Before the pandemic – and the subsequent rise of the nomadic lifestyle and #vanlife— tens of millions of people hit the road in recreational vehicles. It was just less glamorous than skoolies (school buses converted into houses) with offices on the roof. In spring and summer 2019, it is estimated 25 million people stayed in 18,000 campsites in what we now think of as tiny houses on wheels.
Largely inspired by nostalgia for the great American road trip and the legendary Route 66, Texan entrepreneur Charles Tate built his first hotel concept alongside the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. About a five-hour drive from Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, There Escalante provides direct access to 1.87 million acres of public land in the monument, known for its striking views and landscapes, its scientific importance as one of the the most important sources of dinosaur fossilsand as the last place in the lower 48 states to explore.
“[Charles] had an appreciation for places in the United States that are truly exceptionally beautiful that many people never get to experience because they are harder to get to or people don’t necessarily know how to do it” , explains Emma Sallquist, the director of Yonder. sales and marketing.
Open since 2021, the roadside accommodation is open seasonally from March to November and includes 32 tiny cabins ranging from 135 to 150 square feet, 10 refurbished Airstreams, 67 RV campsites and an outdoor lodge with a store general, shared bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, and a swimming pool and jacuzzi. (Rates start at $69 for campsites, $129 for RVs, $199 for cabins, and $249 for Airstreams.) Spread across 20 acres of land, the property claims to offer a home base like a sense of community for travelers with an emphasis on connecting with nature and what the area has to offer.
However, Yonder itself was not initially established to be a travel destination. Similar to how the dating app Hinge advertises that the ultimate goal is to delete the app because you’ve found someone to date, Yonder Escalante was designed to offer explorers of this uninhabited area a place to more modern stay. Of course, it’s a welcome and comfortable respite with amenities like Dyson hairdryers in the bathrooms and nightly movies playing on the drive-in screen to enjoy in a fleet of vintage cars with snacks and free popcorn, but the goal is to get off the property.