Say hello to Colorado’s first doob ranch.
Joel Schneider, CEO of the MaryJane Group, is working to set up a pot-themed sleep-away camp for out-of-staters at a ranch near Durango. His firm currently operates cannabis-focused bed and breakfasts in Denver and Silverthorne.
He calls this new project “Canna-Camp.” It’ll have all the amenities of a classic summer camp –swimming, kayaking and sports – but the main attraction will be marijuana.
“We’re targeting that ex-camp base,” Schneider said. “A few years ago, I was at a camp reunion in downtown Manhattan and 450 people showed up. People want that. The camp experience brings camaraderie.”
Canna-Camp’s target opening date is July 1, and it will close in September or October. It’ll take place on a 172-acre dude ranch 30 miles northeast of Durango, 2.5 miles from Vallecito Reservoir and bordering the San Juan National Forest.
The ranch has nine cabins that can house between 40 and 50 people. Amenities include a pool, hot tub, a fire pit for barbecues and a lodge with a restaurant and bar.
Schneider hasn’t decided on rates yet, but he estimates they’ll be about $400 per person per night. That will include lodging, meals and admission to all activities.
Canna-Camp won’t actually serve pot to its patrons – the MaryJane Group is a Nevada company and can’t buy and sell cannabis.
Instead, the camp will provide transportation to Durango for campers to buy their own marijuana; camp attendees must be at least 21 years old.
The camp will offer its guests opportunities to go fishing, swimming, kayaking, play sports and learn crafts. Schneider is also wrangling marijuana industry professionals to teach classes on making concentrates, cooking edibles and horticulture.
He’ll also include live music and booze-cruise-inspired pot pontoon trips.
Aspects of Schneider’s Bud & Breakfast concept will be brought to the ranch, including a wake-and-bake breakfast and 4:20 happy hour.
Schneider is currently negotiating a one-year agreement with the owners of the property, who contacted him with the idea. Under the terms of the agreement, the MaryJane Group and the ranch’s owners will split profits in half, with MaryJane responsible for covering costs.
“The revenue we can make in a 12-week period dwarfs what we can make in a 12-month period at our other two locations combined,” Schneider said. “The expectation is that we can exceed $1 million in 12 weeks.”
Schneider estimates it will cost between $30,000 and $50,000 to open the camp.
“We’re waiting for an inventory report to see what they have to supplement,” Schneider said of the ranch. “It was built over a 50-year period, and they’ve accumulated a lot of product over that time.”
Canna-Camp will likely have to find a new location next year; this year’s hosts are planning on selling the ranch before next summer, Schneider said.
Schneider expects most visitors will fly into Durango’s airport, which sees arrivals from Denver, Dallas and Phoenix. And he said the camp will cater to the same clientele as the Bud & Breakfasts – out-of-state visitors around 50 years old.
He acknowledges that visiting the camp will be expensive but said he’s not worried about demand.
“People are spending thousands of dollars to go see the Grateful Dead in Chicago,” he said. “That’s a three-hour experience. This can last for days and will encapsulate more than what you can do at a Grateful Dead concert.”
Schneider first moved into the hospitality industry in April 2014, when he leased the Adagio Bed and Breakfast at Race Street and Colfax Avenue. From then until January, the company reported about $417,300 in revenue. Over the last fiscal year, Schneider estimates that the company made $75,000 per room.