The pandemic may have derailed traditional summer vacations or trips to exotic, international destinations. Events, festivals and concerts are moving to virtual options or have long been cancelled.
A secluded stay in a creekside, vintage-adorned mountain cabin, however, can be the ideal respite. Lindsay and Alex Dalton own the Flying Moon Cabins, a property near Idaho Springs with four cabin rentals (two cabins per duplex) that were originally built in the 1950s. The cabins, formerly named Call of the Canyon Cabins, have operated as nightly rentals since.
Lindsay and Alex, who live in Idaho Springs and are also the owners of Denver’s Weathervane Cafe, are creating their own mark on the cabins’ history. Looking for a location to transform into a short-term vacation rental, they purchased the cabins in March at the height of quarantine and local business shutdowns due to coronavirus. “We were always asking, ‘When’s the latest we can back out of this?'” Alex said. “It was a rocky process from the start,” Lindsay said.
In two months, they were able to prepare for guests in time for opening on June 1. In the same executive order for the safer-at-home phase in Colorado, Governor Jared Polis allowed short-term rentals to open.
The owners explain that the cabins are best suited for laid-back, nature-loving adults who are looking for an outdoor experience with “better-than-glamping” accommodations. Lindsay said, “It’s the best of both worlds. The cabins are well-furnished, well-supplied and come with comfy beds and nice linens, so you can go hiking all day and come back to something that is really comfortable.”
Lindsay shared that guests have responded positively to the nature setting, hiking options, including a trail on the road where the cabins are located, and proximity to Denver and nearby Idaho Springs destinations. She said, “It’s the only place where I can totally forget about coronavirus.”
Lindsay and Alex own Weathervane Cafe in Denver, which they note never closed during quarantine, offering take-out options. “There is a clear crossover between the hospitality and service industry,” Alex said. “The things that [we] have to consider about [our] customers in the restaurant setting are the same for guests staying at the cabins.” Lindsay added that they have a solid customer base at Weathervane Cafe that has supported this new venture by booking stays.
Each cabin features a unique, charming theme and 1950s, 1960s and 1970s decor, some original to the property. The cabin names were inspired by family symbols and memories related to good luck — The Canyon Rose, named after Lindsay’s grandmother, The White Rabbit, a nod to the Alice in Wonderland, The Cardinal and The Wild Iris.
To address the pandemic, procedures and business approaches are in place. The cabins use contactless check-in — there is no front desk, main phone, concierge or room service. Lindsay said that as a result of opening during the pandemic, thorough cleaning will continue into the future as a new norm, including surface, upholstery and mattress sanitation. Guests are provided with disinfectant wipes in each cabin. “There is no face-to-face interaction when you are checking in or out,” said Alex. He also states that there are no shared facilities or hallways.
Guests are required to wear masks in Idaho Springs.
“I’m happy that the property came with such a great history. It’s well-built and well taken care of,” Alex said. Guests in The White Rabbit cabin can access a private sauna. “There are beautiful built-ins and details. I am proud to get the opportunity to appreciate [the cabins] and share them with people,” Lindsay said.
To book the cabins, customers should make reservations online. Prices range from $125-155 with a two-night minimum.