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The Glamping Business: Mustang Monument
Interview by: Alexandria Autrey
We reached out to Mustang Monument to see how they started their amazing glamping journey. It began with an idea to save wild mustang horses and turned into to amazing glamping business bringing the wild west and american heritage into luxe destination.
How long have you been in the Glamping business?
Not long at all, Mustang Monument Wild Horse Eco-Resort was first opened in June 2014.
When did you get involved in Glamping?
It was not something I initially intended to do, my main focus was about rescuing vulnerable mustangs who are on their way to slaughter. I wanted to create a business to support the horse sanctuary and these amazing symbols of the Wild West. Therefore, setting up an eco-resort with glamping in luxury tipis seemed to be the prefect thing to do.
How long did it take to start the business?
I’ve been involved with horse rescue since 2006 and the Eco-Resort in North Eastern Nevada was originally set up as a sanctuary for wild mustangs. After a lot of thought I wanted to share the story of the endangered wild horse and that was how Mustang Monument was created; as a wild horse eco-resort with an important message of conservation.
Were there any hurdles you had to tackle?
There is a large amount of debate surrounding the wild Mustang horse, some consider them as a pest, where as many others, like myself, consider the wild horse as a symbol of freedom and American heritage. Setting up a sanctuary for the wild Mustang horse was certainly met with mixed reviews! However we do have the most wonderfully committed band of followers who have been incredibly supportive and have helped me enormously in pulling this project together.
Where do people like to stay?
We have two beautiful types of accommodations at Mustang Monument. We have ten hand-painted luxury tipis with private cabin bathrooms. We also have ten stunning safari cottages with en-suite bathrooms and verandas overlooking the mountain ranges. There is no real preference as both the cottages and the tipis are extremely luxurious and comfortable. Although, the tipis are the best choice for the real Wild-West glamping experience!
What activities do people do during the day when visiting?
There is so much to do at Mustang Monument! We have everything from horseback riding up our wonderful mountain ranges which is led by our team of cowboys and rodeo champions. We also have target shooting and driving Maverick DPS buggies for guests who want a little but more action! Guests can also hike up the mountains to explore the old gold mining shafts and ghost towns. There is also obviously a great focus on the horses, and we love to drive guests out in the wagons to feed the herd, this is always a lovely experience as guests are able to truly connect to the profound message behind their stay.
How long did it take to install tipis?
All in all, it takes about five or six days to construct one tipi and as we have ten of them, it’s quite a lengthy process! The tipis are constructed from large pieces of canvas, which are sewn together and then wrapped around a trade hand arrangement of poles. The tipis also come with hardwood floors, so the transition to glamping isn’t such a dramatic one for guests who have never camped before! We also like to make sure everyone is as comfortable as possible when staying at Mustang Monument.
Biggest lesson you’ve learned so far being in this business?
To keep an open mind and a smile on your face!
Why did you decide to offer the glamping vs. traditional accommodation option?
People like choices, some guests spend two nights in a tipi and two nights in a cottage so they can experience both. We offer two types of accommodations at Mustang Monument. The cottages are far more traditional and with the connecting verandas they are great for young families. In turn, the tipis are a wonderful way for guests to really connect to the Wild West spirit of the eco-resort.
What is the profitability for glamping vs. your other accommodations?
All proceeds from guests staying at Mustang Monument go to the Foundation Saving America’s Mustangs. For us, it is not about profit but, it’s about rescuing the horses and allowing them to live their lives peacefully without any threat.
Do you have plans to expand?
We always have new and exciting ideas for this project! This year is the launch of the California Trail Luxury Sleep Out, an incredible glamping experience where guests can sleep on the historic California trail in Pioneer style wagons. This is going to be a wonderful addition to the Mustang Monument experience.
What is the biggest challenge operating a glamping facility? How did/do you solve this problem?
The eco-resort is part of a 900 square mile set of mountain ranges and this can prove to be quite challenging when organizing activities for guests. I also have a wonderful team of cowboys, superb staff and guests who are very supportive.
What, if any is your Target demographic? What is the demographic, if any?
My main demographic is for clients with a passion for horses and conservation to visit Mustang Monument. All proceeds are funneled straight back into the Foundation Saving America’s Mustangs. While we are by no means cheap, guests can also feel proud in knowing that they are contributing to the preservation of a magnificent animal and a symbol of the American dream.