Lost River Vacations aims to create unique experiences for tired, nerve-shaken people, providing a one-of-a-kind escape in Lost River, West Virginia.
Check out our articles in the Washington Post here, and Washingtonian here.
Your support will help us with the following:
- disc golf course design and build : $3, 500
- deck and picnic table : $1, 500
- outdoor furniture and fire pit: $1, 000
- screening for the deck and outdoor lighting: $500
- frame and materials for the next tiny houses: $25,000+ per house
After we hit $10,000, we still need your support.
The more that we can raise from Kickstarter, the better, because we can use these funds to build MORE houses. We already have approval for three more tiny houses and just need the funds to build them. In addition, we are planning to add a disc golf course, hot tub, espresso trailer, and other cool communal amenities.
Stretch Goal Bonus! We hit $25,000, so we will host a party for our backers who have contributed more than $150!
Stretch Goal Bonus II! If we hit $40,000 we will give FREE limited edition artwork to ALL backers!
When complete, the resort will feature a variety of eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind (custom-built by Deaf craftsmen) dwellings from tiny houses to log cabins to treehouses. If we are able to earn enough from Kickstarter, we will immediately build more dwellings. We will also eventually feature a variety of communal amenities.
Each dwelling will have a theme and character of its’ own, with varying sizes to accommodate couples, families, and small groups. Eventually, we hope to fund a non-profit camp for deaf children, and expand our operations.
Lost River Vacations is co-owned by three Deaf individuals, all Gallaudet University Alumnae. The project is a beautiful example of the Deaf ecosystem working together, with over a dozen Deaf-owned businesses contributing to creating this space.
The three of us, Jane Jonas, Shawn Harrington, and Andrew St. Cyr, are all successful business owners. Jane has operated Eyeth Studios, a project management and creative services agency, for over ten years. Shawn co-owns a house flipping business, NSH Properties, and Andrew operates and co-owns PhenomWorks, a film production company.
Over a year ago, the three of us were having a casual conversation, and we somehow started to talk about our memories camping, backpacking, and hiking, as we all are very outdoorsy people. This led to a general lamentation of the lack of Deaf-centered outdoor spaces in the mid-Atlantic region. We decided to do something about it, and bought a parcel of land in Lost River, West Virginia, two and a half hours from the DC metro area. Lost River is an established wilderness retreat, and more information can be found here:
Our 23 acres of land is two miles from the state park, and when purchased, was completely wild. We have created a road and parking lot, established electric connections, drilled for a well, and set up septic. Shawn and other Deaf craftsmen built a tiny house completely from scratch, fully customized. The house is currently on our property in Lost River, and is almost ready for rentals. We anticipate it should be ready and operating by mid-June.
The first tiny house has been built (by Deaf craftsmen) and is already on property (23 acres fully owned by the company). The company has no debts at this time.
Our goal is to provide a beautiful space for people to unplug and recharge their souls.
We aim to provide a signing cooperative membership, where signing members get discounts on their rentals, and have special “closed” weekends for signing members, as well as provide general rentals to the public. We would like to expose the wider community to visual language and communication, and to the concept of deaf gain; that deaf people have something special to offer the world as we are highly visual.
Eventually, with revenues from this endeavor, we would like to buy a second plot of land and build a mess hall, two dormitories, and other features for children’s camps and other retreats to support Deaf non-profit organizations. Lofty goals, indeed, and it will take time and support to get to that point, support that we hope to receive from our community.
To date, we have financed this project entirely out of our own pockets, and the company has no liability or debt. The land and first house are completely paid off. However, we’re out of funds, and we want to be able to build more tiny houses and expand our infrastructure. We don’t want to wait to do it either.
We've decided to establish a Kickstarter campaign which will feature Deaf artists’ work, t-shirts in collaboration with BY MARA (deaf designer), caps and mugs from Route 66 ( a Deaf-owned printing company), the opportunity to stay at the tiny house with nightly packages, and other rewards. This will allow backers to help us expand Lost River Vacations quickly.
Join our campaign and be part of making a beautiful retreat, a place for us all to remember that going to the mountains is truly going home.
above property photos by Tiffany Saccente, Deaf photographer.
Risks and challenges
Vacation rentals are very much dependent on their customer base and recurring rentals. We hope to create a strong market share, publicity buzz, and recruit a strong customer base. If this does not happen, we may have challenges with renting (especially in the off-season). For backers, we do not anticipate any risks, as we already have all of our rewards in place.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Environmental commitmentsVisit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.
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