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.
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!
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 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.”
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.
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?
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.
“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!”
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.
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.
When backcountry.com 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.com 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.