By Katy Savage
HUBBARDTON—Kurt Schneider calls his campsite Restoration at Cattail Cove. It sits on an edge of his lakeside property in Hubbardton, surrounded by trees and occasional blue herons at the edge of the water.
It features a queen-size, extra thick air mattress, beneath a 10-by-10-foot wall tent. There’s a wood stove, a shower, portable bathroom and two Adirondack-style chairs on a platform outside, overlooking the lake.
Schneider lets guests stay there for $140 a night. He offers home-brewed coffee, homemade muffins and fresh bread and other luxuries for an extra fee.
Schneider is one of the first in Vermont to list his land on Tentrr . Tentrr , like AirBnB for campers, is rapidly expanding since it launched in the Catskill Mountains in New York in 2016 with the idea of making camping available to anyone.
There are seven campsites listed in Vermont since Tentrr launched in the state this summer with the help of $8 million in fundraising.
Tentrr requires hosts to have a quiet location and at least 10 acres of land, far from any roadway. The company keeps 20 percent of the sales and makes the campsite owners responsible for maintenance. The campsites close in November and re-open mid-May.
Schneider’s campsite was one of the first in this state. Unlike Airbnb, where hosts are responsible for providing guests their services, Tentrr provides the amenities that make camping a luxury. Schneider’s site was installed two weeks ago, constructed in about four hours by the Tentrr company.
A scout came out and looked at different areas of the property to see where the site would be best located.
“It was clear down by the lake where it needed to be,” Schneider said.
He had his first renters within two days of it’s being listed. A couple from Rhode Island stayed over Labor Day weekend.
“It was kind of fun knowing they were down there,” he said.
Schneider has 10 acres of land. He’s lived here since 1981 and has spent the past years converting a 150-year-old post and beam barn into a house.
Schneider is always working on the property. He’s an avid golfer, and built his own three-hole golf course.
“They call it a labor of love. It’s not over, it’s never over,” Schneider said.
He’s been trying to use the campsite location for the past 30 years.
“He’s always had an interest in carpentry and home construction,” his brother David Schneider said.
The Schneiders grew up in New Jersey. Their father built the home they grew up in before renovating several more homes.
Schneider sold manufactured housing before he retired. He thought about posting his home on Airbnb, but the tent concept seemed more suitable.
“It’s an opportunity to make a little bit of extra money,” he said.
Schneider and his partner, Wendy Clarke, are also avid skiers. Clarke is a volunteer at Vermont Adaptive while Schneider is a ski instructor at Pico Mountain.
They already have a request from a person who wants to book the campsite next summer.
“It’s peaceful,” said Clarke of the site.
Kurt Schneider is offering a piece of his property to campers through Tentrr.