We’ve all heard the saying “ It’s not for sale at any price”. Well, that was put to the test with us recently and what we thought we’d never sell….we sold. Our cabin, our business, the center of our world for the past five years is gone as of November 1st. We took a neglected, ramshackle pile of logs and turned it into a thriving rental business. We’ve endured, a wildfire, woodland creatures, unexpected repairs and a pandemic along the way. No matter how many zeros we added to our net worth statement they will never add up to the memories we’ve shared in this cabin.
We are especially proud of our charity work. The night of the Gatlinburg fire I told God that if he spared our cabin I promised I would make it a catalyst for good. Our cabin was spared and we lived up to that promise. A portion of every guest stay was donated to charity; Appalachian Bear Rescue (ABR) and St. Vincent de Paul Society. We also made donations to Friends of the Smokies and The Great Smoky Mountains Organization. We donated nights to ABR to auction off at their annual fund raising event. This little cabin generated thousands in charitable donations.
Our charitable work caught the attention of the prestigious Star Throwers organization who recognizes socially responsible rental owners trying to make a difference in their community. There are only 8 properties in the United States that have that certification, we were #4. Our cabin was also part of the keynote closing presentation at the World Vacation Rental Summit in 2019 in Italy once again citing our efforts to make a difference for the wildlife, the people and the park.
It’s pretty amazing how many wonderful people we’ve met along the way, Jan & Daryl – we couldn’t have built this cabin without you, Pat – you sound advice was always appreciated, , Tammy- you encouraged us to get into this business, Chastidyi & Ian at Chapel in the Hollow – you were great partners, it was only fitting that our last guest had their wedding at your venue.
So many others to thank from Sonia our cleaner, Will our repairman and the entire team at Natural Retreats. What an incredible collection of people that delivered finally the experience I wanted our guests to receive. You all are amazing! We were very fortunate to have hundreds of guests and some extra special guests like Lillian who took great care while staying in our cabin. She was the true voice of the customer letting us know what items needed attention. We will miss all of them.
One fun tradition we had was our signing log. We encouraged each of our guests to “sign the log” and they did. We will cherish these logs forever. The one thing I didn’t sell was the name “Dancing Bearfoot”. I just couldn’t let that go. Sorry for the long post, it’s not easy to say goodbye.