A wholly new tenting expertise will likely be supplied at state parks all through Maine this summer season, and it includes spacious canvas tents, fashionable picnic areas and tiny wooden stoves that can maintain campers heat on chilly nights.
To construct these fancy, new campsites, the state partnered with Tentrr, a New York-based firm that’s also known as the “Airbnb of tenting.”
“It’s totally different for us,” mentioned Melissa Macaluso, assistant to the Division of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner for Particular Initiatives. “We’re all the time seeking to improve guests’ expertise and provide new issues within the parks.”
The brand new websites, 10 in complete, will likely be divided amongst seven state parks: Bradbury Mountain, Rangeley Lake, Camden Hills, Mount Blue, Lamoine, Peaks-Kenny and Warren Island. Set up is being accomplished this month, with plans to have all websites full and open for reservations by the Fourth of July.
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“Maine State Parks don’t have cabins at this level, so it is a good way so as to add some use to the parks, to provide individuals who could not have tools to return and benefit from the parks and check out tenting out,” Macaluso mentioned. “They arrive, and it’s already arrange for them.”
Apart from the surroundings, every Tentrr website is an identical, that includes the corporate’s customized tent, deck, mattress, stone hearth pit, grill, picnic desk, dry meals storage, wooden range, Adirondack chairs and extra. Nevertheless, at Maine state parks, some small parts of a typical Tentrr website could also be lacking (such because the solar bathe) as a result of campers have entry to campground facilities (equivalent to a bathhouse).
Staying at these new websites could also be thought-about “glamping,” a time period that mixes the phrases “glamourous” and “tenting” to explain facilities which can be extra luxurious than conventional tenting. However Tentrr’s founder, Michael D’Agostino, isn’t bought that this time period precisely describes the Tentrr expertise.
“We offer the posh of area and actually snug, fashionable out of doors lodging,” D’Agostino mentioned. “However there’s no butler bringing you a tray of croissants. There’s no air conditioner or operating water. It’s good and classy and funky, however it’s rustic.”
A former funding banker, D’Agostino based 2015 after he and his spouse skilled a couple of “barely disastrous” getaways that concerned disappointing rental properties.
“We thought, there should be a greater means to do that,” he mentioned. “We needed to create an expertise for those who had a component of privateness and seclusion and would permit them to reconnect with nature.”
Starting with one campsite in New York’s Catskill Mountains, the corporate has quickly grown. Their reserving web site now options almost 700 Tentrr campsites in 38 states. However up till now, the corporate has solely labored with personal landowners.
“It’s been actually a pleasure working with the State of Maine and the park system,” D’Agostino mentioned. “I believe what it’s taught us is that we must always have in all probability accomplished it sooner. We’re actually excited to achieve out to different state park techniques.”
The brand new Tentrr websites at Maine state parks will price $100, nearly all of which can go to the state — ultimately. After paying off the one-time begin up price for the set up of every website, the state will obtain 80 % of reserving charges, with the opposite 20 % going to Tentrr.
“We picked some websites the place we’ve got nice visitation and a few websites which can be just a little bit extra off the crushed path,” Macaluso mentioned. “We wish to put a brand new twist on tenting. Even for our present campers, this is perhaps one thing they wish to strive.”
About 40 % of the individuals who e-book Tentrr tenting journeys have by no means been tenting earlier than, D’Agostino mentioned.
“For some folks, even those that’ve been tenting for a very long time, there’s a component of trepidation in going out within the woods and tenting,” D’Agostino mentioned. “The concept is that we will take away a component of unease or anxiousness. [With Tentrr sites,] folks know they’re going to have great, high-quality tools, that they’ll be heat they usually received’t need to arrange within the rain and all that. It makes getting out within the outside extra approachable and accessible, which is our entire purpose.”
One factor chances are you’ll discover about these new websites is that they’re set other than different campground websites. This honors Tentrr’s mission to supply privateness and seclusion to their campers.
“We’re doing this as a pilot program,” Macaluso mentioned. “Presently, we’ve got no plans so as to add extra, but when it’s a hit, we might have a look at exploring that choice.”
Watch: Tenting, paddling and mountain climbing in Deboullie Public Lands