Colorado Yurt Company: Saying Goodbye to a Friend

In the past ten years or so, if you had a yurt, tipi or tent delivered, you might have met Lonnie. He did most of our deliveries for many years, and would have made a distinct impression. He was a short, skinny guy- usually wearing a trucker hat, zip-up sweatshirt and a well-worn pair of jeans. He would have talked proudly of our company, and been very friendly and quick with a joke.


Lonnie logged many miles in this rig

Lonnie was a Colorado native, mobile mechanic, former truck driver, former short order cook, story teller and definite character. He started doing work for Colorado Yurt Company when his wife, Lee, joined our staff over 16 years ago. We needed someone to drive a few yurts to some customers, and Lee said “I have just the guy.”


One of the few photos of Lonnie without a hat

After that, Lonnie became our go-to guy for deliveries. He also kept our forklift running, made sure the trucks had tires and oil changes, cleaned up the parking lot and even drove by on the weekends to make sure things were quiet.

First impressions are often not accurate. My first impression was that Lonnie was a gruff and grumpy guy. Then, I noticed how he treated Arlo (a golden retriever who used to hang out in our office). Arlo liked most people, but he LOVED Lonnie. Arlo was a great judge of character.

After I got to know Lonnie, I came to realize that he was a softie. If Lonnie was your friend, he’d do anything for you (actually, even if you weren’t his friend). He loved animals, loved his wife, gave generously of his time and was a dependable, hard-working man.

For ten years, I painted tipis on the weekends, and Lonnie usually visited on Saturday afternoons (Lee threw him out so she could clean the house). He’d come in the door, shout “How you doin’ Miss Ivy?”. He’d stay for a half hour or so, sharing a great story or two. I was disappointed if I went a whole weekend without a conversation with Lon.


Lonnie grilling burgers for the crew

He was a colorful character with a vocabulary to match. He declared a local auto parts shop “as worthless as teats on a boar hog” (he was correct). He became a friend to many of us: taking Dan and Emma’s son fishing when he was just a boy, rescuing co-workers from Rock Jam when their car wouldn’t start, driving cross-country to help a nephew whose car broke down, picking people up at the airport, taking in stray cats, fixing things that needed to be fixed, dog-sitting and so much more.

The past few years had been tough for Lonnie. He had a history of heart problems, and unfortunately the heart disease became chronic. This past summer, it got even worse. On September 9, our friend Lonnie passed away. We were not shocked that his heart finally gave out. Nevertheless, we were not prepared for him to be gone. Despite his small stature, he was a large presence, and our world is a little less colorful with his passing.

We will miss you, friend.

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Colorado Yurt Company Says Good-by to One of Our Stars

Margaret Pritchard started working at Colorado Yurt Company in April of 1998, and she retired this week.



Margaret Pritchard

An experienced seamstress, Margaret quickly made a huge impact on our tipi department. She became supervisor of tipis and tents within two years. She was always a great teacher, patient mentor and organized leader. She started talking about retirement a few years ago, and decided to hand over the “boss” title to one of her protégés.  Both Henry and our current tipi/tent department head, Troy, learned from Margaret and stepped into the supervisor’s role with confidence. As a member of the team, Margaret continued her exceptional skill and eye for quality.

Tipi Team

The Tipi and Tent team

In retirement, Margaret will have more time to enjoy with her husband Bill (who recently retired from the Ute Indian Museum). They enjoy going to gun shows and yard sales, and will have more time to spend with family and friends. To be closer to the grandkids, they’ll be relocating to Colorado Springs. She will likely still sew for fun.


Margaret says she’ll miss the people at Colorado Yurt Company the most. She won’t miss the early morning start to the day for sure.

We will miss her always-cheerful attitude, her hard work and dedication to our company and her skill and leadership.

We wish you well, dear Margaret. Stop by and say “hi” once in awhile.

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Colorado Yurt Company Customer Stories: Mountain Valley Retreat

The movie and best-selling book, “Wild”, detailed one woman’s journey along the Pacific Coast Trail. The PCT goes from Mexico to Canada, crossing the array of scenic and wild places in California, Oregon and Washington. On the south end of the trail, there is a great spot to stop, unwind, rest and heal. Mountain Valley Retreat has three Earthworks Tipis, and a Colorado Yurt for meditation, yoga, music and events.


Chery Owens and George Scheuer created a peaceful and spiritual retreat near Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  They offer yoga classes, music jams and workshops throughout the year and a mentoring program for long term stays. MVR has yoga and meditation retreats, CranialSacral Therapy, body work, music jams, drumming circles, fine art and healing art workshops and offer personal retreats from the stress of city life.

Workshops and gatherings are held in a 30’ Colorado Yurt. We’ve always known that yoga in a yurt is a special experience. “Everyone who steps into our yurt comments about the ‘feel of the field.’  The round shape and domed ceiling create a feeling of spaciousness and the acoustics are excellent for music.  It truly is a magical place,” Says Chery.


Their guests say such things as:

Thank you for nourishing me while on my path.  Your warm hearts, meaningful conversations, and hospitality made this endeavor even more insightful.  The tipi is awesome.  Yoga in the Yurt was relaxing. 

Lovely place to reconnect, get grounded, and have plain-good-fun! Everything you need within reach, the ground is sacred, the water is pristine, a slice of Heaven on Earth. Stay in the Tipis! Nap in the Hammocks! Emerge totally refreshed! 

tipi insidetipi

A stay in one of the three Earthworks tipis is an experience guests relish. They are beautifully painted by Chery. She designed them to honor her personal heritage, Earth Spirits, Indigenous Healers and the Native American Medicine Wheel.  She says, “The tipis are spacious and homey with rugs and furniture to give guests a feeling of coziness.  Painting the tipis was a six month process and I loved every minute of it. I dreamed the designs and then brought them to life. “


Chery Painting one of her tipis- inside her yurt


Detail of painting on tipi


Painting detail

Chery says, “I am a musician, artist, therapist and yoga instructor who loves living close to nature.   After living here for three years I had a vision of our retreat. I realized I could create a special place where people would come to practice yoga and meditation, receive healing touch and have unique experiences with artistic expression.  Guests can cycle or hike in the desert, valley or mountains…and we LOVE creating “Trail Magic” for the PCT thru-hikers.”

“The choice to purchase from Colorado Yurt was made in part because of the friendly, personal service I received when I was doing my research.  Delivery was smooth and installation went great- thanks to the way in which the products were packaged and the instructions we received.”


“I can’t imagine life without my yurt and tipis.  They have made our little retreat a unique and special place to live and share with our guests.”

We love hearing about places like Mountain Valley Retreat. Chery and George are using our structures to full advantage of the history, spirit and singularity of the designs.


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Colorado Yurt Company Customer Stories: Firelight Camps

Hardwood floors, luxurious linens on a comfortable bed, a covered porch overlooking hardwood forests, gourmet food and fine spirits… sounds like a high end hotel or resort, right?

Firelight-Camps-logo-full-color-(pms-1805_115)-     cimarron_tents_logoCYClogo

At Firelight Camps you get the luxury of a resort, with the added benefit of hearing morning birds chirping, feeling breezes through the branches and smelling a campfire.


Robert and Emma Frisch opened Firelight Camps glamping resort in Ithaca, NY in 2014. Emma might be familiar to you if you’re a fan of Food Network Star season 10, where she was a finalist.  Emma and Robert have years of hospitality experience and thrive on making guests comfortable.  They built Firelight Camps with a philosophy of preservation of the natural environment, immersion in natural beauty, connection with nature and each other and stewardship of the earth.


When they planned their resort, they chose structures to reflect their philosophy. They came to us at Colorado Yurt Company for our custom Cimarron Tents. Our tents are handmade in Colorado, using the finest materials. We craft each tent to the customers’ specifications, offering upgrades such as screen on all four sides and large windows. Our extended vinyl fly creates a covered porch area in front of the tent where Firelight guests can enjoy a cup of coffee or cocktail while watching the sun rise or set.


The camp has a spa bathhouse and a lounge tent. A fresh continental breakfast is included with tent stays, and a campfire is a gathering place every evening.

© Allison Usavage

Colorado Yurt has been great to work with; they are quick, professional and friendly, and the quality of their tents is exceptional.” says Robert “Our guests have absolutely loved the tents. There is something so romantic and immersive about sleeping under canvas in the woods!”

© Allison Usavage

It’s a great way to experience one of our high quality tents, while being pampered by some of the best in the hospitality industry. The camp opens for the season in mid-May. Firelight Camps is expanding and growing, adding another nine Cimarron Tents this year.  Visit their website for more information.

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Colorado Yurt Company Customer Stories:

If you’ve ever worked in a large corporation or call center, you know how hard it is to find a bit of respite in the land of cubicles. The desks, phones and partial walls are certainly a good solution for large organizations to get the work done, but they don’t lend themselves to reflection and creativity.

Backcountry CS Office in WestValley City, February, 2015

When customer service center found a need for a meeting space, their creative minds came up with the idea to use a yurt. They decided upon a 706 square feet, 30 foot diameter Colorado Yurt to be placed inside the building among the cubes.

Backcountry CS Office in WestValley City, February, 2015 is probably familiar to most of our customers. Our businesses appeal to the same people: lovers of adventure and the outdoors.  Backcountry is one of the premier sources for outdoor equipment and clothing. They’re based in Park City, UT, where they have their corporate offices and the customer service center with the yurt.

We got the call last fall, and we talked them through what options they’d need on an indoor yurt. Obviously, they didn’t need the upgraded snow and wind packages, and insulation wasn’t necessary either. Theirs was one of the most “basic” yurts we’ve built lately.

After the yurt arrived in Utah, they pitched it in the corner of the department- then gave Lexi Dowdall the enviable task of decorating it. Lexi is a marketing writer for backcountry, and she must have a reputation for good taste as well. She was told to “Keep it whimsical. Keep it grungy”. It took three weeks of intense preparation and one week of installation. She chose earthy colors and textures, with a leather sofa, dark wood tables and a leather shag rug. Details include handmade burlap prayer flags, thrift store frames and accents and a crafty version of the backcountry goat logo made of string art on barn wood.

See her photo album of the yurt project here (click through all the pages):

“Besides a notorious hub for naps, it serves us wonderfully as a conference room, classroom and fun meeting space,” says Lexi. “We LOVE our yurt”


The success of this project make us think… there are likely many other businesses that could appreciate a yurt in their midst. Whether a school, corporation, small business or a non-profit- using a yurt as a classroom, exercise space, meeting room or offices- we’ll be happy be the yurt company to choose. We’ll talk you through your options and build the very best yurt to meet your needs.

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Making the best better: Product innovation at Colorado Yurt Company

At The Colorado Yurt Company we build our reputation on quality, customer satisfaction and service. We are proud of each handcrafted yurt, tipi and tent, whether it’s pitched in our backyard or across the globe.


A commitment to quality means we are committed to constant improvement and innovation. Over the years, we’ve listened to our customers, added new designs and improved details to make our products the best you can buy.

We’re excited to announce some innovative changes to all of our structures.


We’re proud to launch our Colorado Tall Boy Yurt, with taller walls. The increased height creates soaring interior spaces . These tall walls allow for more creativity with interior design, because there’s more room for furniture and shelves around the perimeter of the yurt and room for a loft in most yurts.

loft photos_02

This improvement also makes the entry a full residential sized door to meet building codes. And the addition of an aluminum threshold on every door makes every yurt ADA compliant.


Our Colorado Tall Boy Yurts are still backed by the best engineering in the industry, enabling our yurts to meet building codes and to stand up in heavy snows and winds in all climates.

Window Innovations:

Basic windows: We are now offering a 52” x 34” window designed to go over a counter in addition to our 48” x 48” windows. We’ve always included three windows in every yurt. Now you can mix and match, upgrade to add extras and pick where the windows will be in the yurt.


Operable glass windows: We now offer a curved wood frame operable sliding double pane window. It’s a good looking glass window, and is more affordable than our highest-quality wood casement windows. Glass windows can be opened from inside the yurt, have a more “home-like” feel and insulate better than our basic fabric windows. These new windows are a great way to add a glass window or two, even when you’re on a budget.

Curved Windowweb


We’re thrilled to offer our beautiful handmade tipis in our new 15 ounce (per square yard) Sunforger marine army duck—with or without a flame resistant treatment—in addition to our 13 ounce Sunforger. Both the 13 and 15 ounce materials are 100% cotton canvas with a mineral dye treatment for water and mildew repellence. The 15 oz. Sunforger with the flame resistant treatment is ours exclusively. This fabric is strong, beautiful and breathable. It creates a tipi that pitches beautifully, has a great natural cotton color and texture and will last many years. We’re confident that this is the very best tipi canvas available. Our Tipi Liners and Ozans are now available in 10 ounce Sunforger for greater pitching ease.



We’re pleased to offer the same cotton fabrics for our tents. Plus we now have a choice of fly material;you can choose standard 13 ounce vinyl or the 19 ounce ProStructure vinyl fly. ProStructure is the most rugged and durable fly available. It’s the best choice if you have high winds, super-intense sun or other extreme weather conditions. It’s also a good choice for camps and campgrounds.

Color! For a unique tent, you can now choose color for the walls. We offer desert tan or forest green in our 15oz flame retardant Tuff-Star fabric. Pick all four walls in either color or mix and match in any combination. All colorful tents have our 100% cotton, 15oz Sunforger FR fabric on the roof for strength and translucency.


All of these product improvements are available now and are explained on our website. Give us a call if you have questions or just want to know more. We have even more product innovation coming soon. We’re always on the lookout for ideas that will make our structures even better, whether the ideas come from our management team, our skilled crew or our customers.

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Colorado Yurt Company: Looking Back on Another Great Year

2014 has been a year of great projects, milestones and continued growth.  As we come to the end of another year, we reflect on some of the wonderful things that happened in 2014.


First- and most wonderful- there were baby boys. Dan and Emma became grandparents for the first time when their son Sam and his wife Lila welcomed a baby boy in October.  One of our tipi department rock stars, Troy, became a first time dad in September, and Henry, our tipi department supervisor, will have another son before this year is done.

We had a great year in all respects. We got to know new customers, worked with old customers and saw exciting projects take shape for 2015.

To start our year, Dan and Emma took a trip to Spain to meet with a camp we’ve had a long relationship with. L’Arcada Camp houses their campers in large, custom-designed tipis. Our crew built the tipis, we painted them and sent them to Spain for the start of camp in late May. It was the first project to use a new tipi fabric, which we’ll be introducing to all of our customers in early 2015.


We also sent more tipis and tents to Coachella Music Festival. Ours is a multi-year relationship, giving Coachella the finest quality structures for their camping village at the festival. We love the photos they’ve sent of the fields full of tipis and tents.


Firelight Camps in Ithaca, NY installed a group of our platform tents for their exciting new glamping resort. The camp is hosted by food network star Emma Frisch and her husband, Robert. They are redefining luxury camping, and we’re honored to be partnering with them.


On the yurt side, it was a huge year for camp yurts. Many camps added yurts for the first time, and others added to existing yurt villages.

We started the year with yurts for our friends at Forest Home Camps in California. Their camp is a large, multi-site Christian camp, with different types of structures from tents to lodges. They added a yurt village in the spring of 2014.


We sent a bunch of yurts to Camp Tawonga in California. They offered yurt accommodations for the first time this year.

We worked with parks all over the USA, Canada and beyond- sending multiple yurts to Alberta, Utah, Minnesota, Oscoda Township in Michigan and a camp in Mexico to name a few.



In 2015, we have several big projects already on our schedule. We’re also going to unveil some innovative product improvements and enhancements, as well as new structures.

We’re looking forward to our 40th anniversary as a company in 2016. In these nearly 40 years, we’ve seen lots of changes- in our product, our projects and our people. Through the years, the focus has been and remains:

  • To build quality alternative structures that fulfill our customers’ dreams, while always providing exceptional customer service
  • To give our employees rewarding jobs that build on their skills, loyalty and talents, while providing a living wage
  • To support our community, both locally and globally with conscience and compassion

As we wind down another year, we are grateful for the good fortune we have. We’re blessed to have a great place to work, good people around us, a beautiful place to live and the health and happiness to enjoy it.


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Yurt Questions Answered: Can You Live in a Yurt?

There are lots of reasons to consider living in a yurt.

grange yurtbunk

The most common motivation is to live a simpler life, perhaps debt-free and definitely closer to nature. A yurt home is often a fraction of the cost of a traditional home, appealing to people who are just starting out or downsizing for retirement. Many people use a yurt as their residence while building a house, then use the yurt as a guest house or studio later. A yurt as a summer home is idyllic, with the breezes and sunshine close to you.  While the warmth and durability of a yurt in winter makes it a cozy retreat.


Yurt interior

Like any building project and life change, yurt living takes a bit of planning.

Best quality yurts

First, you probably need to get the a-okay from your city, county and maybe your homeowners association to occupy a yurt full time. There is a wide range of rules and regulations within our own state, and we have seen that the codes are subject to local interpretation. Our staff is ready to help you through the permitting process, should you need our expertise. We can help by providing engineering calculations for the yurt, certifying the snow and wind load. Our yurts can meet the international building code for structural loads. Our Winter Stout Alpine Yurt is engineered for extremely high, unbalanced snow loads.


If you are living in your yurt, you might want plumbing and electricity. We encourage you to work with local contractors, and consider putting utilities in your deck or platform plans. We can advise you on your deck or platform type, whether a wooden deck or concrete slab or SIPS.  We have suggested deck plans on our website to download. If you need an engineered deck, these plans are a great starting place- and a qualified architect or engineer can modify them for your site.

Orvis 003

Room partitions in yurts are better as free-standing or partial walls. That way, you don’t compromise the tall, spacious feel of the yurt. We have some ideas for dividing your space on our pinterest page, and we have a few simple floor plans we can share.


You can put a kitchen and a bathroom in a yurt, as well as a loft (in larger yurts). The yurt interior is your creative palette. You can make it as polished or as rustic as your lifestyle dictates. We’ve seen yurts that are interior design masterpieces and yurts that are simple, rustic spaces for family relaxation on a remote property.


When you chose yurt living, you will find that the simplicity, the round shape and the glorious sky view through the dome all contribute to a unique way of life that you didn’t imagine before. We are here to help you with the planning of your dream, and we will look forward to many photos of your new home.

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Twenty-five Years of Yurt Building at Colorado Yurt Company

A lot has changed at Colorado Yurt Company in the past 25 years. There have been 4 different locations and a couple different logos. The number of employees has gone from less-than-ten to over thirty.

Colorado Yurt Company will not be the same.

But, one thing hasn’t changed in 25 years. Clint Huddleston has come to work every day to put his skill and dedication to work for the company. He builds yurts, sews tipis and tents, pitches all three, packs them for shipping, maintains the equipment and happily answers countless questions about our products from new staff and customers.


Clint is a California guy at heart.  His childhood was spent surfing the waves off Huntington Beach and riding motorcycles. After a stint in the US Navy, he met a woman from Colorado. Laura grew up in Ouray, CO and wanted to live in the mountains she loved. So, the California guy followed his heart, and moved to the San Juan mountains to marry her. They raised three kids- and are now proud grandparents of two very adorable little girls.

These days, Clint rides his dirt bike over mountain passes and takes a surfing vacation back to California every year- to keep his first love in his life.

photo (8)

photo (9)

At Colorado Yurt Company, Clint is an integral part of our business. He knows about the product, understands the process of building a quality yurt, tipi or tent and is a reliable, conscientious manager who is a great example to the rest of the crew.

Clint has had some memorable moments over the years, from attending trade shows to setting up tents for celebrity weddings. His favorite jobs were a yurt pitch on Laguna Beach in 2001 and repairing tents with Dan in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (a beach location seems to be the common factor). He’s traveled from California to Florida and Mexico to Canada working for Colorado Yurt.

Colorado Yurt crew and How It's Made crew.

Clint has especially enjoyed the people he’s met over the years and the variety of experiences he’s had in his job. He says, “It’s always an adventure.”

We’re lucky to have him as part of the CYC family, and look forward many more years.



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Colorado Yurt Company Cimarron Tents at Huckleberry Tent & Breakfast

Sleeping in a tent in the woods… you have a rock wedged under your left shoulder, cold rain drips on your face and you silently curse the person who had this crazy idea…

That’s how some people experience tent camping.

A better way is at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast in Clark Fork, Idaho. At Huckleberry, guests sleep in our Cimarron Platform tents furnished with luxurious beds and hand-quilted bedding, a kitchen area and even bikes to borrow. Each tent has a sitting area out front to enjoy the views and listen to the sounds of nature. The hosts prepare a fresh breakfast, and share their quaint, family farm with guests. They have gardens, goats, chickens and pets- as well as the local wildlife and scenery.


A tripadvisor review of Huckleberry sums it up:

My husband and I just spent a night at Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast, and it was a pure delight! Christine and Tim and their entire, lovely family made us feel very welcome. After expressing interest in their homestead, they even took the time to show us around and talk about how they live off-grid. The tent site was superb. It was quiet and private, and the kitchen was stocked with everything from s’mores ingredients to bug spray. The bed in the tent was comfortable, and by shutting the tent flaps we were easily able to stay warm all night. Breakfast the next morning (breakfast burritos) was delicious. Stay here if you want an unforgettably unique B&B experience.



Christine and Tim became customers of Colorado Yurt Company over 9 years ago. They came to us for our Cimarron platform tents. They are still using those same tents- and their guests love them.

Christine says, “We love Colorado Yurt’s Canvas Wall Tents. They have held up wonderfully for 9 YEARS!! of being in business. High quality and strongly recommended “


Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast was a leader in the glamping movement, (opening before glamping was even a word). For those who don’t know, glamping is defined in the urban dictionary as: Shorthand for glamorous camping; luxury camping.


Our tent orders have grown with the popularity of this concept. Cimarron Tents are perfect for retreats, resorts, bed and breakfasts and camps looking to provide glamping accommodations. It’s a trend that appeals to a family wanting to experience the outdoors without “roughing it” too much. Couples go glamping to get away from the everyday stresses and reconnect.

A Cimarron Tent, a warm quilt, the sounds of nature on the other side of your wall… what are you waiting for? Go Glamping!


Some of the locals at Huckleberry Tent and BreakfastHuckleberry5



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