The resort said it can sell up to 1,500 tickets for the Turning Moon Fest, and it’s already sold around 1,000.
“It’s going to be a great show – we’re going to march forth,” said Michael Garnier, owner and founder of the treesort.
There’s just one problem – Josephine County isn’t backing the event.
“I applied for this mass gathering permit and they tell me they’re not going to give it to me because I don’t have all my permits,” Garnier said.
He said the whole situation has become a Catch 22.
“They’re taking their time, they don’t know what to do,” he said.
Garnier said working with the county has been a battle ever since he started his company.
“27 years ago in 1990 – I walked into the planning t and said office and said – hey, I’d like to do a treehouse bed and breakfast,” Garnier said.
The initial feedback was positive.
“They said aw, that’s a great idea,” Garnier said.
And decades later – it was. He said the resort sees around 200,000 guests each year.
“I built the first treehouse and people started coming. And then that filled up so I had to build another, and then that filled up so I had to build another. My money came back – I could build another one,” he said.
13 treehouses later, and Garnier said his relationship with the county is still push and pull.
“Part of the agreement was to get permits for everything. Well, I’m all set to get permits, for everything but the county has been dragging their feet,” he said.
He said everything is set – he just needs the county to act on it.
“It’s my opinion that they don’t have the right to deny me for something that is put together very nicely, it’s not harming anybody and so I don’t know what to tell them – the show must go on,” he said.
NBC5 News reached out to Josephine County commissioners. We were told there may be legal issues tied to why the permit was denied. The commissioner we spoke to couldn’t go into detail. However, we were told a previous accident at the resort resulted in a settlement of more than $1 million.
NBC5 News reporter, weather forecaster, anchor Nikki Torres graduated from Washington State University with a degree in Strategic Communication from The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
She also received a minor in Business Administration from the Washington State University Carson College of Business. Prior to coming to NBC5, Nikki was an intern at KHQ Local News, the NBC affiliate in Spokane.
She comes to Southern Oregon from the state of Washington, where she grew up just south of Seattle. She loves running, exploring the Pacific Northwest, watching a good football game and spending time with her dog, Gisele. True to her roots, Nikki is a proud WSU Cougar fan and loyal Seahawks fan.