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Exploring Life & Business with Kelly King of Speakeasy Resorts

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelly King.

Kelly King

Hi Kelly, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, you could tell our readers some of your backstory.
I’ve always had big dreams. It’s been quite the journey to get to where I am today, and Speakeasy Resorts is the culmination of years of hard work. I own and operate the premier luxury vacation home in the Texas Hill Country and will open two more incredible vacation getaways next year. I’m proud to have curated a perfect setting for friends and family to gather and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Here is my journey.

I grew up in Houston in a home filled with love and laughter. I learned early on that relationships and experiences are the most important things in life, and we enjoyed traveling to new places, experiencing new things, and meeting new people. I married my college sweetheart Jason in 2000 and opened up a home decor and interior decorating store in Atlanta with Jason’s mother shortly after getting married. Here, I developed a passion for interior design and creating beautiful spaces.

While I loved running my store, I’m a Texas girl at heart, and after a few years, we moved to Austin to be closer to friends, family, and the beautiful Texas Hill Country. I had a successful career in sales and advertising. Still, I always retained that entrepreneurial spirit and put aside money because I knew I wanted to open my own business again someday. We moved to San Antonio in 2015. After a few years of staying home with my 2 young children and volunteering in the community, I was ready to rejoin the workforce. I got my real estate license and sold homes and land throughout Central Texas. Real estate combines some of my favorite things:

  • Helping people achieve their dreams
  • Keeping up with the latest design trends
  • Fostering lasting relationships
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Seeing unique homes

Jason and I love to travel, and when Covid hit in 2020, we had several international trips canceled due to travel restrictions. We decided to stay at a nearby vacation rental with a few friends and ended up having such a great time that we started dreaming about opening our luxury vacation rental. I found the perfect lot nestled on a hilltop in Concan, Texas overlooking the Texas Hill Country in a peaceful gated community. It had incredible views and was near the Frio River, Garner State Park, golfing, hiking, tubing, horseback riding, fishing, and more. In 2021, we started Speakeasy Resorts and began construction on the Highball. We wanted to build something modern, stylish, unique, and large enough to accommodate groups of friends or families. The Highball opened in the fall of 2022, and we just started construction on our next project, the Moonshine. From the infinity pool and resort-style outdoor spaces to the unique modern architecture, it’s been pretty amazing seeing my dreams become a reality.

Alright, let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what challenges have you had to overcome?

Building a new home is always an adventure. The Highball is on top of a hill with a steep slope, and our architect and builder were miracle workers when coming up with a design that would make the sloped elevation an asset instead of a liability and allow for gorgeous views from every room. We designed the Highball to maximize the views by creating 3 levels of patios and an infinity pool overlooking the Frio Canyon. We wanted guests to enjoy the sunset from the hot tub and watch the sunrise from their bedroom walk-out patio. One struggle we encountered was introducing a new look and concept to a smaller community that typically operates seasonally and has a more traditional style. Concan is a small community with a population of 224 residents. Tourism is the primary industry in the area, and visitors flock to the rustic cabins along the Frio River during the summer months. Our vision was to create a modern, glamorous retreat with resort-like amenities that guests would enjoy year-round. While the modern architecture is quite a change from the cute cabins that dominate the area, our home has quickly become a favorite among the locals and guests alike. And while summer will always be the most popular time to visit the Frio River area, our guests enjoy the firepit, heated pool, oversized hot tub, games, and beautiful surroundings all year. Visitors to the area enjoy seeing the trees changing color in the fall, hunting and enjoying the serenity of the outdoors in the winter, and hiking to the top of “Old Baldy,” fishing, bird-watching, and golfing in the spring. I’m proud that we have overcome obstacles and achieved our goal of becoming a year-round destination.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Speakeasy Resorts?
Right in the heart of Texas Hill Country, sitting comfortably by the beautiful Frio River, you’ll find my labor of love, the luxury vacation homes of Speakeasy Resorts. Our first and pride of the fleet, The Highball, provides a haven of unparalleled comfort, truly an escape from the ordinary routine of life. The Highball is more than just a resort. It’s a tangible reflection of our commitment to superior guest experiences. This beautiful home spans 3800 sqft and accommodates up to 20 guests comfortably. It’s an ideal location for special celebrations, family gatherings, or a much-needed escape from the daily grind. With its contemporary design, breathtaking panoramic views of the Frio River, and an exhaustive list of amenities – think chef’s kitchen, a gigantic hot tub, and a 4-person arcade – The Highball is where Speakeasy Resorts brings our dreams of bringing unmatched luxury to the Texas Hill Country to fruition.

We’ve placed The Highball right in the heart of the action, catering to all types of travelers. If you’re an outdoor lover eager for a day of kayaking, tubing, fishing, or swimming in the Frio River or a wine connoisseur wanting to savor the Hill Country vineyards, you’ll find it all here. For sports enthusiasts, Frio Valley Ranch Golf Club is just around the corner, and those who love horseback riding will find Elm Creek Stables a real treat. But our uniqueness continues beyond our location. Our steadfast dedication to delivering a personalized, stress-free vacation experience sets us apart. Here at Speakeasy Resorts, vacations are more than just a change of scenery. We offer white-glove concierge support throughout your stay and even the option to customize an itinerary for your next visit. We strive to provide our guests with an all-encompassing vacation experience, immersing them in the culture, cuisine, wine, and natural beauty of Texas Hill Country, all in the lap of luxury.

Our services aren’t solely about the modern comfort of our accommodation but also about crafting unforgettable memories. Every detail, from the spa-like master bath to the cozy sunken firepit, from the sweeping floor-to-ceiling windows that reveal stunning views to the well-equipped chef’s kitchen, is carefully curated to enhance your experience. Plus, we’ve incorporated features that bring everyone together for quality time, be it a board game by the stylish fireplace, a round of cornhole on the upstairs deck, or a laid-back dinner in the outdoor dining area.

Our commitment lies in transforming your vacation dreams into reality, whether arranging a massage therapist, hosting a cocktail-making workshop, or organizing a winery day trip. Speakeasy Resorts isn’t just about vacation homes – we offer experiences. It’s our pride and joy to provide a getaway that meets and exceeds expectations, where guests can feel at home and create lasting memories. To learn more about our services, check availability, or book, visit Your Texas Hill Country adventure is just a click away!

Can you talk to us about the role of luck?
Indeed, luck has played its part in my life and business, but it is the meeting point of preparation and opportunity. Being successful in this line of work is a mix of dedication, good planning, a unique vision, and a dash of luck. We’ve always tried to create our luck by being diligent and intentional about every aspect of planning, aiming to make our endeavor a resounding success.

Starting a business from scratch isn’t a walk in the park; it demands time, effort, meticulous attention to detail, and boundless creativity. But luck truly came in building our dream team. We were fortunate to find the perfect builder, designer, contractors, and staff, all integral cogs contributing to our success. I see every connection we made that helped bring these people into our lives at the right time as a stroke of good luck.

I’m a firm believer in sharing good fortune. With a wave of new families making Texas their home, we feel fortunate to share the natural beauty of Texas Hill Country with them, elevated by our modern comforts. It’s an opportunity we cherish, and it feels like the universe giving back for the excellent energy we’ve put into our work. In that sense, luck has not only been a participant in our journey but a very welcome one.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
S. Weitz Photography, Onelife Catalyst

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