LEAVENWORTH, Wash. — This Leavenworth getaway is perched on the banks of the Wenatchee River. It has couches made from rock climbing equipment, and ski boot dryers in every room.
It's as clear as the mountain air: Loge Camp Leavenworth is for people who do not sit around inside their hotel rooms on vacation.
"We put outdoor kitchens at all of our places, we put hammocks all over our properties, we have outdoor fire pits that you can do your s’mores in, we put s'mores kits in all the rooms,” explained Loge co-founder and CEO Johannes Ariens. Guests overnight in former orchard picker cabins that operated as a sleepy roadside motel for decades, tucked beneath a bridge on the east side of town. Loge purchased the property, refurbished the cabins, and turned it into a place where tech meets tip-back-a-beer ‘round the campfire. The efficient and friendly vibe is Loge’s jam.
Smart locks eliminate check in - your door code is emailed or texted. The entire booking and settling-in process requires no face to face meet-up. The reasoning being that frees up staffers to chat you up about the nearest trail-head instead.
There's a hostel, complete with a slick community kitchen, where you can bunk for as little as 60 dollars.
"We refer to ourselves as aggressively mid-market,” said Ariens, an avid surfer who did design and construction before co-founding Loge. He considers these motel makeovers the ultimate in recycling.
"Through finding old cool mid-century motels that have a ton of character we can go in and make a really cool place this still affordable.”
The first Loge opened in Westport in early 2017. It was a run-down motor-inn they transformed into a cool surf camp, complete with board rentals. The goal was to build a great place to hang out with friends.
"We started with a $30,000 Kickstarter!" laughed Ariens.
Today Loge is attracting deeper pockets: partnering with companies like Evo, YETI and Eddie Bauer. They've raised more than 8 million dollars, added getaways at Snoqualmie Pass and Bend Oregon, and this year they're expanding to California and Colorado.
This northwest hospitality startup is onto something: the best hotel amenity of all is natural beauty - that doesn't break the bank.
"The outdoors shouldn't be limited to how much money you make and that's really important to us,” said Ariens.