Under Canvas, the company proposing to open a “glamping” facility in Surry, offers a luxurious camping experience under its canvas tents. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNDER CANVAS

Company looks to bring “glamping” to Surry

SURRY — A company that has been creating “glamping experiences” near major national parks in the Western United States has set its sights on the Northeast, specifically Surry.

Glamping, for the uninitiated, is “glamorous camping,” according to the Montana-based Under Canvas.

A spokeswoman for Under Canvas, Rachel Zembraski of the San Diego-based J Public Relations, explained the glam in the glamping.

“Each camp is made up of canvas lodging tents furnished with plush king beds, luxe linens, USB charging packs and a wood burning stove, and includes daily housekeeping, running hot water and flushing toilets — while using 84 percent less energy and 87 percent less water than a similar-sized hotel,” Zembraski said. “The brand has a minimal disturbance approach and believes nature is the best architect, striving to leave the land as untouched as possible.”

Under Canvas officials are scheduled to meet with the Surry Planning Board for a pre-application review on Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 7 p.m.

“The applicant requested of the board a ‘pre-application submission meeting’ to ask and answer questions between the applicant and the Planning Board,” said Planning Board Chairman Bill Barker. “To my knowledge no application has been officially been submitted to date.”

The company is looking at the late Howard Young’s 100-acre parcel of farmland, which extends from the Surry Road to Weymouth Point on Patten Bay.

Zembraski said the Surry site will be considered its Acadia location. Under Canvas proposes 75 tents on the 100-acre site, which includes 1,200 feet of shorefront.

“The Acadia site is about an 18-minute drive from the Mount Desert Island itself,” Zembraski said. “The mountains of Acadia are visible from the camp location.”

“East Coast camp locations have been a long time coming,” said co-founder and CEO of Under Canvas Sarah Dusek.

“New York is a top market for Under Canvas, so we’re thrilled to offer experiences closer to home for New Yorkers, as well as deliver on our most requested national park location to date: Acadia,” Dusek said. “The sites on which we are setting up camp are really special, embracing the natural beauty and increasing accessibility to the best of the Northeast and nearby adventures.”

The Surry site, if approved, would provide a dock to allow for seasonal boat access, the company said. It also would offer transportation from the camp to local attractions.

Under Canvas offers “glamping” near numerous national parks in the West, including Yellowstone and Glacier in Montana, Moab and Zion in Utah, Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Great Smoky Mountain in Tennessee and Grand Canyon and Tucson in Arizona, the spokeswoman said.

“The camps are seasonal and also totally portable,” Zembraski said. “They are put up and taken down by hand at the start and end of every season and stored in our facilities in Montana.

“This process results in little to no impact to its natural surroundings, which supports our minimal disturbance approach to development,” Zembraski said. “We believe nature is the best architect and strive to leave the land as untouched as possible. A minimal footprint is what Under Canvas is all about.”

Some Surry officials are concerned about the potential impact of the proposed development.

Conservation Commission member Nancy Hathaway said the commission is concerned about potential water usage and sewage run-off. There is also concern about the potential effects of light from the campground on Surry’s dark, nighttime sky.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *