What is Next? Cattle at Your Timeshare Resort?

Cows at your timeshare resort?
Cows at your timeshare resort?

Last week it was announced that The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, will soon be growing corn and raising cattle. In a planned sustainability program, The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille have purchased 245 acres of farmland in Dickson County. The land, to be called the Double H Farms, will be the site of an expanded garden, corn cultivation, a future gristmill for grinding the corn into corn meal, and grazing land for raising grass-fed cattle. So many timeshare resorts are making the extra effort to protect our planet and conserve our resources that I am almost surprised a hotel thought of this before a timeshare resort or vacation ownership provider tried it.

The sustainability plan includes raising vegetables and beef for use at The Capitol Grille, and creating a sustainable beef brand. “The goal,” says Greg Sligh, managing director of The Hermitage Hotel and president of Double H Farms, “is to focus the future of The Hermitage Hotel and Capitol Grille by helping to preserve land, continue sustainable farming practices, and make our product more available to the community.”

And don’t get the idea that this hospitality staff is new to farm chores. Since 2008, the hotel staff at The Hermitage Hotel has helped tend a vegetable garden planted on a nearby farm.

Thinking Outside the Timeshare Resort Hospitality Model

This effort by The Hermitage Hotel deserves tremendous applause. Not only is this plan creative, environmentally beneficial, and probably profitable in the long term, it is a testimony to thinking outside the traditional business model for hotels and hospitality providers.

A similar creative idea already in play at Grande Lakes Resort in Orlando, Florida, (which includes the JW Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton, and Marriott’s Lakeshore Reserve at Grande Lakes Timeshare) is an on-site apiary (bee yard), that is being maintained to provide fresh, quality controlled honey for both the restaurants and spa. (See: Orlando Timeshare Can’t Get Sweeter … or Stickier than Grande Lakes)

Timeshare resort owners and guests no doubt appreciate the effort a resort puts into green initiatives and sustainability programs. It tells them their timeshare is genuinely concerned about them both in the near picture and the long term. Likewise, it sends the message that timeshare resorts aren’t stuck in the past, but are are open to fresh ideas and new, vibrant business models.