A few years ago, Jan and Scott Roundy showed up at our shop in Montrose, Colorado. They had a plan. The Roundys have land in Escalante, Utah- and in 2015 they had a vision of a yurt glamping destination. The popularity of Grand Staircase National Monument was growing, and their property is perfectly located for vacationers to enjoy all of the sites and activities of Southwest Utah.
Scott was interested in the nuts and bolts (and rafters and lattice) of building the yurts and decks. Jan was interested in ideas for beautiful interiors. They were excited and ready to start their journey.
We worked with Jan and Scott through the planning, ordering and building of their yurts – helping to decide what mix of sizes would accommodate visitors from families to couples to groups of friends. We advised which options would be best for their desert climate and how to design the interiors for guest comfort.
Then, when it was time to pitch the yurts, we sent our best guy to Utah to help.
Jan says, “Colorado Yurt Company has been great! They have great service – they have supported us the whole way!”
Since opening in the spring of 2017, Jan and Scott have built a loyal and enthusiastic customer base. They are sold out most of the year- and their guests leave reviews like these:
My boyfriend and I stayed at Escalante Yurts for two nights towards the end of a cross-country road trip. It was by far the highlight of our trip. The management was outstanding and the yurts and amenities offered far surpassed our expectations. The weather was fairly hot but the AC units did a great job keeping the immaculately decorated yurts cool. If you are planning a trip to the Escalante area, I highly recommend this location. It is worth every penny.
Escalante Yurts was amazing. So, relaxing in the middle of nowhere. Stayed here after a day in Bryce on way to Capitol Reef. Wish we would have stayed a little longer. Owners were great and accommodating. Outside space to relax by fire or swing in hammock was much better than staying in normal hotels. We opened up the sides and enjoyed the night air. Would definitely stay again.
Escalante Yurts is in the process of expanding, adding two new yurts that will be ready for guests in March.
Customer reviews almost always mention Jan and Scott’s warmth and friendliness – which is something we saw the first time they stopped by. The Roundys are a great example having a dream and making it come true with hard work, research and careful planning. We’re just happy to be a part of it.
One of our 20′ yurts at Ayanchin Lodge in Mongolia
We’re always happy to answer questions via email or phone, but here are a few quick explanations and suggestions for you:
Most important, you want an engineered yurt. Your yurt should stay strong when the wind blows in the spring or when the snow piles up in the winter. Not all companies make engineered yurts, but EVERY Colorado Yurt is an engineered yurt. Our CORR brackets are standard- so you don’t have to buy an upgrade to get the yurt you need and want.
Our engineered yurts stand up to heavy snow
The rest of our standard yurt package includes one door, three windows, 7’2” lattice wall, rafters, compression ring, clear dome, heavy roof fabric and durable welded-laminate wall fabric. Other companies charge extra for this wall fabric, and don’t offer a color selection like ours. This fabric is the best choice for longevity, durability and seam strength (with welded seams, not sewn).
We offer an array of wall colors
Which upgrades do you need? In our decades of experience, we’ve learned that most yurt customers select these:
- DuroLast roof upgrade (15 year warranty + increased durability)
- Insulation for roof and walls
- Dome lifter (lifts one side of your dome for ventilation)
- Stove pipe outlet
- Extra snow or wind load package (where needed).
Engineered yurts need to be pitched on a deck. Every customer has questions about decks. While some build using our suggested plans, others choose a SIPs deck. SIPs is an abbreviation (Structural Insulated Panels). They are a foam insulation center with OSB on each side, creating an insulation “sandwich”. These make a great insulated base under a yurt. They can be installed on a beam system with mobile home piers or on top of a larger deck, creating the necessary raised footprint for the yurt. Finished flooring can be installed right on top of the SIPs.
Another common question is about bender board. This is a necessary component of the deck, wrapping the round deck with a thin flexible piece of material where the wall fabric attaches and the lattice is contained. We can include it in your order, or you can find it on your own.
Installing bender board
After 42 years of doing this, we have a good thing going. We provide our customers with the best quality yurt and the best buying experience. To learn more about our product differences click here.
Yurts and beer. Seems like a perfect combination, doesn’t it? We have two great examples of breweries in our home state who have added a yurt with great success.
Outer Range Brewery in Frisco and Horsefly Brewery in Montrose found themselves with a similar dilemma. They had a popular summer seating area on a patio, but lost it as soon as cold weather started. Both pitched a yurt to solve their seasonal seating shortage.
Outer Range Brewing is a microbrewery that specializes in IPAs and Belgian ales. They opened in December, 2016, with the intent of pairing love for the mountain lifestyle with love of craft beer. Outer Range is in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, with 360-degree mountain views, and six ski resorts within a thirty-minute drive.
Outer Range Brewing yurt on a snowy winter evening
During the summer season, customers can sit on the patio and take in the views surrounding the brewery. In the winter, they can now sit inside the yurt. Emily Cleghorn (one of the owners of the brewery) says, “We wanted a space that could help us with additional seating, and that was authentic to what we love about mountain living.” They’ve hosted private events in the yurt, utilized the extra seating and they even brewed an IPA in the yurt’s honor (The Yurt Life IPA sold out).
Yurt Life IPA
Emily says, “We also chose a yurt because they are very structurally sound. We wanted something that we could put up year after year.” Why a Colorado Yurt? “You guys have been awesome to work with. Brad was proactive in helping us navigate town codes and made the entire process very smooth and enjoyable.” Emily says, “Customers love the yurt! Who doesn’t want to drink beer in a yurt while looking out at epic mountainscapes!”
On this side of the divide, Horsefly Brewing Company was established in 2009 in our hometown of Montrose. They have a full menu and a wide selection of beer on tap. Located in the heart of downtown, Horsefly is a popular restaurant, pub and hangout for locals and tourists.
Horsefly’s yurt on the patio
Winter on the Horsefly patio
Phil Freismuth, owner of Horsefly, says, “In the summer we utilize our outdoor patio to increase sales and provide a more relaxing environment for our customers. Then winter comes, and we lose that extra seating. What we like about the yurt is that it heats up quickly with our natural gas heater, and stays warm all day. When people walk into our yurt they are impressed. It adds approximately 20 more seats during the winter which helps with the bottom line. Many groups have used the yurt for business meetings and private parties because they can go inside, close the door and have privacy.”
Warm, inviting interior of Horsefly yurt
He adds, “Colorado Yurt was great to work with. They made the transaction really smooth. Cliff met with me and explained all the details of the yurt. He then showed up with the yurt and a crew and assembled it for us the first time.”
If you visit one of these brewery yurts this winter, be sure to drink one for the skilled crew that built the yurt- working hard in Montrose. (And send us a photo!)
Our 2017 was a year of great changes here at Colorado Yurt Company.
We began the year with one of the biggest changes in our company history. Dan and Emma, the founders and owners of Colorado Yurt Company, took a step back. They spent over 40 years at the helm, taking care of the day to day operations. They paid the bills, made decisions small and large, worked with customers, managed employees and even shoveled the walks.
In January, they handed over much of that responsibility to Doug Severson, newly promoted president of Colorado Yurt Company. We have an experienced management team to help out: Cliff Connaughton (VP of Sales), Henry Wolfe (Production Manager) and Ivy Fife (Marketing Manager).
In the months since Dan and Emma handed over the day to day responsibility, we’ve been impressed with just how much time they spend outdoors with friends. They have enjoyed time with their grandson, traveled a bit, gotten more involved in the community- and we still see them several times a week.
To start the year, we made yurts for a resort in Mongolia. Ayanchin Four Seasons Resort received their yurts in the spring- and sent us some of the most spectacular yurt photos we’ve ever seen. We loved working with them, and hope to hear more in the future about how their guests are enjoying the “American-style” gers (yurts).
Toward the end of the year, we made and installed six new yurts just across the state line at Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah. It was a great project, installing our beautiful yurts overlooking the canyons of Southeastern Utah.
On the tipi side, it was a boom year. We had many camps order multiple tipis early in the year- and summer was full of building tipis for ranches and resorts. Our tipi artist was super busy all summer and fall, creating some spectacular designs for our customers. As the year ended, we kept busy with lots of tipis for family holiday giving.
Our tent business was steady and strong in 2017. We shipped many tents to glamping resorts and campgrounds all over the country. Looking ahead, we already have lots of summer camp work on our schedule for the spring of ’18.
We always like to answer the phone and listen to the stories we hear from our customers. It’s been the way we do business from the start: listening to our customers, learning their stories, recommending the best solutions and making their plans and dreams come true.
As we wind down another year, we’re grateful for our friends, appreciative of our crew and excited to come back and do it all again in 2018.
Glamping is a mash-up word of “glamour” and “camping”. Start with the desire to experience the outdoors, add a comfortable bed and flush toilet- and you have glamping. Who can argue with that?
The Views RV Park and Campground in Dolores, Colorado, is in the heart of spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery and pristine desert beauty. Only 50 miles from Durango, 30 miles from Mesa Verde and right next to McPhee Reservoir- they are perfectly situated for adventure of all kinds. On the 42 acre property, Matt and Wendy provide 50 RV spaces, full bath house, free wi-fi and (new in 2017) Colorado Yurt Company’s Cimarron platform tents for glamping comfort and luxury.
They chose the spots and built the platforms for their two safari-style tents to take advantage of the scenery, sunsets and wildlife viewing on their property. The tents are on the edge of the property, but close to the facilities- the perfect combination of privacy and convenience. Their customers have responded with glowing reviews such as: “My husband booked a night in a glamping tent and it was amazing!!! The campground is very, very nice. Very peaceful place, very welcoming and by far better than any motel I have ever stayed in.”
Wendy says, “We wanted to add a unique experience to this area and to our park for people who want to enjoy “getting out” but don’t necessarily have an RV or their own equipment. The feedback has been awesome!!!! Our youngest guest so far was 12 and the oldest was 89! We’re looking forward to meeting more great folks!”
The Views crew had a memorable experience building and pitching the tents. It was a multi-generational process as the decks were built by Wendy’s dad, Matt and their son. Friends and family all came together to pitch the tents, and everyone worked to get the tents furnished and open for guests.
“We chose Colorado Yurt Company first and foremost because of the attention to detail and knowledge of what it takes to build a quality project that will last for years. We love the fact that they are a Colorado company. Any questions we have are answered the same day and the product has exceeded our expectations. We’d love to have more tents soon!”
The fall season is a great time to check out The Views RV Park and Campground. Peak color for aspen leaves is usually the third or fourth week of September. Reserve now to get your home base set for a truly memorable southwest Colorado adventure.
Yurts in Mongolia? Well, of course. Yurts and Mongolia are synonymous. The nomadic people of central Asia have lived in gers (yurts) for centuries, and yurts are still used as housing in modern Mongolia. With their lattice walls, rafters and compression ring- the Mongolian ger is an architectural marvel- and the inspiration for and origination of the modern yurt.
At Colorado Yurt Company, we build a yurt that has updated fabrics, taller walls, high tech insulation, strong wooden structure and engineered strength. But, the basic structure harkens back to Mongolia and the genius design of the ger.
When the phone rang last December, we were thrilled, excited (and a little bit surprised) that the call was coming from Ayanchin Four Seasons Lodge in Mongolia. It was like a call from an old friend.
Ayanchin Four Seasons Lodge is a full service lodge in Terelj National Park about 50 minutes from the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar. They have a main lodge, cabins, traditional gers, hotel rooms and now- five new Colorado Yurts.
The resort is a family business, owned by Mandah Karlsen and managed by her brother Urnuh Gombosuren. Ayanchin Four Seasons Lodge was established in 2005 and is open all year round. Most visitors are Mongolian families, and they also see expats from around the world. In addition to lodging, they have kids’ play areas, an entertainment room, a full service restaurant, bike rentals, horseback riding, guided day trips and a conference center.
When they expanded their lodging options, they chose twenty foot diameter yurts from Colorado Yurt Company. Our designs are “like an upgraded ger”. Urnuh says, “With a Mongolian ger there are two columns in the middle, but with the Colorado Yurt there are no columns which makes it feel like there is more space. The Colorado Yurt is taller than the Mongolian ger, and is a strong structure.”
We’ve kept in touch with Mandah and Urnuh since we made their yurts. We sent updates when the yurts shipped from our shop in Colorado packed in a container. We tracked the yurts as they arrived at the port in China (with some paperwork going back and forth to clear customs). We heard when the yurts arrived on a truck (in the middle of the night) in Mongolia, and Urnuh has emailed through the construction process.
When photos of the new yurts appeared on the Ayanchin Four Seasons Lodge Facebook page, our entire company was thrilled to see the yurts in their new home.
Mandah says, “It’s been a great summer! We’ve built all Colorado Yurts at Ayanchin Lodge. They all look AWESOME! Thank you so much again for your great work!”
Our next project: figuring out how to visit the yurts in person!
Carey and Jeanette have high pressure jobs, and found the need for a place to get away to unwind and unplug. They and their kids love the outdoors- especially skiing and mountain biking, and they are raising their family to love and treasure the mountains and deserts around their home.
The family found a pristine, remote 40 acre parcel surrounded by National Forest at 8500’ altitude in central Utah. The land is a ten mile snowmobile trek in winter, but they can drive in during the summer and fall months. When the roads are snowed in, it’s at least 10 miles to the nearest human.
Jeanette once visited a yurt in Idaho, and the experience stayed with her. When she and Carey started planning for their mountain property in 2013, they immediately started researching yurts. One call to Colorado Yurt Company, and the plan was in place. They decided to place the order for a 20’ yurt for their weekend cabin.
Since it was late summer when they got approval to put in the yurt, it was a race against time to get the deck built and the yurt pitched before winter hit. Carey worked through five snowstorms to make sure his family cabin was built before the roads were snowed in. They spent that fall working on the yurt; watching the aspens change color and listening to elk bugling.
Now, four years later, they are more convinced than ever that the mountain yurt was a good idea. Carey says, “Every time we go up I just think it’s the coolest place ever.” Jeanette says, “I love how cozy the yurt is. With the stove going- in the dead of winter- it’s warm and comfortable inside.”
In the spring, their yurt is surrounded by high altitude wildflowers, and the fall color views are spectacular from their yurt deck. They both say they could live there full time if they didn’t have to go to work every day.
After the first call, Carey and Jeanette were sold on Colorado Yurt Company. Our staff was helpful and friendly, and our experience with high altitude mountain conditions was important to them.
Carey has been a great social media friend over the years, posting photos and updates on Facebook and Instagram. We appreciate seeing their beautiful yurt, happy family and the updates on their property. This last winter, there were quite a few posts about the seemingly-endless snow shoveling duties! He says, “I’m surprised at how well the yurt holds snow. It takes about 3 hours to shovel the deck and clear the roof with 18″-24″ of snow. It’s good exercise.”
Bailey lives in her 200 square foot/ 16’ Colorado Yurt in the woods of Minnesota. We posed a few questions to her about the yurt and lifestyle:
Why did you choose to live in a yurt?
I decided I wanted to live my life as simply as possible and constantly remind myself of the difference between a need and a want. Even living in the yurt, I still feel like I have more than any one person needs. I guess that is why I decided to look more into the tiny house movement. I wanted to have my own land as well. That is when a friend of mine told me about yurts and I did more research.
Tell us about you.
I am a social worker and love giving back to the community- especially youth. I am always challenging myself to see the world from a different perspective. I love to travel. After spending several months in Swaziland and a few other countries in Africa, I was encouraged to strive for simplicity and selflessness.
I live in my yurt in northern Minnesota with my pug, Mr.Finn. I love the woods of Northern MN. Nothing can beat a bonfire.
Why did you choose Colorado Yurt Company?
I did research about a few different companies but ultimately it came down to experiences with being prepared for the winter. Colorado Yurt Company staff and website provided the most information about making this work year round.
Colorado Yurt Company has been great to work with. I got through to someone on the phone with any questions. There were several frequently asked questions listed on the website with more details than I expected.
Tell us about the process.
Well the building process definitely took longer than I expected, but I think that is typical of all building projects. Luckily, I was living in a friend’s fish house until the yurt was completed. I bought land and started from scratch, new well, new road and constant research.
Building an outdoor shower house and not having indoor plumbing was a huge decision. I went a year without a shower, always traveling to friends home to clean up. That was definitely an adventure.
What do you like about living in a yurt full time?
Everything. I love the seclusion in the woods to unwind from all the stress of everyday life. I love how easy it is to heat with my pellet stove, and the low cost of being here. I like the chores that are unique to my yurt, for example carrying in water and having the reminder of those who walk miles a day for clean water. And I like the future possibilities. I don’t know what I want to do in the future yet, this could become a guest house, it could be moved to a different piece of land, or I could add another yurt to this one. I like going with the flow, and seeing what sustainable projects I can focus on next. I am thinking about a wood burning hot tub.
Acadia National Park, on Mount Desert Island off the coast of Maine, is one of our most spectacular National Parks. Visitors come to Acadia to hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads and enjoy the rugged coastal scenery. The park draws visitors from all over the world, who enjoy the beauty of the park as well as the charms of the town of Bar Harbor. Karen Roper and Aaron Sprague are world travelers who call the island their home.
After visiting a friend’s yurt, and spending time on a farm in Maui, they fell in love with yurts and nature-based hospitality. They both worked in the hospitality industry in and around Bar Harbor. They believed that the tourists who visit their home island would like to have a space closer to nature and more than 4 flat walls. (Their slogan is: “comfortably close to nature “). So was the beginning of Acadia Yurts.
Aaron and Karen purchased a beautiful tree-filled five acres on the “quiet” side of the island in 2014. Working through the harsh Maine winter, they put together the platforms for their first yurts. Four 24’ Colorado Yurts (two blue, two red) arrived on site at the end of January, and they pitched them while bundled up in heavy winter clothes.
After adding small kitchens, bathrooms and beautiful furnishings to each yurt, they were ready for reservations and guests on June 6, 2015. It was the start of the tourist season.
And, what a season it was. The yurts were filled with happy guests 90% of the time, and Karen and Aaron had to turn away reservations on weekends. One guest said: “Amazing, wonderful, magical place!!! The yurts are simple yet elegant, every accommodation is accounted for. Relaxing and peaceful: I can’t wait to spend time there again!”
The overwhelming success of their first season has put Acadia Yurts in expansion mode. They ordered two more rental yurts from Colorado Yurt Company (green this time) and a 30’ yurt for Karen and Aaron to live in. In 2016 they’ll offer massage and yoga (Karen is a massage therapist), and they’ll surely continue to expand their circle of admirers.
Karen says, “We are sooo grateful to the folks at Colorado Yurt Company for their assistance every step of the way. They were accessible by phone when we were planning as well as when the yurts were being pitched. They have also been supportive online via Facebook by sharing our promotions and posts. We have been so fortunate to work with Colorado Yurt Company and highly recommend them to anyone inquiring!”
Acadia Yurts is a fun customer for us to work with. We follow their social media and website to keep in touch. We appreciate their wonderful photographs- showing great examples of how to design the interior of a yurt for comfort and convenience. We look forward to watching the continued success of this creative couple and their growing business.
Horses, cattle, sheep, working dogs, cowboy hats, spectacular sunsets, wind across the prairie… and a yurt.
Kevin Hall and Mindy Bower are living their dream on a working ranch on the high plains of eastern Colorado. They raise cattle, sheep and working dogs… and they live in a yurt. In 2007, when they bought their 27’ yurt from Colorado Yurt Company, they thought it was going to be a temporary living space (until they built a more-traditional home).
Here is their story:
We bought the yurt in 2007, after we had sold our place with a 5 bedroom house. We bought another piece of land but it had no place to live. So we lived in a camper for a month until we decided to buy a yurt.
We had a little herd and so a yurt seemed an appropriate dwelling. We joked about getting a yak so we could live off of yak milk and lamb!
It took us a while to get the yurt deck finished and the floor in, then we had a few friends over and put up the yurt in a couple of days. We put in the wood stove and the waterline, and little by little it started to be a home. We had been without running water in the camper, so it was a glorious day when we got the sink and the shower!
This will be our ninth winter in the yurt, and we can’t imagine living in a traditional house. We love that we can hear things going on outside… birds singing, sheep baaing, horses galloping, cows mooing and of course the 15 dogs! The first big prairie thunderstorm with hail was a bit unnerving, but we realized the yurt could endure. The hail wrecked the vehicles and the metal roofs on the barns but didn’t do anything to the yurt. It just bounced off. It is a real treat when snow slides off the roof- like being inside an avalanche but safe. The wind just seems to sweep around it, and it never feels vulnerable.
The cool thing was to find a company right in Colorado that manufactured yurts, with a great website full of cool photos and easy information to place an order. It was delivered and the directions were easy to follow. We loved working with Colorado Yurt Company.
We never got a yak but we have many more sheep, and we happily reside in the yurt.
Visit Kevin and Mindy’s website: www.uhohranch.com to see more photos of their animals and land.