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The Glamping Business: The Mohicans
Interview by: Alexandria Autrey
We had the pleasure of sitting down with the owners of The Mohicans, a popular glamping destination in Ohio, to discuss how they got started in the Glamping business and what it takes to be successful in this niche industry.
How long have you been in the Glamping business?
We have been in the glamping business for four years and that's when we built the first tree house.
When did you get involved in Glamping, more specifically the tree houses?*
We saw a book about tree houses and a friend had the idea to build a treehouse. The initial thought was trying to stay within budget was a common struggle we had. After seeing a neighbor build a high end tree house, it finally clicked! After news got around, Animal Planet reached out to us, and put our treehouse on one of their shows that is dedicated to tree houses around the world.
How long did it take to start the business up?
It took about a 2-3 years to get everything up and running. After we decided we didn’t want to just be a weekend business, we then built an event center to do corporate outings. In addition, we also do weddings.
Were there any hurdles you had to tackle?
Trying to stay with in budget was a common stuggle for us. Another big hurdle was that my carpenters weren’t able to drive because, they were Amish. With that, there was a lot more that we had to do because of the carpenters’ inability to drive. Also, mother nature is a big challenge when it comes to anything outdoors.
Where do people like to stay mostly?
The tree houses are the most popular place to stay on the property. When guests stay, I love seeing the people come out of the tree houses, the energy that the people have is just so fun.
What activities do people do during the day when staying?
We are located on over seventy-five acres in a remote area and we have a half-acre pond where people can swim. In addition, there are multiple hikes that people can choose from and we also have the zip line. People can go horseback riding, which my neighbor offers to the public and it is adjacent to my property. Also, very close to us is a high-end challenge course with three different levels. In additon, there is a mountain bike path that a few years back was rated number one in Ohio for mountain biking. So, there are a ton of activities to choose from while staying at our glamping site.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned so far being in this business?
I really think our biggest lesson is to learn to slow down. I slowly learned over time to not push through the process, I need to try and really enjoy it. Working in nature is such an incredible experience and being able to say my ride to work, is beautiful is really amazing.
What is the profitability like for the Tree House vs. your other accommodations?
They are about the same.
Do you have plans to expand?
I’d like to build some more tree houses in the future. The corporation side is growing so we are trying to target the corporations and people who are wanting more tree houses.
What is the biggest challenge operating the glamping? How did/do you solve this problem?
The weather is a big challenge when working in this type of industry. One year we had one of the coldest month in the history of the area and it was very difficult to keep the water from freezing. Inn order to fix that issue, we installed gas heaters. In addition, we had some issues keeping the tree houses warm due to the fact that you are thirty feet off the ground. So we are always trying to keep the place from freezing during the cold winter months.
What kind of demographic do you see at your Glamping Site?
We get a lot of people form Cleveland and Columbus because, we are located in the middle of the two cities. However, recently we have been getting a lot of out of town brides. We even get a lot of people over the age of seventy, which is something we never expected to see.
Why did you decide to offer glamping instead of traditional accommodations?
We wanted to give people that time in nature while also, giving back to the land. We wanted a place where people can get unplugged from technology and really enjoy themselves.