Tim Murphy, former director of new store development for Habitat For Humanity International ReStores, is building a 72-acre resort called Emberglow Outdoor Resort with tiny houses, vintage campers, deluxe yurts and treehouses 90 minutes from Charlotte near Lake Lure.
“We looked at the type of people that enjoy the Whitewater Center and realized there are a lot of people who love the outdoors but want to do it on their terms,” Tim said. “If you don’t want to sleep in a tent or own an RV, a campground isn’t really a viable option for you, so we started looking at rentals to bring that experience to people who would otherwise love that experience.”
What: Tim told the Agenda he wanted to modernize the camping experience in way that delivered different options for many budgets and levels of comfort with the outdoors — from glampers to people who prefer a more primitive experience.
“The campground industry’s bones are great, but it hasn’t evolved much in the last 50-70 years,” he said. “So we’re modernizing it with things people have come to expect.”
Housing options: There are six rental options, including two tiny homes, seven vintage campers, four luxury yurts, one geodesic dome, six tree houses/lofts and 40 tent and RV sites.
“We have some really cool primitive tree houses that are open air but protected from the bugs and weather,” Tim said. “But you get all the perks of being outside — the crickets chirping and the creek gurgling.”
Tim said so far everyone he’s talked to about the options are most excited about the tree houses or the retro campers (for nostalgia reasons).
The setting: The 72-acre rolling-hill property is nestled in a valley and is about 80 percent woods, 20 percent open pastures. There are three creeks, and most of the camping spots dot the path.
Why Tim’s excited: “Nothing recharges the batteries like a little time away, especially in a natural setting,” he said. “We want guests to come, stay, play and leave feeling refreshed.”
Prices: The most basic tent rental starts at $35 a night and the most luxury accommodations are around $225 per night during peak season.
Amenities: Expect a 2,000-square-foot lagoon-style pool (with an incredible view); 3 miles of biking and hiking trails; fire pits, free WiFi; dog park; playgrounds and more. Tim told us he also hopes to do things like morning yoga.
Location: The exact address is 1270 Rock Spring Road, Mill Spring, NC. It’s only a 90-minute drive from Charlotte and 5-10 minutes from Lake Lure which has tons of restaurants, a public beach, trails and more.
When you can book: Tim’s hoping to start taking reservations by the end of the month for stays starting in October.