Veteran Builds Successful Glamping Business On Farm

A newly opened glamping site in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Resaca, Georgia, reflects the passion for the great outdoors shared by its founders, a couple named Jordan and Lewis Dixon. The high school sweethearts have been together for 13 years and recently returned to their hometown to be near family and launch their new enterprise, Rolling Ridge Stays.

Situated on the couple’s 22-acre forested land, the glamping site features three conventional campsites and two all-weather structures. After Lewis joined the Army, Jordan and Lewis’ love for hiking and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains carried over into their time at Fort Stewart, South Carolina, and Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia.

Upon Lewis’ nearing retirement, the couple sought a location to settle down and discovered a 22-acre wooded property with a house, a 1-acre pond, and an abandoned greenhouse in July 2022. They relocated to the property in November 2022, only four days after welcoming their third child. While Jordan tends to the children, Lewis divides his week between Fort Benning and working on the property.

In 10 weeks, Lewis constructed two glamping structures, the Boho A-Frame and the Little Greenhouse, both offering lake and forest views. The off-grid structures, powered by solar energy, cost $4,170 each to build. The 100-square-foot A-Frame features a kitchenette and access to a private 1-acre fish pond, while the slightly larger 120-square-foot Little Greenhouse provides a queen-sized bed, kitchenette, and camping essentials for a serene stay in the wilderness.

Guests can book either structure for $60 per night, with Airbnb or HipCamp fees and taxes bringing the total to around $80 per night. Rolling Ridge Stays operates year-round, offering portable Buddy Heaters and large faux fur blankets for colder months when temperatures in North Georgia can dip to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Portable fans with USB ports and solar lights are also available for guests’ comfort.

Despite being off-grid, the glamping structures have USB ports, solar lighting, and propane-powered camp stoves. In addition, Jordan and Lewis provide art supplies and s’mores kits, complete with marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers, for an extra touch of enjoyment.

Looking ahead, once Lewis transitions from active duty in the Army to the National Guard for Georgia and can devote more time to Rolling Ridge, the couple plans to expand their offerings. Over the next five years, they aim to have six to seven unique glamping structures, a common space with homesteading classes held in the previously abandoned greenhouse, and various animals on the property.

As Rolling Ridge Stays grows, Jordan and Lewis plan to engage with the local community and collaborate with other small businesses in the area. They envision hosting workshops featuring local artisans, such as pottery, woodworking, and sustainable living practices. By doing so, they hope to promote a sense of community and support local economy.

Furthermore, the couple plans to offer customized adventure packages for guests looking to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains and surrounding areas. These packages may include guided hikes, mountain biking, horseback riding, and even water-based activities like kayaking and fishing on the nearby lake.

The Dixons also have a vision for sustainable practices in their expanding glamping business. In addition to solar power for their structures, they plan to incorporate rainwater harvesting systems and composting toilets to minimize their environmental footprint. By offering eco-friendly accommodations, they hope to inspire guests to appreciate and respect the natural beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the environment as a whole.

In the long term, Jordan and Lewis aspire to make Rolling Ridge Stays a haven for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike, where people can reconnect with the outdoors, spend quality time with loved ones, and learn about sustainable living. Their dream is for guests to leave with lasting memories and a greater appreciation for the environment, inspired to positively impact their lives and communities.

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