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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Using property as a 'Retreat'?
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Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 16:16
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We are considering (just considering) using our desert place as a retreat of sorts. It was suggested by a friend who is kinda in that business realm, and the more we think about it, the more we think we like it. Lotsa thinkin' going on here....

The concept was that in today's world, too many people are having problems with overuse and even addiction of sorts to their phones/social media/laptops/pads, etc.....
This friend of ours works with people with these issues, and knows that our desert place is totally off-grid and does not have the ability to get cell service/internet/tv etc

So our initial plan is to use our existing trailer (refurbished) as one place to stay and add 2 teepees for the other two. We would do this once a month with no more than 6 guests. We would provide all food (mostly cooked cowboy style outside with cast-iron)

I would lead hikes or Jeep trips to local areas of interest.

I would need to build a bath house, that would be the only expense other than the teepees. Apparently people are willing to pay large sums of money to do this sort of thing (Initial research says this may be true, there are some desert retreats in California and New Mexico that are similar but not exactly)

This escaping from civilization thing even has a name...it's called 'Digital Detoxing', a new term I was unaware of.....corporations even pay to get their employees 'fixed'.....all news to me, I'm an old guy that could really care less about these devices (as I type on my laptop

So any advice or thoughts? Any experience with this? The only downside I can see are liability, we would get people to sign a release.....and we would not have a lodging license, but we are so far away I wouldn't expect that would be a problem.....

Any input appreciated as usual....

paulz
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 16:43
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Sounds OK. Many cabins up here in Digitalville are airbnbs or whatever you call it, always busy with wealthy SF techys. People ask me why I don't do mine. Simple answer, it's my (and the wife and dog) private retreat. When I arrive I always yell out "Serenity Now!, a topic from an old Sienfeld episode. Wife always laughs. Even have a bumper sticker.

naturelover66
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 17:40
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Yeah i think it sounds great except the privacy issue. Personally i would never share my beloved cabin with strangers... Especially strangers with issues. Other than that its a nice idea. Helping ppl while making some money.
Good luck ! 😳

naturelover66
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 17:41
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I would take a cpr and first aide class first tho.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 17:42
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Talk to a lawyer with expertise in liability issues in your state. Actually talk to at least two, maybe three to get an idea of whether or not they know anything. Each state has different rules, some require specific wording, you may need a special form if there are parents or guardians signing away rights for their children, etc.

You still might want insurance even with a waiver system in place.

Me, I'm not an expert, not a lawyer, just a wary skeptic.

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:14
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Quoting: naturelover66
Personally i would never share my beloved cabin with strangers.


Oh, they don't get to use our cabin.....

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:15
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Quoting: naturelover66
I would take a cpr and first aide class first tho

Excellent advice!

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:18
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Quoting: paulz
Simple answer, it's my (and the wife and dog) private retreat.


We are planning on doing this once a month, on a Fri/Sat/Sun kinda thing.....so we would still have our cabin the other 28 days of the month. And they would be our guests while there, but heavily supervised. No kids, 21 and over only.
I asked if we could have women only.....that got me a look.....

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:24
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Quoting: ICC
Talk to a lawyer with expertise in liability issues in your state


Oh we will, I have a great attorney I've used for business issues for years....
We are in the California though, and the amount of regulation is staggering. Hopefully it will not affect our plans......

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:25
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Aversion of this, modified to suit our needs.....

https://desertspiritretreat.com/

naturelover66
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:26
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Sounds like you covered all your bases Borrego. Enjoy πŸ˜€ and Merry Christmas πŸŽ„

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:38
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Quoting: naturelover66
Merry Christmas


To you as well!

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:41
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Anyone ever built a Labyrinth? Every site I visit that is a 'retreat' seems to have one, guess they're all the rage now......I'd probably just wander around it with a beer in my hand....

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 19:57 - Edited by: darz5150
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Quoting: Borrego
I'd probably just wander around it with a beer in my hand....

Lol. Instead of building one, you could just put on a blindfold and have someone yell directions to the next beer cooler. Kinda like a pub crawl in the desert. Without the Pub.😎🍺🍻

ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 20:24
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Quoting: Borrego
Anyone ever built a Labyrinth?


Probably a difficult task in a desert? Use cholla cactus?

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 20:29
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Like this.....unless I'm misunderstanding something..... we have sand and we have a mountain full of rocks....
192labyrinth.jpg
192labyrinth.jpg


ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 21:41
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oh. I'm thinking more like a maze I guess. Those usually have no line of sight from one path over the others. I'm not into either as a form of entertainment.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 15 Dec 2018 21:46
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One big difference between a labyrinth and a maze is that a maze has dead ends that can be very frustrating. A labyrinth is not supposed to have dead ends, just a path that twists and turns from the outside to the center, and then back to the outside. One reference. And there cab be symbolism (which is where I get lost) regarding a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.

creeky
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 09:33 - Edited by: creeky
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I did the bnb thing summer before last. It was a great experience. Really wonderful folks rented my place and enjoyed the serene outdoors.

I didn't rent the summer just passed.

Basically it came down to time. Its a lot of work cleaning, then cleaning again. Bed sheets, towels, kitchen, bath ... even though I bought a new washer it just wasn't worth it to me.

The labyrinth is a great idea. It seems weird. You can see where you are going. But somehow the staying within the lines becomes very meditative. Maybe a "road less taken" kind of thing?

The one I went to this fall was being used as a kind of reconciliation event for our local indigenous friends. There was a healing dream catcher sculpture in the middle. Walkers gathered around. Talked. Were encouraged to add small items onto the dream catcher. Then take the path back out.

I'm not really one for any kind of religion, but one couldn't help but be caught by the contemplative aspect of walking in circles. Crossing paths with those coming back as you went in ...

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 11:56
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Quoting: creeky
But somehow the staying within the lines becomes very meditative.

Quoting: ICC
A labyrinth is not supposed to have dead ends, just a path that twists and turns from the outside to the center, and then back to the outside.


Yeah guys, me too.....But I think I'll invest a day in building one (whether or not we do this venture) and I'll see for myself. Will report back one day.....unless I get lost.....

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 12:02
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Quoting: creeky
I did the bnb thing summer before last. It was a great experience. Really wonderful folks rented my place and enjoyed the serene outdoors.


Well...this is not going to be a long term rental, just weekends, and we will be there to assist and supervise.
From what I've read and heard, we can expect a lot of wealthy millenials that can't be without their phones (mainly). We may tire of 'herding cats', but maybe we can bring some sanity (and beauty of nature) into their lives. I can lead hikes, teach knot-tying, knife skills, fire making, etc....if they're interested in this kind of stuff anymore...?

We'll see........

hattie
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 13:49 - Edited by: hattie
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We put an addition to our cabin in 2008 that consists of 3 motel rooms. We rent them out all year and it has been quite good for us. For sure you will need to find out about getting insurance. If anyone is injured you could lose everything.

The first insurance quote we received for our place - 3 motel rooms all built to code with fire walls etc. - was $6,000 per year!! We almost died. Only one company would even contemplate selling us insurance. After talking with them they cut the amount in half - just like that, $3,000! I guess they just spin a wheel to get a number. We are going into our 11th year and now pay $3,500 per year just for insurance.

It is probably quite different where you are. We are in Canada.

For the most part all of our guests are GREAT!! You will, however, get some that are not and are destructive. You will lose money on them but the good guests make up for it (in my opinion).

We live here and supervise guests, but you can't control what they do in the privacy of their room/cabin/teepee. Also, we spend a LOT of time talking to guests and tourists about the area and give handout maps, etc. You mentioned taking them hiking, etc. In my opinion that will get tiring after a year or so. While we are welcoming to everyone, you also need your own time and offering services such as you suggest will leave you with little/no time to yourself. Don't forget there is a lot of maintenance with a project like this. You will also spend a LOT of time cleaning and doing laundry as well. That's just my opinion.

beachman
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 14:27
Reply 


What about a virtual labyrinth? I have visited virtual games areas and they appear so real. This would save building and maintaining and you could change it at any time.

ICC
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 15:46
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Quoting: beachman
virtual labyrinth?


would that not partially defeat the whole idea of getting away and getting disconnected?

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 16:06
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Quoting: ICC
would that not partially defeat the whole idea of getting away and getting disconnected?


What I was thinkin'.....but I don't get virtual stuff anyway....

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 16:45
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Quoting: hattie
We live here and supervise guests, but you can't control what they do in the privacy of their room/cabin/teepee. Also, we spend a LOT of time talking to guests and tourists about the area and give handout maps, etc. You mentioned taking them hiking, etc. In my opinion that will get tiring after a year or so. While we are welcoming to everyone, you also need your own time and offering services such as you suggest will leave you with little/no time to yourself.


Thank you for the input. But remember we will only be doing this 3 days per month. I think/hope we can handle that.....

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 17:09
Reply 


Also, with those slip-n-fall lawyers, you want to be careful, especially if you are taking payments. It may be different if you take "donations"

creeky
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 17:23
Reply 


Quoting: Borrego
we will be there to assist and supervise


that's what I missed. I was always away when folks were there and I think it might have been more fun to have been there to show them stuff. go kayaking. mountain biking. talk about the builds and what not.

I know the renters I had often asked for me to give them tours.

the fellowship is fun.

and airbnb took care of the technical stuff.

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 16 Dec 2018 17:59
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Quoting: toyota_mdt_tech
Also, with those slip-n-fall lawyers, you want to be careful, especially if you are taking payments. It may be different if you take "donations"

We do have liability (only) insurance through our regular home's full insurance policy......and these people will be invited guests more than 'customers' so that may work....

Quoting: creeky
it might have been more fun to have been there to show them stuff.....often asked for me to give them tours

It will be an eyeopener for most city folks to see a real desert. Most people have no idea what it's all about except for if they visited Palm Springs or some resort....
We are within a short 4 wheel drive and hike to incredible places (to me) like
a) the old 1840's Immigrant Trail
b) an old Indian Mountain with petroglyphs
c) abandoned gold/silver/amethyst mines
d) historic sites of wagon trains, gunfights, etc...
e) Kit Carson sites
f) just great hiking trails

There are also great places to go shoot on BLM land, and I had a brief thought of taking these folks there, but the missus promptly put a stop to that foolishness.

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