Yurts: Another Kind of Campground Accommodation
Park model cabins aren’t the only rental accommodation gaining traction in the campground sector.
Private parks are also increasingly investing in yurts, circular tent-like structures with wood framing, canvas siding and an opening in their domelike roofs that can be opened for natural ventilation while allowing the sunlight to illuminate the interior.
But like park model cabins that are becoming increasingly upscale, yurts in diameters of 12 to 30 feet are also evolving into more luxurious accommodations for the campground guest who likes to be pampered.
“We are seeing more and more resorts are going for larger yurts and are making them into more plush accommodations with kitchens and bathrooms,” said Pete Dolan, a spokesman for Pacific Yurts in Cottage Grove, Ore. “They are more luxurious than what they were in the past, which was more rustic.”
But why would a park operator choose a yurt over a park model?
“It’s the uniqueness,” Dolan said. “With a yurt,” he said, “it’s not just the accommodation that they are offering.”
The yurt’s thin walls, in fact, can help the guest better connect with the park’s natural surroundings because they can hear more than they would otherwise hear in an insulated cabin.
“Because yurts have a membrane structure that doesn’t have a huge amount of mass that insulates things, you can hear things through the structure itself,” Dolan said. “You can hear the wind blowing through the trees or the birds, so you’re more connected to your natural surroundings.”
While Pacific Yurts’ business levels declined in recent years as a result of the recession, the company is seeing a resurgence in demand for yurts. “Things are looking good for 2011,” Dolan said.
And while most of the nation’s yurts are found in campgrounds in the western half of the country, yurts are increasingly being used in campgrounds across the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard.
And while private parks continue to account for the majority of yurt sales, public parks are increasingly using them, too. “There are about 23 or 24 different states that use them in their state park systems,” Dolan said.
Many parks also find it worthwhile to offer their guests both park model cabins and yurts as rental accommodations.
And just as park model manufacturers continue to produce new product options and designs, Pacific Yurts continues to refine the designs and options available in its yurts, the latest being low-e thermal curved windows. “The window itself isn’t curved, but the wood frame of the window is,” Dolan said.
For more information about Pacific Yurts, contact Pete Dolan at (800) 944-0240 and visit its website at PacificYurts.com. The company has also developed a following on its Facebook page at Facebook.com/pacific yurts.