BOONVILLE — Boonville is getting a little dose of Asheville-esque tourist lodgings, with the launch of glamping at Purple Alpaca Farms.
Glamping (glamorous camping) offers the outdoor experience of camping with amenities that make the experience more like a hotel or resort experience, such as beds with hotel-caliber mattresses.
Purple Alpaca owner Gloria Folaron admits she is not a camper, “so we’re making camping for me,” she laughs, describing her guiding principle in setting up the sites. She said the sites are “still on the cusp of primitive,” as they do not have electricity or running water inside the tents.
Folaron’s research reveals that Purple Alpaca may be the first to bring glamping to the area.
“In our area, the closest places we can find that are like this are an hour and a half away from here,” she said.
Nestled in a woodland canopied meadow along a creek, the glamping sites are peaceful and secluded, and easily five to 10 degrees cooler than sunnier spots on the farm. Hammocks hang from the trees and chairs encircle a group fire ring. While there is privacy between each tent site, the idea is to also foster the opportunity to connect, particularly after the isolating experiences of the pandemic.
“We know people go camping for solitude,” Folaron said. “But we also want to be able to help develop a sense of community.”
She said the Purple Alpaca team have been struck by how quickly their farm tour guests connect, taking group photos together and exchanging contact information.
Indeed, the farm has taken on a life of its own in the short months since it opened earlier this year with the singular offering of farm tours. Glamping is the latest feature, following the addition of birthday parties, yoga, educational classes and the opening of the farm store. Future plans include corporate team building events, summer camp and weddings.
Their Easter egg hunts earlier this year sold out, and Folaron still sounds in mild disbelief that the farm welcomed 600 guests in a single day for a series of egg hunts.
“I’m really excited for Halloween,” she admitted.
Glamping already has its first guests booked, but openings still remain for the inaugural July 16 weekend. And Purple Alpaca has partnered with N.C. Wine Gals out of Charlotte, offering a package for glampers to take a 5-hour van-chauffeured wine tour of the Yadkin Valley. A family s’mores package, as well as a romantic couple’s s’mores package, are also available as glamping add-ons. Guests can, of course, get a discount on the guided tour of the alpaca farm.
Included perks and amenities for glampers include:
-in-tent wood stove with hot plate
-daily access to the farm store and cafe for snacks, tea and coffee
-1 mile hiking loop and yard games
Folaron said there are plans to add more farm experiences for glampers such as collecting chicken eggs and learning about feeding and chores.
Lisa Michals may be reached at 336-448-4968 or follow her on Twitter @lisamichals3.