Timberroot Chief Operating Officer Autumn Adams recently took some time out of her busy schedule to walk Paul Shahen, one of the morning anchors for Chattanooga’s Local 3 News, through Timberroot’s Welcome Valley Village property.

The 17-acre property, with over 900 ft of river frontage on Tennesses’s famous Ocoee river, features nine unique vacation rentals, including three new glamping pioneer wagons.

Autumn and Paul explored the Ocoee property and talked about our new glamping wagons, Timberroot Rustic Retreat’s commitment to connecting our guests to the natural world, and the unique history of Welcome Valley Village. They also discussed how glamping fits into our overall philosophy of creating unique, engaging vacation rental experiences. This segment originally aired as part of the ongoing “3 in Your Town” series. Scroll on to read a complete transcript of the interview, or click the link below to view the video on the Local 3 News website.

Image and video credit Local 3 News

full transcript:

Paul Shahen: “We’ve heard of the word ‘glamping’ before right? Well Google defines it as ‘a form of camping involving accommodations and facilities more luxurious than those associated with traditional camping.’ Well, here at Welcome Valley Village, on the Ocoee River in Benton, Tennessee, they’ve taken glamping and put a new twist on it, or shall we say, and old twist, a pioneer age twist. Covered wagon glamping. Autumn, is the COO out here [at Timberroot Rustic Retreats].

Autumn Adams: “You know, I view the wagons as a glamping experience and that’s because you get everything that you need, you have these modern amenities, we have a shared bathhouse, we have shared washer and dryer. You have a king-size bed. You have running water in these wagons, but you also have this communal experience. You share a community around a fire pit, you hear the sounds of nature throughout your stay.”

Paul Shahen: “I mean, this legitimately looks exactly like an old-time wagon wheel that you would travel across America in. Like this is your wall, there’s no sheetrock there.”

Autumn Adams: “Exactly, taking it back to the pioneer life, you have nature right outside your door, and that’s what I love about this area, the Benton, Tennessee area.”

Paul Shahen: “So let’s go ahead and check out the inside of Old Copper. They named each of their three wagon wheel glamping experiences. You have heating and air in there as well. I mean it has amenities, right? But it’s simple.

Autumn Adams: “We stripped it down to the bare necessities. You have an incredibly comfortable king-size bed, a twin bunk bed, but you only just have running water; we don’t have a dishwasher in here. You are trying to represent an experience as close to nature as possible while also having luxurious bedding and heating & air.

Paul Shahen: “So if you notice the wagons didn’t exactly have a bathroom, but because this is glamping, not camping, you don’t have to use trees and leaves. Each wagon has its own private wet room, equipped with everything.”

Autumn Adams: “A place to take a shower, take a leak…”

Paul Shahen: *laughs*

Autumn Adams: “…and have some privacy. We can book these wagons, and they are open from March through December.”

Paul Shahen: “Essentially, you could celebrate New Year’s like you were living in the pioneer ages.

Autumn Adams: “Exactly! If you want a magical wintertime experience, we have it for you. People who are looking for an escape who just want to get out in nature for any amount of time. The minute you enter this property, you feel a sense of ease and peace.”

Paul Shahen: “This property does go up to the Ocoee [River]?

Autumn Adams: “Correct, now we are one of the only [vacation rental properties] that sits on the on the Ocoee River, the section that you can tube, and so a lot of our families love just hoping right into the river.”

Paul Shahen: “Wagons may be pretty new, the first year of it, but Welcome Valley Village is not new at all? You guys acquired it recently, but it’s got a longstanding history here?

Autumn Adams: “Welcome Valley Village was started over 20 years ago by a woman named Warnie Dooly Finnell, and she was an incredible community and participant in this area and built this property ever so slowly. And then passed [it] along to her daughter and son-in-law at her passing, and they carried it on. Honoring that tradition, we have dedicated a tree on this property to Warnie because she did do a lot for this community.”

Lori Mitchell (Anchor): “That is camping in style and I love the story behind it too.”

Paul Shahen: “Right? Yeah! Longstanding history in that area, a great family that started it, and they’re [Timberoot Rustic Retreats], carrying that tradition on now. And honestly, I am looking into when I can book a night.”

Lori Mitchell: “You were saying New Year’s, maybe?”

Paul Shahen: “That would be fun.”

Lori Mitchell: “That would be!”

Paul Shahen: And they’ve got heat as well. Fire pit, heat, bathhouse.

Lori Mitchell: “It’s a beautiful place.”

Paul Shahen: “Yeah, it is.”

Lori Mitchell: “Especially this time of the year, with the leaves, so gorgeous.”

Paul Shahen: “Oh yeah, uh huh.”

Transcript of video interview conducted by Local 3 News Chattanooga and broadcast on February 13th, 2023

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welcome valley village

ocoee, tn

Step back in time on this this beautiful 17 acre property has over 900 feet of riverfront on the legendary Ocoee River. With six rustic cabins, three covered pioneer wagons, as well as a beautiful riverside pavilion for gatherings Welcome Valley is the prefect place to gather with friends and family, or take some tie for yourself. Situated on the river and close to Cherokee National Forest, there is no finer place to stay as you explore the region.