Yurt Lodging in Washington: Who Are these People?

Chiwana Village at SageCliffe opened its 25 yurt doors this summer, and in walked…an amazing array of individuals.  Although the adjacent Cave B Inn at SageCliffe has been up and running for nearly five years, with a constantly-wonderful flow of new and returning guests–we didn’t know, and were curious about–who would choose to stay in Chiwana Village.  Our research had indicated some of our Cave B Inn guests would be fans.  We knew from years of having to turn Gorge Concert attendees away from the sold-out Inn that these Gorge fans would be probably yurt lodging guests as well.  But there was also a big, wide-open space with a question mark in it…ultimately, would yurt guests be notably different?  Would they represent a different population base?  Different lifestyles and interests?  Or would the Chiwana Village yurt guests be like a representative coalition of the general populace–with people of all ages, income levels, interests and the rest?

Running a resort is an opportunity to provide experiences for all who come, and we strive to tailor the experience each guest has with the experience they desire.  Chiwana Village yurt guests have all the access to the same SageCliffe amenities as Cave B Inn guests:  the cliffside pool, Tendrils Vineyard restaurant, wine tasting at Cave B Estate Winery, and treatments at The Spa at SageCliffe.  They have access to the amazing views and hikes down through the vineyards, into the gorge, and on down to the Columbia River.  So there was that commonality there.  But when they return to their “room,” they would be walking down rugged paths, through old and brand-new vineyards, to a round, canvas-covered dwelling–their personal yurt.   A luxurious yurt, mind you, but a noteable different sort of lodging than they’d get elsewhere…including at Cave B Inn.  So, what did we find?  Thus far in this first season, we’ve been amazed at the diversity of Chiwana Village guests…they are young and Gorge-concert going; they are retired and from the nearby region.  They are professionals from the greater Seattle area come to wine taste and have time with their girlfriends.  They are team-building groups from high-profile Washington corporations.  They are families with young children and infants; they are ardent environmentalists and they are individuals who have either never stayed in a yurt (and have always wanted to), or are die-hard yurt-goers who know of what they speak.

 In a nutshell:  The guests at Chiwana Village truly have been a coalition….of everyone.  Perhaps over time certain characteristics or patterns will emerge…we do our research, after all.  But for now it’s clear there is one noticeable characteristic all of the Chiwana Village guests have shared:  a love of SageCliffe’s particular location and view.  A love of the land.  And a desire for a new and different experience.  We will continue to strive to deliver….to everyone.

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