You may have heard the term “glamping” before — a merging of the words glamorous and camping — but Micah Heller of Miramar Beach prefers to call it simply, fancy camps.
In fact, Heller and his wife, Danielle, launched a business by the same name in late 2015, and are now in their second summer season with their rental business, which allows for luxurious camping in some of the area’s state parks.
“We saw it on History Channel — how it was done on safari back in the day — and we thought people would like to do it (here),” said Heller, when asked what inspired the business. “Turns out there are other similar companies out there, but not in this area; there is nothing else in the area like this.”
Fancy Camps takes all of the hassle out of camping so guests can still enjoy the great outdoors, and the quiet respite of the camp ground, and yet enjoy many of the same amenities of a hotel room. Currently, customers can choose a campsite at Grayton Beach State Park, Topsail Hill State Park or St. Andrews State Park.
“Once you book it, you just show up and don’t have to worry about packing a bunch of stuff, and you still get the experience but it’s more comfortable and convenient,” Heller said. “Our standard package includes a queen or two twin-sized beds complete with box spring and pillow top mattress, bedside tables and lamps, chairs and area rugs and air conditioner or heater depending on what the season. We also include outdoor lounge chairs, string lights and fire pits if the campsite doesn’t have them.”
Heller added that Fancy Camps can also make arrangements to set up on private property for events or extra house guests.
“We do birthday parties in people’s back yards. We do guest room packages if people have guests coming and don’t have room in their house … that’s all just priced individually,” he said. “We try to cater to each individual or group that comes through with item-to-item basis. If we go out to events or weddings we have other options like lounge tents, bar tents or kid area tents.”
Heller explained each Fancy Camps tent is a circular canvas tent that is 16 feet in diameter and gives a simple, yet chic, look to the campsite that catches the eye of passersby.
“It seems like we are getting pretty positive feedback. We have a number of returning customers and customer referrals,” said Heller. “Customers just tell (the state park office) that they are with Fancy Camps, and the park will check them in just like any camper and they will just go to their site and we have everything arranged for them.”