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Follow Your Dream

Follow Your Dream

Update January 2022: Barkwells has sold to new owners! Please see our blog post about the transition.

Fifteen years ago, Michael and I followed our dream to the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina and discovered a sign on an old barn in a rural area near Asheville. The Barkwells “sign” launched our concept for a luxury retreat designed for people who want to vacation with their dogs. The iconic Asheville market was the perfect location and this fully fenced, 7 acres with one cabin and a pond was the perfect place to develop our vision.


(Looking at these “then” photos is a good reminder that it was a vision!) We are so grateful to have been able make our dream come true.

As we began to develop the property, we realized that it was not just a vacation accommodation, but a haven for guests and their dogs to rest, renew and refresh. Cabin journals reflect the happy memories and special moments for two and four-legged guests. We so appreciate the thousands of guests and more than 10,000 (yes!) beloved pets who have enjoyed this true retreat for dogs and the people who love them.

As we enter our 15th season having created 10 cabins/cottages in two locations, we have decided that it is time to slow down and take some time for ourselves,  to enjoy western North Carolina the way our guests do – to retire, at least somewhat! So, we are selling Barkwells Mills River and creating an opportunity for someone who feels the same call we did to follow their dream.  We believe this is a wonderful opportunity for someone who understands and appreciates the special place Barkwells holds in the hearts of our guests and their dogs. 

Ownership of Barkwells is a true lifestyle business:  an unique opportunity that weaves together  the camaraderie of guests and their dogs, development of cherished friendships with guests, stewardship of a beautiful natural resource, work with a mission-driven team focused on  ”creating happy memories for dogs and the people who love them,” and the joy of creating an unforgettable guest experience.  

Barkwells will move seamlessly on with the next steward of this special retreat and continue to be a reliable constant for your vacations in the future. We will stay close by after the sale and are looking forward to this next phase of our lives. We are eternally grateful for the part you and your four-legged family play in the continued success of Barkwells, The Dog Lovers’ Vacation Retreat.

Is it the time in your life to follow your dream? Or do you know someone who would enjoy this opportunity? Please feel free to contact us with any questions. For information about the purchase of Barkwells Mills River, please contact John Webb with NAI Beverly-Hanks This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 828-210-3940 ofc,  828-215-2042 cell

With great gratitude,
Ellen and Michael Winner
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