DALLAS COUNTY, Mo. – Have you ever gone on a vacation that’s good for you and the environment? Well, two women say they are spending as much as $30 million to make this happen in Dallas County.
OzarksFirst spoke with Sharra Smith and Shelby Corle, co-owners of the Cherry Blossom Resort Development. They’re working to bring an earth-friendly, riverside resort and lagoon to the area.
“What we put on our body and what we put in our body is important,” Smith said. “Also, it’s not been done before. We want things to be healthy lifestyle living. We get to go on vacation, but we don’t get introduced to this healthy living because we go on vacation, and we get donuts. We want chemical-free cleaning products all the way down to the linens. We chose Lebanon because it’s right smack dab in the middle of Missouri. So we wanted to centralize where we put it. In an opportunity zoning area in a community in the economy that we can help build.”
Smith and Corle say they are remodeling the old Fort Niangua campground off Highway 64. They want to have greenhouses built out of recyclable materials. The co-owners say they plan to make the property entirely 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’s no handbook,” Smith said. “So we’ve had to kind of mow our way through writing this completely green handbook and staying within that realm as much as possible.”
Smith and Corle are working on phase one of the project, which includes building a saltwater pool with a children’s splash pad, new bunkhouses and cabins.
“We want people to come in and just feel better when they leave than when they came,” Corle said. “We want them to just have that sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.”
By Memorial Day Weekend, they say phase one should be finished, meaning 20-24 greenhouses would be ready for visitors. Phase two of the project features a 10-acre lagoon in white sands, which Smith says should be complete by the middle of 2023. Smith says the resort should be entirely built with a spa, wellness center, lodge and a five-star restaurant by May of 2024.
Smith and Corle will host an estate sale on November 6 and 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day at the Fort Niangua campground. They say they will have items from the campground available for purchase, including bedding, furniture, dishes and cookware. Smith and Corle say part of their earnings will be donated to COPE in Lebanon, a women’s domestic violence shelter and agency.