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© Allison Usavage

Firelight Camps

Firelight Camps is a new glamping experience at La Tourelle, making connection with nature accessible for a broader audience.

A Q&A with Robert Frisch, CEO and co-founder of Firelight Camps.

© Allison Usavage
What do you do?

Firelight Camps provides luxury camping extensions for hotels, resorts, vineyards, lodges, or any other kind of hospitality operation like that. We are offering people a stylish and comfortable way to connect with nature and spend the night in nature… go camping.

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Who is this good for?

For the experience itself… our main market for that is empty nesters: a slightly older clientele. They don’t own camping equipment or they used to go camping but don’t want to sleep on the ground and they want a slightly more comfortable camping experience. We’ve also seen a lot of couples come in from cities… people who want to escape the city but don’t own camping equipment. There’s a lot of people who’ve never been camping before in their life and were scared to try it. This is kind of a way to coax them to get outside for the first time.

The second is the hotels that we come and set up on. It’s a very light-footprint way for a property to bring in extra revenue but still preserve a real landscape for the most part, which is a really cool form of development.

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What change are you trying to make?

I don’t know if I’m trying to make any change in the world. I don’t know if I really believe in that statement. I’m just trying to encourage people to enjoy simple pleasures in life, and to slow down and to really form deep connections with family and friends and with passing strangers as well. There’s something just really special about sitting around a fire pit at night that really fosters deep connection and good conversation, so I don’t know if I would say change, but I’m looking to encourage those kinds of actions.

© Allison Usavage
What brought you here?

I’ve always had a love for hospitality. I opened a boutique hostel in Nicaragua that I ran for four years. That was just so rewarding, getting to meet travelers.

It’s also just incredibly rewarding to start something from scratch. To see some woods and an old dilapidated tennis court and have a vision and make it come to life.

But also to encourage people to get outside. I didn’t really grow up as a super outdoorsy guy, but Emma, my wife, got me into it and it’s just been a really great cornerstone of my life. So hospitality got me into it, being outdoors got me into it, and entrepreneurship got me into it.

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How does this impact Ithaca and the Finger Lakes?

That’s a good question… we’re still figuring that out. But we’ve just gotten such a tremendous response. Ithaca and the Finger Lakes already has a sort of outdoors-y ecotourism message, but most of the lodging is still bed and breakfast-type places. We are kind of the first eco-lodge experience in the Finger Lakes, let alone the East coast. I lived in Central America for a long time, and I’ve traveled the world and it’s always been a question of mine. Why do you have to go to Thailand to stay in an eco-lodge? We have beautiful nature here too.

What struggles have you encountered?

Lots of struggles.. I mean there’s just so many moving parts. It’s mostly about figuring out how to best use your time because you’re getting pulled in so many directions. To cut out everything you can do tomorrow and prioritize ruthlessly.

© Allison Usavage
What inspires you, and what should we be celebrating?

Being out no matter the weather. Just being in a really quiet, outdoor environment, relaxing. Maybe sitting around the fire pit in the evening with some good friends. That inspires me.

I think we should be celebrating just being out in nature. It doesn’t have to be the most stunning landscape you’ve ever seen or the most beautiful mountain you’ve ever seen, there’s beauty in just a basic woodscape or a small meadow. I think that’s what we should be celebrating.

© Allison Usavage
How can we participate?

Come book a tent with us and stay the night!

 

or learn more about their mission to preserve, connect, immerse, and serve as a steward at firelightcamps.com

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