clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How To Open A Boutique Hotel For Outdoorsy Hipsters

Today Curbed National put out their "Definitive Guide to Opening a Hipster Boutique Hotel," with must-haves including ensuite record players, analog photo booths, and orange velvet with lots of tufting with any hotelier trying to appeal to the young, mustachioed traveling hipster. So we had to poke some fun at one of our favorite Essential 38 Ski Town Hotels, South Lake Tahoe's Basecamp, so we could produce a more Curbed Ski-appropriate Definitive Guide to Opening a Boutique Hotel For Outdoorsy Hipsters [According to Basecamp].
Basecamp was originally The Block, an action sports-themed hotel started by former pro snowboarder and current "life and professional coach" Marc Frank Montoya (we sniff a pyramid scheme) that had free energy drinks, Playstation, and porn in every room, along with its own reality TV show about the party-hard staff. But the hotel got poor reviews and ultimately closed due to numerous financial difficulties.

But then in 2011, Christian Strobel, former the head of development for Joie de Vivre hotels and avid hiker and mountain biker, bought the place and with the help of interior designer Elaine Cutter, turned it around into a hipster boutique hotel for outdoorsy types coming to Tahoe, and the enterprise has been a resounding success thus far. Following their model, here's how to open your own Basecamp-y hipster boutique in the mountains:

1) Make sure at least one room has an actual tent in it, and maybe even a fake camp fire.
2) Install an old-timey circus signage (a Curbed National commonality)
3) Hire not just an artist, but an illustrator to create kitschy guest room touches like maps of the local area and "Do Not Disturb" signs with cute sleeping bears on them.
4) Make sure at least one photo in your gallery depicts an analog camera and leather-bound journal with a pencil whittled from a stick.
5) Make sure employee uniforms involve flannel.

6) Bunk beds.
7) Use brightly-colored vintage lanterns as bedside lighting.
8) Make sure key lighting fixtures, such as lobby chandeliers and bathroom lighting, is made from industrial metal pipes from Home Depot.
9) Serve beer in mason jars.
10) Install above-average outdoor gear facilities, such as indoor bike storage with copious tools and lockable ski and board storage.

11) Communal dinners, and other community-developing common spaces like fire pits for marshmallow roasting.
12) Instead of the standard hotel verbiage like "luxurious," "exclusive," and "exquisite," use the words "inspirational," "communal," and "explorers" often in marketing materials.

Follow all 12 steps, get people in the door, and wait in vein until a professional review of your hotel likens your interior design to a Wes Anderson movie set. At that point, you will know you've made it.

· The Definitive Guide To Opening a Hipster Boutique Hotel [Curbed National]
· Basecamp Hotel