Will treehouse meetings become a thing in Sanford?

Attention  Central Florida event planners: Alan Fulmer wants to host your meetings – in his treehouse.

Fulmer is asking Seminole County for approval to build The Retreat, a commercial meeting and entertainment venue at the north east corner of County Road 46A and Cherry Laurel Drive (Gmap) that will feature up to four large treehouses, a cafe, a 100-seat amphitheater, a sculpture garden and a meditation area.

The idea for this unique endeavor came from an EPA report which revealed the average American spends 93% of their day indoors.

“That’s not good. I wanted to find a way to get people back in touch with the outdoors,” said Fulmer.

Click to enlarge. Site plan for The Retreat. Note: the photo at the top of the page is Not from The Retreat, but rather, a project done by  "The Treehouse Guys," in Oahu, Hawaii.
Click to enlarge. Site plan for The Retreat. Note: the photo at the top of the page is Not from The Retreat, but rather, a project done by “The Treehouse Guys,” in Oahu, Hawaii.

The treehouses would seat 20 to 30 people each. Both would be wired with electrical and Wi-Fi. However, there would be no air conditioning, but Fulmer figures none will be needed.

“We’ll have fans. Plus with all the shade and being up in the trees with the breeze, it should be very comfortable,” Fulmer said.

The 3.4-acre site has some 50 live and laurel oak trees, which will protect the property from the harsh sun Fulmer added.

He plans to market The Retreat to company’s looking for unique off-site meeting space, nonprofit organizations, clubs, gamers and meet-up groups.

The café will offer desserts, pastries, hot and cold drinks and beer and wine. Restroom facilities would also be located in the café.

Talking with Fulmer, my mind raced thinking of a major advantage of treehouse meetings: You can pull the ladder up so your obnoxious co-workers can’t attend.

But, alas, Fulmer says that won’t be an option. 😦

To comply with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) there will be handicap-accessible ramps, and most likely an elevator from the café to one of the treehouses.

“Once you’re in a treehouse, you can walk to the other one on an elevated walkway,” Fulmer said.

The project is still in the early planning stages. Fulmer will meet with Seminole County’s Development Review Committee tomorrow (Wednesday, May 4). He hopes to be open by the end of the year.

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