DALLAS COUNTY, Missouri – Have you ever had a vacation that’s good for you and the environment? Well, two women say they’re spending up to $ 30 million to make this happen in Dallas County.
OzarksFirst spoke with Sharra Smith and Shelby Corle, co-owners of Cherry Blossom Resort Development. They strive to bring an eco-friendly seaside resort and riverside lagoon to the region.
“What we put on our bodies and what we put on our bodies is important,” Smith said. “Plus, it hasn’t been done before. We want things to be a healthy lifestyle. We can go on vacation, but we are not introduced to this healthy lifestyle because we go on vacation and we get donuts. We want chemical-free cleaning products right down to household linens. We chose Lebanon because it is right in the middle of Missouri. So we wanted to centralize where we put it. In an area of opportunity zoning in an economy community that we can help build.
Smith and Corle say they are redeveloping the old Fort Niangua campground near Highway 64. They want the greenhouses to be built from recyclable materials. The co-owners say they plan to make the property completely chemical-free. Smith says the property will also use bamboo fabrics, cotton, dye-free and organic items.
“It’s been a process because since it hasn’t been done there is no manual,” Smith said. “So we had to make our way by writing this completely green manual and staying in this area as much as possible.”
Smith and Corle are working on the first phase of the project, which includes the construction of a saltwater swimming pool with a children’s paddling pool, new dormitories and cabins.
“We want people to come in and feel better when they leave than when they come,” Corle said. “We want them to just have that feeling of relaxation and rejuvenation.”
By Memorial Day weekend, they say the first phase should be completed, meaning 20 to 24 greenhouses would be ready for visitors. Phase two of the project includes a 10-acre white-sand lagoon, which Smith says is expected to be completed by mid-2023. Smith says the resort is expected to be fully built with a spa, wellness center , a lodge and a five-star restaurant by May 2024.
Smith and Corle will be hosting a real estate sale on November 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily at the Fort Niangua Campground. They say they will have items from the campsite available for purchase, including bedding, furniture, dishes and cooking utensils. Smith and Corle say part of their income will be donated to COPE in Lebanon, a women’s shelter and domestic violence agency.