PORT TOWNSEND — Next year, Fort Worden visitors will have another choice in overnight accommodations: glamping. This new option features a bit of history in a natural setting mixed together with a bit of luxury.
“Glamping” is considered adventure recreation — a glamorized tent-living experience featuring amenities and creature comforts not usually found in traditional camping.
A maximum of 25 sites will be available on the campus beginning May 2019.
“It’s emotionally and operationally supported camping,” Becca Hanson, project consultant with Studio Hanson|Roberts of Bainbridge Island, explained to the Fort Worden Public Development Authority on Wednesday.
“It works for people who don’t routinely camp, or for those who want a special experience. Some people want to be taken care of a little bit more when they are out in nature,” she continued.
“It’s like roughing it, with someone standing by to help you,” Hanson said later.
Hanson said the structures are basically large canvas tents installed on a wooden platform. They include an additional covering with a vestibule area where people can enjoy the outside under some cover.
Each will be fully furnished with a queen-sized bed, a rug on the floor, furniture to sit on, decorative bed coverings and other amenities.
PDA Facilities Director Larry Sammons, who is the glamping project manager, said that a lot of attention to detail and care has gone into every aspect of the program.
“The master plan identified the glamping site which is directly behind the School House area,” Sammons told the board. “It was the site of WWII buildings that were taken down when the fort was decommissioned in the ’50s and ’60s,” he said.
“A few foundations still exist, and on those historic foundations our new accommodations will be erected. It’s mixing the old with the new, with a twist.”
Care has been taken to site the structures to make sure Glampers won’t easily be seen from the main campus and Glampers will feel like they are away in nature. Each of the building sites will support two tents. Many will have views and some will be elevated to make use of the surrounding trees as a buffer.
Also planned is a common area for gatherings and communal dining, which will run parallel to the current Commons building. It will house restrooms, a kitchen facility and a place for maintenance storage.
“The idea is the structure on the slab will be of a design that’s informed by the original building on the site, Sammons said. “We have the plans for the original building and we know how it was used and what it looked like. It will be historically faithful.”
Sammons said: “We think this glamping option at the fort will be wildly successful. We are creating an authentic experience.”
Sammons said there was an effort to route plumbing to every tent and that is still being decided based on budget limitations.
“Our initial plan did not assume that so we are going to go back and look at it to see if it makes adjust accordingly,” he said.
Hanson said the plan includes a couple rustic units for bike campers or those who would like to be in a basic tent in Fort Worden.
“We are looking at varying the offerings so everyone can have their own piece of the place.
“This guest experience is a walk-in, walk-out one, with lots of operational support,” Hanson said. “There’s a golf cart to move you around, a concierge service to cater to your whims, security, and special food services.
“If you want your breakfast prepared and delivered, we can do that. If you want to order the ingredients, we’ll deliver them so you can make your own.”
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at [email protected].