What’s up with Bella Solviva?
Many are wondering what the scoop is with Bella Solviva. Some are calling it a scam, others, perhaps you, have been trying to make reservations, or are confused with the multiple messages that have proliferated the media, the web and social media.
We feel very badly that an idea that has captured the imagination of Michigan, the nation and even the world has experienced such birthing pains. With over 1.6 million web hits from over 320,000 people to date, numerous media interviews and accolades, many thousands of social media followers and inquiries, the concept obviously has merit and will be a tremendous success, bringing joy and relaxation to many people.
We have done everything humanly possible to bring this to fruition, including riding our own finances and lives into the ground. In the early stages, prior to any media attention (and with only six Facebook followers) we attempted a crowd-funding campaign which failed miserably due to a lack of exposure and the fact that Michigan at large had yet to be introduced to the glamping movement. At this juncture, Bella Solviva has not successfully attracted enough first round monies to complete the initial phase, nor do we have deep pockets. While we have had significant interest by second round investors, we simply do not personally know people who are invest in the first-round of new ventures. The financing for the purchase of the land is committed, but the additional monies needed to begin construction have not materialized.
Why then did we take reservations? With the overwhelming interest that came from media exposure, and in response to the 10,000 plus direct inquiries for information and reservations, our financial models showed that the project would self-fund with reservations and club memberships (advance usage purchase). In addition, our vision for the h our Extreme Build concept (which also garnered tremendous interest), was to give families and organizations the opportunity to 'make Bella Solviva' their own by contributing labor and/or supplies to help bring such a unique destination to Michigan in exchange for future time at the resort. This community effort would have allowed for the initial infrastructure in place at or under budget. Hindsight is better than foresight, and our vision, hopes and dreams have out-paced reality. This realization caused us to shut down reservations a few months ago.
As opening dates were missed, over 50% of customers were refunded before funds ran dry. To those still waiting for refunds, we do not want to take Bella Solviva into bankruptcy; our belief is there is still hope, as reflected in the name Bella Solviva, which means Beautiful Hope. We feel sickened that we have let people down, certainly not treating them the way we would want to be treated, nor with the quality that we have all envisioned for Bella Solviva. Our desire is to continue to refund remaining deposits, as funds become available.
Meanwhile, receipts were spent on engineering, health department and road commission permit fees, advertising and basic expenses. It is important to note there never has been payroll issued to anyone involved with Bella Solviva.
Does Michigan (and the nation) want Bella Solviva? We certainly believe so. But until additional capital is secured, little more can happen. To those we have let down, we are deeply sorry and sincerely apologize. We still hope for a good outcome and will do everything possible to win back the hearts of those that took a chance, when that time comes. And to those that truly believe in the concept of Bella Solviva, any ideas on helping make this move forward would be greatly treasured!
Some media outlets love to find scandal to build a story. Certain outlets have resorted to quite distasteful methods of trying to collect information. There is not a scandal here, only a somewhat sad and uncomfortable birthing to a great concept.
Stay with us; it will be worth the wait!