Couple behind failed northern Michigan 'glamping' venture ordered to issue refunds


Nice glampground you have there. It would be a shame if it never existed. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BELLA SOLVIVA
  • Photo courtesy of Bella Solviva
  • Nice glampground you have there. It would be a shame if it never existed.

It looks like the 2020 election wasn't the only alleged fraud happening in Michigan's Antrim Country. (Note: there was no actual election fraud in Antrim County.)

A Michigan couple who advertised a "glamping," or upscale camping, experience in Antrim County that was never built pleaded no contest and must refund customers, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Wednesday.

A company called Bella Solviva was behind the venture. Last December, Bradley and Sandra Carlson, the husband and wife couple behind Bella Solviva, were charged with five counts of larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000, while Bella Solviva Inc. was charged with one count of larceny by conversion between $1,000 and $20,000 and one count of larceny by conversion between $200 and $1,000.

Metro Times reported on the venture in 2015, and again in 2016 when the "glampground" failed to materialize. According to the AG, Bella Solviva indicated that customers would have the option to receive a refund if a reserved site was not built, but more than 30 customers never received refunds.

On Wednesday, the Carlsons were sentenced to two years of probation, during which they may not engage in any venture capital activities, and must pay restitution in the amount of $29,216.51 to the court by Oct. 18.

"Consumers must be able to trust their hard-earned money will be used as intended," Nessel said in a statement. "My office remains committed to holding accountable those who don’t deliver on their obligations to their customers."

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