GUEST EDITORIAL: Greene County Deserves Sojourner Glamping | Opinion
Greene County deserves Sojourner Glamping. Greene has spent many hours and worked diligently strategically planning and researching a project of this caliber for years. This proposal is supported in our global plan, the objectives of the supervisory board and in our tourism strategic plan.
These strategic documents are what first attracted Sojourner to our community. Not only has the county been strategic in planning this project, but our Special Use Permit (SUP) process is in place to ensure legally binding mitigation measures to protect our rural character. One only has to look at the current Getaway Homes glamping campground and the former Rosebrook Inn (now a training facility) to see that these establishments are hidden away, low impact, and good for our community.
The candidate has spent many hours in Greene listening to the concerns of our community and ensuring they are addressed. Not only is there legal recourse if the terms of the SUP are not met, but more importantly, the plaintiff has a $30 million investment to protect. Protecting each of their visitors from noise, light pollution – and other guests – is key to protecting their rural and natural image and will also hide the retreat from surrounding properties. In return, the buffer zone will keep the entire area more rural than the 29 house alternative which will have no restrictions on noise, lighting, clearcutting of the land or other negative impacts in the area.
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Greene County wants Sojourner Glamping. How many times have you visited an attraction and thought, “Why doesn’t Greene County have a place like this?” This professional group has access to top-notch hospitality expertise and, in addition to accommodations, will provide a restaurant and spa for the enjoyment of its visitors and our community. In its entirety, the Sojourner property will be a rural retreat that all residents of Greene County can be proud of and the envy of neighboring communities.
Greene County needs Sojourner Glamping. Our community has significant utility costs that need to be addressed in the near future. These public projects include: the multi-million dollar water facility, a new elementary school, a paid fire department, the emergency services radio system and public safety training (sheriff, fire and EMS) .
Sojourner’s projected capital investment of $30 million and gross sales of nearly $8 million (restaurant, property and accommodation) will have a significant impact on our economy. More importantly, Sojourner will bring in over $700,000 in tax revenue. More than 75% of this tax revenue is unrestricted tax revenue that can be used to meet much-needed utility projects, reducing the burden on Greene County residents. In addition to Sojourner’s tax revenue, the financial analysis predicts that over $20 million will be injected directly and indirectly into our local economy. This will positively impact many small businesses in our community, including our favorite local restaurants and lodging establishments.
Greene County could not have asked for a more professional group to bring a project that will have a significant impact on our economy and tax revenue while having little to no impact on our rural environment. Welcoming Sojourner to our community is the best financial and land use decision Greene County can make.
—Alan Yost, Greene County Executive Economic development and tourism