Timberroot Founder and CEO, Frank May visited the set of The Daily Refresh, a one hour local lifestyle show on Chattanooga’s WTVC NewsChannel 9 to chat with host Josh Robinson about Timberroot Rustic Retreats.

Frank and Josh discussed how Timberroot has grown from a single Airbnb on Lookout Mountain to 44 lodgings in three states, Timberroot’s guiding philosophy of connecting our guests to nature and each other, and being named one of Tennessee’s largest STR property management firms. Read the full interview below, or head over to NewsChannel 9 to watch the video.

interview transcript:

Josh Robinson: “Well, our next guest is ready to make you feel right at home on your next vacation to several paces across the country. We’ve got Frank May with Timberroot.”

Josh Robinson: “Hey Frank, how are you?”

Frank May: “Hi, good morning!”

Josh Robinson: “Good, Good”

Josh Robinson: “Alright, so Frank, tell us, how did you get started with all this, because you’ve got a cabin right here in Chattanooga, right?”

Frank May: “We’ve got a resort, yeah, 31.”

Josh Robinson: “Perfect, not one, 31 [cabins in Chattanooga], there we go, tell us about these.”

Frank May: “So this, I’ve run The Great Backyard for a very long period of time, so I have been very attached to outdoor living spaces, and we’re right there, we live like on Cummings Highway, right off Broad Street, surrounded by National Park on all four sides. Bit noisy because of the train tracks…” *laughs*

Josh Robinson: *laughs*

Frank May: “…But we took this little rundown house, put some money into it, my wife and I, and started renting it out. You know this was kinda when Airbnb was being born, and it was fun. We really liked the contact, meeting people from around the country, and then there was a trailer park. It was a 60-year-old trailer park next to us, and it was about 14 acres. We ended up buying that, and working with my father-in-law to move people out over a two-year period of time, then brought these tiny cabins in.”

Josh Robinson: “Yes”

Frank May: “That scared to 27 tiny cabins and five custom-built homes in what is known as Wauhatchie Woodlands. Okay, So we’re actually, I just learned this, but Wauhatchie Woodlands was actually just named by a real estate organization as one of the largest STR, Short Term Rental, property management firm. Which technically, Wauhatchie is not [a property management firm]; Wauhatiche Woodlands is the brand of the location, [our property management firm] Timberroot [Rustic Retreats] was born out of this idea that we love to go to natural attractions.”

Josh Robinson: “Yes”

Frank May: “Pisgah National ForestZion National ParkSmoky Mountains [National Park], right?”

Josh Robinson: “Absolutely, yeah!”

Frank May: “This is where I have always taken my kids on vacation, and so my heart is deeply attached to the natural wonders of the world.”

Josh Robinson: “Yeah”

Frank May: “And I love outdoor living, connecting people with the environment, and I’ve always kinda been an architecture geek, right?”

Josh Robinson: “Yeah”

Frank May: “And so, this is kinda the marriage [of those things]. Being a businessman, at The Great Backyard we have operations in North CarolinaUtah, and Tennessee, so I saw this as something scalable. So what we wanted to do, and what we do, is build resorts near natural attractions that have shared amenities to connect people to the environment they have come to visit.”

Josh Robinson: “I love it, and we’ve been sharing pictures of the incredible places you guys have, and it looks so cool. If we want to check out what you guys have to offer or come stay even, how do we do that? Where can we find you guys?”

Frank May: “So, Timberroot.com is the website for all the locations, North CarolinaUtah, and Tennessee.”

Josh Robinson: “Awesome, Frank. Thank you so much for sharing. They’re, the picture you sent were incredible; it looks so nice. I definitely need to, Sierra and I, are gonna add those to our list of places we need to go check out.”

Frank May: “Awesome.”

Josh Robinson: “Thank you so much Frank.”

Frank May: “Thank you for having me.”


wauhatchie woodlands

chattanooga, tn

Our flagship tiny cabin resort might be just a few minutes from downtown Chattanooga, but you’ll feel like you’re staying deep in the woods. Our tiny cabins sleep 4-6 guests between the bedroom and lofted sleeping area, and feature modern amenities, heating and air conditioning, full kitchens, and to top it all off, a private, outdoor hot tub. As an added bonus, most of our cabins are dog friendly, so your four legged friends can come along too.