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A Deaf owned, operated and built campground with unique small dwellings, each with customized design, in a variety of styles and sizes.
A Deaf owned, operated and built campground with unique small dwellings, each with customized design, in a variety of styles and sizes.
170 backers pledged $29,068 to help bring this project to life.
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Lost River Vacations

$29,068

170

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: 

         ★ The New York Times 
          ★ Washingtonian
          ★ Washington Post 

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

the interior of our first house
the interior of our first house

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.

some examples of our rewards
some examples of our rewards

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. 

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above property photos by Tiffany Saccente, Deaf photographer.

samples of Calvin Young's photos. Actual photos may differ.
samples of Calvin Young's photos. Actual photos may differ.

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 commitments

Visit our Environmental Resources Center to learn how Kickstarter encourages sustainable practices.

Long-lasting design

We are using high quality materials and will ensure that what we build is durable and sustainable,

Reusability and recyclability

We hosted a large party recently and everything we used was compostable. We will continue to be eco-conscious and provide ways to recycle and reuse wherever we can.

Sustainable materials

We will use upcycled materials in the construction of dwellings wherever possible.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Behind the Scenes

    Get exclusive access to our behind the scenes footage, bloopers, and more.

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    1 backer
    $

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The Mailer

    Get a postcard from us - frame it, put it on your refrigerator, immortalize it however you please.

    Includes:
    • 1 Postcard
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    2 backers
    $

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Baseliner

    Show your support and grab one of these items (pick one!): Lost River T-shirt or a Lost River Hat, or a signed limited edition Print (Art or Photo) *art and photo only while supplies last*

    Includes:
    • Pick one: Lost River hat, Lost River shirt, photo, art print
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    20 backers
    $

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    In Your Cups

    Love to drink? Us too. Here's some cups to help you along.

    Includes:
    • Lost River coffee mug
    • Lost River beer mug
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    4 backers
    $

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Java Jolts

    Coffee is necessary to life. If you agree with us, this package is for you. Get a mug and some beans here.

    Includes:
    • Lost River coffee mug
    • local coffee beans
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    6 backers
    $

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Artistic Aficionado

    Get two works of art for your home! One beautiful photo by Calvin Young, and one amazing print of an artistic painting from Ashley Hannan. Both are Deaf, of course!

    Includes:
    • Limited Edition (100) signed 8x10 photograph by Calvin Young.
    • Limited Edition (100) signed 8x10 art print by Ashley Hannan
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 4 backers
    $

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    The Wild One

    Get the perfect triad with this package: a hat, t'shirt and mug (your choice of coffee or beer mug)

    Includes:
    • Lost River t-shirt
    • Lost River coffee or beer mug (your choice)
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    9 backers
    $

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Sartorial Supporter

    Show your love for Lost River with our amazingly comfortable, high-quality apparel. Logo designed by Deaf, and apparel printed by Deaf.

    Includes:
    • Lost River hat (either baseball, pom or beanie - your choice)
    • Lost River sweatshirt
    • Lost River t-shirt
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    Ships to Only certain countries
    6 backers
    $

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Bowl'd Out

    Get a custom, hand-made wooden bowl from a Deaf Craftsman. First come, first serve: all bowls are different sizes and shapes. All are valued at $200+.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 2 backers
    $

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Lost in Lost River II

    Come experience Lost River for yourself, AND take a souvenir home with your choice of a shirt or hat (No shipping: items will be given when you stay). After opening, nightly stays will be $159-$189, so this is an amazing opportunity, and a MONSTER deal! *dates may be limited in availability dependent on demand*

    Includes:
    • two night stay at Lost River Vacations
    • Pool or Lake Day Pass
    • Lost River t-shirt or hat (your choice)
    Less
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    Limited 33 backers
    $

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Longer Leisure

    This is the big daddy of our packages. Take it all in with this one. 5 nights in Lost River, plus extras! (No shipping: items will be given when you stay). After opening, nightly stays will be $159-$189, so this is an amazing opportunity, and a MONSTER deal! *dates may be limited in availability dependent on demand*

    Includes:
    • Pool or Lake Day Pass
    • 5 nights stay at Lost River Vacations
    • Lost River Sweatshirt OR Hat/Shirt Combo
    Less
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    Limited 10 backers
    $

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    One-of-a-Kind

    Own an original artwork from professional Deaf painters - we have a variety of inventory from Kelly Simpson and Ashley Hannan. All are originals, one-of-a-kind. First come, first serve. We will contact you with a list and photos to select your art from.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Benchin' It

    All the trails are sold out in one day! Now what?! We know you want to be immortal on our fabulous property - we get it! This gets you your very own bench, with a plaque up to 40 words of your choice. The bench will be custom made by Deaf woodworkers. (We reserve the right to review & approve plaque language ). Alternatively, you can come pick it up, if you want to keep for yourself!

    Pick-up will be in WV, or in the DMV area.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Disc Golf Basket

    We are going to build a private disc golf course with Deaf professional Disc Golf consultants! The course will be 9 holes and will be on our property, only open to guests. We have decided to allow backers to claim a basket - a plaque will be added to the basket post with whatever engraving you prefer on it (up to 20 words).

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    Limited 0 backers
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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    On the Table

    Not satisfied with a mere bench? We feel you. With this reward you get an entire customized picnic table to call your own. Built by Deaf woodworkers, of course! Your table will have a plaque up to 40 words with whatever you like on it. (We do reserve the right to review/approve language.) We can set the table up on our property to immortalize you.... OR you can come pick it up, if you want to keep for yourself!

    Pick-up will be in WV, or in the DMV area.

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    Limited 2 backers
    $

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  16. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    Lost in Lost River

    Ready to come experience Lost River for yourself? We're ready for you! Our tiny house can sleep up to 4 guests.

    After opening, nightly stays will be $159-$189, so this is an amazing opportunity, and a MONSTER deal! *dates may be limited in availability dependent on demand*

    Includes:
    • two night stay at Lost River Vacations
    • Pool or Lake Day Pass
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Reward no longer available 50 backers
    $

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  17. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Stefany's Package

    Awesome Lost River Vacations shirts for Stefany! :)

    4 adult Large shirts
    2 adult XL shirts
    1 adult XXL shirt
    1 adult Small shirt
    1 child size 6-8 shirt
    1 child size 10-12 shirt

    Includes:
    • 10× Lost River t-shirt
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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
    $

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  18. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Leg-en-dary!

    Be immortalized forever on our property. This will give you the right to name one of our trails. The trail will be hung with a wooden handmade sign (made by Deaf!). We reserve the right to approve names (nothing vulgar, etc).

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
    $

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Funding period

- (30 days)