On Tuesday, June 25th, the Board of Supervisors voted 6-0 to approve a special use permit for the proposed nature retreat in Star Tannery on Turkey Run Road. The site is already zoned for use as a “rural resort” with a special use permit. During the discussion, BOS Dennis Morris said the project had been “handled very professionally” and BOS Karl Roulston shared “it is a great thing for the county.”
The retreat will offer year-round wellness activities for adults focused on nature, play, energy and connection to help promote well-being, healthy living and community. It will create over 130 full or part-time jobs and plans to open in the spring of 2022.
We are excited to help preserve the rural character of the Shenandoah Valley and bring wellness tourists to the area to diversity the tax base. The wellness tourism market was $639 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $919 billion by 2022. According to the Global Wellness Council, wellness tourism grew by 6.5 percent annually from 2015-2017, more than twice as fast as tourism overall. One of the top wellness trends is getting back to nature and activities such as forest bathing, which will be offered, are booming. Research shows that people are more generous, cooperative, and forward-thinking when surrounded by nature.
We look forward to continuing to work with the community during this next phase of the project and being transparent in the process. For project updates, please visit thenatureretreat.com and sign-up for our mailing list.