"We were in one of their shows between four and five years ago," said Scott Mahr, general manager of Barnsley Gardens. "[The opportunity] just resurfaced again, and I'm sure it's through the efforts of our public relations firm as well. ... It's great [exposure for the resort]. I love it -- any press, any good press, to tell our story. It's special. It means a lot. It's such a unique property with so many great stories and to be able to tell that story is what's so exciting.
"The history of the Barnsley family goes back pre-Civil War. The property is tied to the Trail of Tears. It's tied to the Civil War. It's tied to some horticultural and plant propagation. It's 170 years old, with plant life being brought in from all over the world and a lot of that still exists."
Now encompassing 3,300 acres, the venue features a wide range of amenities, such as historic ruins, cottages, gardens, gourmet dining, golf and a hunting preserve. The majority of Barnsley Gardens' guests hail from the Southeast, with the resort's primary market being Atlanta residents. While the venue caters to corporate guests during the week, weekends tend to center around leisure business, such as weddings and family celebrations.
"Barnsley Gardens is the epitome of what makes Georgia so special," said J.C. Shardo, executive producer of "Georgia Traveler." "Here is this elegant, historic resort located in the foothills of the bucolic Blue Ridge mountains where they offer all the things that people love about Georgia: hiking, fishing, biking, hunting but wrapped in this exquisite package of spas, championship golf and great dining. Why go anywhere else?"
For Michelle DeShields, the segment's host, her favorite discovery at Barnsley Gardens was the sporting clay offering.
"I came to Barnsley Gardens expecting to soak in the romantic ruins and the tragic love story behind the place, and ended up loving sporting clays," DeShields said. "It was my first time and it was a blast.
"It looks so easy when you see sporting clays on television but it's tough. The staff showed me how to hold the gun, which is enormous, and next thing I knew, I was hitting this soaring target. It was challenging, exhilarating and may I say, 'I was pretty good at it.'"
Produced in collaboration with the Georgia Department of Economic Development, "Georgia Traveler" is a half-hour series in which hosts David Zelski and DeShields highlight Georgia's locales and residents.
"We want to bring the wonder and excitement of our state right into your living room," Shardo said. "Maybe you're a transplant, maybe you're a native Georgian -- doesn't matter. Each week we set out on a journey and ask viewers to come along for the ride. You never know what you'll find in Georgia."
For more information about Barnsley Gardens, call 770-773-7480 or visit www.barnsleyresort.com.