A boutique lodging company that’s captured the attention of the outdoor recreation industry is coming to Colorado.
“Colorado is known nationwide to be a primary outdoor recreation destination,” said Johannes Arlen, CEO and co-founder of Seattle-based Loge Camps. “It’s really a matter of serving our customers, knowing that they want to go there.”
Loge Camps, which launched its first facility in Westport, Washington, 1 ½ years ago, provides budget-friendly lodging in locations where outdoor enthusiasts want to go.
“We were avid outdoor recreationalists and surfers, and really just saw a gap in the market that spoke to the current outdoor trend toward community and people wanting to really come together around the outdoors,” said Arlen.
“We saw a lot of product out there that focuses on luxury tourism, that happens to be in very outdoor-oriented places but doesn’t really speak to that community and the outdoor recreation culture.”
Loge Camps provides “hotel” and hostel accommodations, and even camping in areas where zoning allows. While rates vary by location, rooms generally are $150 to $200 per night, and hostel beds go for $50 to $60.
The company is scheduled to close this month on a 38-room motel in Breckenridge and, in January, a 42-room property in Estes Park. Both will undergo renovations, and manager’s quarters will be converted into hostels for visitors and Coloradans alike. “We have a lot of customers in Colorado that would be stoked to have a different option than sleeping in their cars or spending $400 at a Marriott,” said Arlen.
“Breckenridge is a great market,” said Arlen, explaining it meets the company’s criteria for year-round recreation opportunities and is “a place a lot of people know.”
Estes Park is known as a tourist town and gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, he said, “but it’s also an incredible access portal for climbing, mountain biking, hiking – for people who are truly interested in getting out and doing something outdoors, and that market actually is underserved, despite the fact that there’s tons of hotels.”
Loge Camps, which has five locations in the Pacific Northwest, expects the Colorado properties to be among eight locations open by Memorial Day – within two years of its first opening. Outside magazine listed Loge Camps locations among its “25 trips you need to take this year.”
Evo, an action sports and lifestyle retailer with a Denver flagship store, supports the company’s retail efforts, including on-site gear rentals. Loge Camps advisers and investors represent brands including Keen, Diamondback, K2, Eddie Bauer, Outdoor Research and others.
“The outdoor industry is heavily a product-based industry that relies on people being able to get out to both public lands and private lands and enjoy the space. For us, it was a matter of creating an opportunity for the outdoor industry players such as evo and many of our brand partners to be out where our customer is, at the point of access, and that’s incredibly valuable,” Arlen said. “Everyone is trying to figure out how to establish deeper relationships with their customers and understand what their customers want and need as far as products, and we offer a portal for that.”
Loge Camps locations show outdoor movies Friday nights and host live music on Saturdays, both free and open to the community. The company gives 1 percent of each locations’ top-line revenue to community nonprofits focused on outdoor education or access – things like avalanche centers and mountain bike trail projects.
With the Outdoor Retailer Association moving its events to Denver and VF Corp. planting its headquarters here, Arlen said Colorado “is really establishing itself as the epicenter of outdoors from a state perspective and heavily aligns with our brand.
“Ultimately,” though, “we’re coming to Colorado at the will of our customers.”