BBB is issuing a Consumer Alert about Bella Solviva, a supposed high-end resort slash campground located near Traverse City, MI. This non-existent resort has been accepting reservations for an upscale camping experience for more than two years, but to date, still does not have a working campground, nor has it even started initial construction.
Brad Carlson and his wife Sandy received significant media coverage for their vacation concept over two years ago, which would be a camper's paradise and come complete with everything from units with running water and beds to a marooned "yacht with a shore-side kitchen." They initially planned to use the crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise $100,000 for their proposed 107-acre camping facility, but only managed to raise $2,951 towards their lofty goal.
Since then, the couple has continued to solicit online donations for this massive undertaking, while also showing no proof of progress on this project. Their website currently offers "annual memberships," "reservations," and a "rewards program," and you can even buy "gift certificates" ranging in price from $100 to $5,000 to help fund Bella Solviva.
Would-be campers have not understood that this is still only a dream at this point, as Bella Solviva's website claims it to be "Michigan's first and only green, sustainable glamping destination," while also providing an ambiguous disclaimer stating "images and descriptions depict this first of its kind eco-resort in the Midwest. Some of the photographs & all videos were taken onsite, but most images of accommodations, activities and amenities are not of the actual property.”
Based on multiple unanswered complaints from consumers, this business is no longer responding to consumers and does not refund investments or deposits. BBB has reached out via phone and written communication to the owners of Bella Solviva, and received no response to date. BBB advises consumers that any funds given to Bella Solviva for a deposit or reservation are likely never to be recouped, plus they'll have no camping experience to boot.
BBB is actively working with authorities to further investigate this business. If you have invested in or had issues with Bella Solviva, please contact our office with more information or file a formal complaint via our website.