline Glamping.
Within the agreement, the county would allow for Timberline Glamping to use six additional campsites at Shady Grove Campground, upgrading the number of sites from seven to 13. Sites would also be open year-round starting in 2022. Currently, the sites are open from March 5 to Nov. 29.
“Over the years, the glamping concept has really taken off,” Pryor said. “I think [Timberline Glamping’s] business has done very well and through the years, each time we have an agreement, we’ve expanded their sites a little bit.”
Previously, when Nathan and Rebekah Self, co-founders of Timberline Glamping, started the business in 2018, they only had three sites at Shady Grove Campground.
Over the years, and especially in 2020, Timberline Glamping has grown in popularity. While glamping was growing in 2019, Nathan Self said that they specifically saw a “positive impact” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[In 2020,] we were able to provide a safe place for families to get outside and enjoy the lake and the park,” Self said.
Self also told the board that Timberline Glamping was 100% booked at all seven available sites in 2020, which he originally thought was a “fluke.” However, Self said Timberline Glamping has been booked consistently through 2021 with 99.98% of sites at Shady Grove Campground rented.
He said the reason why Timberline Glamping was requesting six additional sites was because they had to “turn away more people than [they allowed to] come camp.” He said they regularly get about 25,000 visits to the website each month, but with only seven sites, rentals are limited.
Self also said that National Geographic reached out to him and Rebekah, saying they wanted to include Timberline Glamping at Shady Grove Campground as one of its Top 500 Campgrounds across all 50 states.
During the discussion, Pryor said that all the new campsites for the project will be near each other and that they are considered “low occupancy” sites with only about 10-32% occupancy each year. Pryor also said that it was “practical” to keep all of the glamping sites “together … with one bathhouse” and keep the sites in their own little node.
Commissioners were supportive of the agreement and approved to renew a five-year agreement. The vote was unanimous, 5-0.