‘Glamping’ in downtown Dresden? You bet

DRESDEN — A Dragon’s Den-style video has helped Tyler and Bria Atkins move forward with big plans to develop a unique camping experience along the River Sydenham in the heart of this North Kent community.

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DRESDEN — A Dragon’s Den-style video has helped Tyler and Bria Atkins move forward with big plans to develop a unique camping experience along the River Sydenham in the heart of this North Kent community.

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They took $3,000 received from the Spark Tourism Opportunity Grant through the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, through an online pitch made by Bria, to launch Riverside Cabins on the Sydenham.

The first of six chalets arrived last Monday and is located behind the couple’s business – The Crappie Store – an outdoor and sports business which overlooks the River Sydenham in Dresden city centre.

The couple bought the property five years ago and one of their future plans was to convert the part of the property along the River Sydenham into a type of camping accommodation.

“It’s a glamping experience,” Tyler said.

He noted that each cabin will have a staircase leading to its own dock on the River Sydenham. There will also be a fire pit and a picnic table for each cabin.

Tyler said the cabins are a way to provide an outdoor experience, but also promote amenities in Dresden.

He said restaurants, a grocery store and liquor store as well as playgrounds and parks and the library are all within walking distance.

A free boat launch, located in the Stranak Conservation Area, is a short distance away if someone wants to bring a boat to the dock at the cabin they’re renting, Brent said.

Bria said the purpose of the cabins is “to attract people who would never be in Dresden and that’s the tourism dollars that will be spent here.”

The cabins will include a detailed map of all of Dresden’s small businesses as well as local attractions such as Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Historic Site, she said.

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“It’s an idea of ​​tourism. . . and we have invested in this property to turn it into a tourist hub for Chatham-Kent and Dresden, specifically.

She noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected cash flow, so winning the grant has been a blessing to help move their plan forward.

“We don’t run out of ideas,” Bria said. “We see this property as a diamond in the rough with unlimited opportunity.”

Tyler said they took the grant and worked with Premier Portable Buildings through local dealer, Lambton-Kent Landscape & Supply in Wallaceburg, to get the cabin built.

It includes two mezzanines, one for a queen bed and the other for a single bed, as well as space for a double bed on the ground floor.

Bria said the plan was to rent the cabin in August. She added that their family plans to camp in the cabin this weekend to have their own experience and see what adjustments might be needed.

Tyler said they also have a pontoon boat which they plan to use to offer scenic cruises and fishing trips along the Sydenham River.

More information on renting a cottage is available by calling 519-683-4363.

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