Welcome to Asheville Glamping!
Welcome to Asheville Glamping! We rent out North Carolina's most unique camping accommodations where you can experience camping with a few more of the comforts offered in a traditional hotel.
So what is Glamping anyway? Glamping is still camping with some, but not all, added amenities. We offer everything from tent cabins and vintage trailers, to dome rentals with mountain views that will make you never want to leave!
We are not a traditional campground and we aren't a 5 star resort either...come experience the great outdoors in a whole new way. Go Glamping in North Carolina and make your trip to Asheville an adventure!
Adapted from an article published by Business North Carolina by Taylor Wanbaugh
Camping doesn’t typically conjure up images of air conditioning, running water or electricity. But Joanna Cahill, 34, has managed to marry the ideas of luxury and the great outdoors with her business, Asheville Glamping. Cahill started the company in 2012 with a single yurt, which are tents built on collapsable frameworks. Now, she rents out 15 tents, yurts, vintage trailers and even a soon-to-be-built treehouse from $90 to $350 per night (with a two night minimum). Asheville Glamping comprises three different property sites, some open year-round, all within a 20-minute drive of downtown Asheville. The business has gained attention from media outlets including the Travel Channel and Buzzfeed . Cahill discussed her inspiration and motives in a recent interview.
How would you define glamping?
The way that we define it is that it’s still camping, but with more amenities. We are all about camping!
When some people hear the word [glamping], they think it’s completely different from camping. They hate camping and the outdoors and bugs and they are looking for something completely different: that’s a hotel. This is still camping but with more amenities for comfort. You’ve got something we never had when we were growing up: a real mattress, a real bed, a refrigerator inside your tent, electricity.
Why did you start Asheville Glamping?
I originally wanted to build tiny homes. I spent my early 20s volunteering for Habitat for Humanity on their construction crews. I came to the conclusion that [building tiny homes] was going to be very expensive.
I was actually looking for a place to live and wanted to build a house for myself, but it was going to take too long to save for (I was determined to build debt free without any loans). That’s when I heard about yurts, and I built one on my first property. I lived in it while I was finishing it. It took me a long time to save up the money to finish out the interior, add the bathroom, the electricity, all that stuff. It really needs everything that a normal house needs. I lived in that for three years.
At the time, I had another business where I was managing vacation rentals and commercial cleaning. I thought, well, maybe I’ll try renting out the yurt on the weekends while I go backpacking. I started doing that thinking it wouldn’t be very popular. All of a sudden, my dog and I were essentially homeless since the yurt ended up being rented out 20 nights a month. I was camping with my dog in a two-person tent.
Then I started looking into vintage trailers, mainly because they were a little bit more affordable than a tiny house but they were still easy to transport. I bought one of those to live in. Slowly, I saved up more money to buy a second property and that’s sort of how Asheville Glamping began. I really tried to capture people’s imaginations and it’s spread from there.
Why glamp instead of camping or going to a hotel?
Our sites are unique and whimsical. Everything is different and we are not a chain. When I was a kid playing, I used to be obsessed with building treehouses. When you become an adult, you aren’t really encouraged to do things like that. I think our sites spark the adult imagination. The majority of our guests are between the ages of 21 and 45. They are just looking for something different. Being outside without really have to rough it. We also want to cater to all people which is why we have options for every budget. We often hear that Glamping is only for the rich because people see luxury glamping retreats with accommodations ranging from $500-$2,000. While those places are absolutely lovely, our goal has been to create an amazing experience that's attainable by all people.
How much money did you invest to start the company?
I like to tell people $100 because when I originally wanted to start this business, I didn’t have anything but $100. There were no rounds of fundraising or investors. Literally, I had no money. When I was 24 I was driving a scooter as my main way of transportation. I started my cleaning business with $100, and I put every penny that I earned into Asheville Glamping. I actually bought my first property in cash. Asheville Glamping has grown in a very organic and sustainable way and I think that's something that makes this business very unique. Our goal is not to become a glamping hotel chain...it's to provide our guests with an authentic and personal experience and I think that's something that can only be gained from true passion.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
Building sites is really fun. I love coming up with new creative ideas for places to stay and to see people’s reactions to what we’re doing. I also enjoy the opportunity to meet some of our guests. We have one family that came when we were first getting started and stayed in the yurt. They’ve actually already pre-booked the treehouse that will be finished next year. That will be their 12th visit.