Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Maryland Lodge Adds Luxury Yurts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Maryland Lodge Adds Luxury Yurts

Article excerpt

FROSTBURG, Md. -- Camping was never like this.

The pup tent with the sloped rock- and root-ribbed dirt floor with not enough room to change your mind let alone your clothes has been upgraded.

Big time.

Rectangular-shaped tent floors long ago gave way to circular shelters, but the latter are nothing like the yurts under construction at the Savage River Lodge, 11 miles west of Frostburg via Interstate 68.

A yurt is a round tent of felt or animal skins on a collapsible framework used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia and Turkey. Although the permanent in-place luxury yurts at the Savage River Lodge have the same shape, nomads wouldn't recognize the many amenities they have.

Let's start with the dimensions.

These yurts are 30 feet in diameter with a 6-foot, 8-inch lattice- work frame, Douglas fir walls, a 14-foot-high center dome skylight supported by 36 curved ceiling beams and approximately 780 square feet of floor space. They are built on stilts and have private elevated outside decks.

That's enough room inside for a king-sized bed, a private bathroom with a step-in "extra-large" shower, a breakfast nook, a gas-log fireplace, luxurious leather and suede couches and chairs, muslin drapes, bamboo Roman shades, woven rugs and "eclectic accents."

Tender tootsies will be treated to a radiant warm-board floor heating system that will be covered by sustainable bamboo flooring. The yurts also will have on-demand hot water heaters to reduce electricity usage.

They have two inside layers -- a fabric liner and a reflective gel insulation -- and an off-white weather-proof outer canvas shell. They're "fully capable" of four seasons operation, said Mike Dreisbach, 63.

They are expected to be ready for occupancy by November.

He and his wife, Jan Russell, also 63, are the co-founders and co- owners of the lodge, its American cuisine restaurant, 18 rustic luxury guest cabins and the yurts.

The yurts are manufactured by Pacific Yurts of Cottage Grove, Ore., which Mr. Dreisbach said are "the premier yurt builders in the world."

"The yurts are a great addition to the lodge property and they fit in well with the surrounding woods," said Peggy Jamison, the mayor of nearby Oakland, Md. …

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