- Southall Farm & Inn in Franklin affords falconry as a part of its journey program.
- Properties are including extra excursions and adventures for visitors who’re in search of a collective outside expertise.
- Journey applications have gotten differentiators for properties trying to stand out amongst their friends.
FRANKLIN, Tenn. — It was a blustery February day at Southall Farm and Inn in Franklin when my husband and I met David Hudson at an out of doors pavilion. He was about to introduce us to one thing we might by no means achieved earlier than.
Inside minutes, I had a big hawk flying at me. We made critical eye contact simply earlier than she gently landed on my gloved arm. After studying about falconry, the birds, the method and the 6,000-year historical past of the game, we headed out for the hunt.
Often known as “squirrel hawking,” we walked via the woods with Goldilocks, a Harris’s hawk, who would gentle on tree limbs excessive above and simply behind us. We would take a number of steps and he or she’d comply with, hoping we might flush out a mouse or squirrel for her to swoop down and eat.
Whereas we did not encounter any lunch for Goldilocks, we had the time of our lives experiencing these superb birds of prey of their factor.
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Falconry is only one factor of the journey program at Southall, which additionally consists of archery, mountain biking, an aerial journey course, climbing and axe throwing. Many properties like Southall supply spas for leisure and eating places for eating however are realizing visitors additionally need an expertise past simply dinner and a spherical of golf.
David Mishkin, government property supervisor at Southall, mentioned that providing experiences and adventures issues.
“What is going on to maintain folks coming again or get them to remain longer are these different experiences,” he mentioned. “Journey suits proper in with what we’re doing. We’re attempting to get folks to attach and discover the world round them. If somebody’s focused on falconry, it’ll drive them right here. If they’re in search of new experiences, it completely ought to make a distinction in the place they select to remain.”
And right this moment’s journey applications far transcend the normal go to to the health heart or a day on the golf course. At Blackberry Mountain in East Tennessee, visitors can take an off-road tour in a Lexus SUV, shoot sporting clays or study to wake surf. The Rosewood Bermuda affords cliff-jumping and cave exploration. A day on the Reid Creek Lodge at Wagonhound in Wyoming may embody a catch-and-release fishing species scavenger hunt, lunch, paddle boarding and canoeing, edible plant foraging and fowl watching.
Andrea Nicholas Perdue, CEO of Wagonhound Holdings, says journey may be outlined in numerous alternative ways.
“I see it as a palpable, intense need for inspiration,” she mentioned. “It is about freedom to get out, run, breathe, swear and really feel. It is a need to reinvigorate the senses. There’s at all times going to be a need for leisure and pampering, however at this second in time, I really feel a palpable want to attach with folks outdoors your standard consolation zone.”
Journey: the brand new differentiator
Autumn Allison is a video producer in Nashville who not too long ago determined to make a journey to Scotland with three different mates. They deliberate to remain in a citadel however discovered there have been lots of of choices.
“What actually set the one we stayed in aside from the remaining was the opposite issues that got here with it,” she mentioned. “It had falconry and an on-site spa. These issues helped seize the specialness of the journey. We determined if we have been going to remain in a citadel, we have been going for it and this one had the additional stuff which is basically what gained us over.”
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Alex Fast is the actions director at Blackberry Farm and Blackberry Mountain, two sister properties in Walland, Tennessee, which can be recognized for his or her five-star meals, service – and experiences. However he mentioned he is typically requested concerning the one factor they do not have.
“I consider journey as the brand new golf course,” he mentioned. “Was in the event you have been going to have a resort, you needed to have a golf course. We get that query lots. ‘Why do not you could have a golf course?’ However the reply is now we have so many different issues like sporting clays, fly fishing and mountain biking.”
He says journey applications are 100% affecting folks’s selections on the place to spend their trip.
“What we have created right here is an grownup summer season camp,” he mentioned. “We provide one thing for completely everyone. We’ve got the spa and the meals and beverage expertise and now we have the outside expertise. We are able to train you to fly fish, trip horses, cycle with the professionals. I hear folks say on a regular basis that they got here right here as a result of they wished one thing totally different. I additionally hear lots of people say ‘I am doing this for the primary time.'”
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Again at Southall, property house owners expanded the resort’s authentic footprint by 100 acres so there could be room for visitors to get outdoors, whether or not they need to hike, mountain bike, expertise falconry or strive their hand at archery.
“At this value vary, folks can go most wherever they need within the nation, so that you need to differentiate your self and appeal to folks,” Mishkin mentioned. “I feel it is vital not solely that we created this journey program, however that we ship it on a excessive stage.”
Southall has solely been open a number of months and the buildout of the journey program is ongoing, however Mishkin says it is his objective for visitors to have the ability to do an exercise within the morning, calm down for lunch and do one other exercise within the afternoon, spending the entire day outdoors.
He mentioned an exercise like falconry far transcends simply looking with a fowl.
“You find yourself connecting with the folks round you. You calm down and also you get within the current second. With the fowl flying above you, you’re not pondering something however ‘right here comes this hawk.’ It helps you heart your self.”
Perdue, of Reid Creek Lodge, mentioned she is seeing increasingly households touring collectively in teams and whereas actions like spa remedies are enjoyable, they’re achieved individually and do not enable teams the power to attach.
“We’re seeing extra intentional journey with folks you might be selecting to spend your time with,” she mentioned. “They’re trying to find journey that allows connection inside that group. Individuals need experiences the place they will create shared reminiscences and deep connections. Individuals have a must reinvigorate the senses and there’s no higher means to do this than to get outdoors and really feel.”
Melonee Damage covers progress and improvement at The Tennessean, a part of the USA TODAY Community — Tennessee. Attain Melonee at email@example.com.