First-of-its-kind Cohabit Pod Hotel hopes to attract budget-conscious adventurers this winter season | VailDaily.com
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First-of-its-kind Cohabit Pod Hotel hopes to attract budget-conscious adventurers this winter season

Every now and then, we all need to ball on a budget. Especially this year, when the economy and pandemic has been tough on many people’s personal finances, choosing an affordable option might be the best way to go.

Avon’s Cohabit Pod Hotel hopes to provide that to skiers, snowboarders and mountain adventurers this year with its compact and budget-friendly lodging solution.

Each pod comes with outlets, reading lights, luxury linens and mobile smart locks.

“The way we like to describe ourselves is as an aparthotel,” said hotel owner Carryn Burton. “You’re getting the privacy pods, but everything else is shared. So, you still get that hostel feel, you’re still hanging out with other travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. But when you want that privacy, you have it. You can lock your valuables and feel safe in your space.”

The establishment hopes to combine the ease of a hostel with the privacy of a hotel. While it does offer traditional hotel-style rooms with a queen bed and en suite bathroom, the main attraction are the pods: small living quarters with enough room to sleep and store gear. There’s also a shared lounge area to meet new people and exchange travel stories.

That’s what makes the standard pod (5-foot-by-7.5-foot, two twin bunk beds) and XL pod (5-foot-by-8-foot, two twin XL bunk beds) clock in at less than $110 per night, or about $50 for two people.

While Burton opened Cohabit with her husband on Feb. 14, 2020, they were forced to close just three weeks later due to the pandemic.

“We were fully booked for the very short time that we were open,” Burton said.

Bret and Carryn Burton have lived in the Vail Valley for 16 years and opened the Cohabit Pod Hotel in February 2020.

It reopened for the summer, but now that the winter season has started back up again, the pod hotel hopes to continue growing. It’s seen a wide range of demographics stay at the hotel. From 21- to 70-year-olds and plenty of solo women travelers — who’ve expressed their appreciation for the safety the pod hotel provides — “We’re seeing people find value in it in every age group,” Burton said.

Burton and her husband Bret, who’ve lived in the Vail Valley for 16 years and have worked in the hospitality business, got the idea to open a pod hotel after traveling extensively around the world, staying in hostels along the way. The idea of shared accommodations for travelers has never been much of a thing in the United States, but the couple always loved the shared community and people they’d meet while staying in hostels.

“But then we did kind of tire of the bunk room style accommodation,” she said. “And you don’t want to be up with 20 people all night.”

Each sleep pod is equipped with a door lock to give guests peace of mind as they store gear and valuables.

For inspiration on how to adapt the hostel idea to a U.S. client, the couple turned to Japan’s capsule hotels. But most of those pods are literally the size of a twin bed, with a very small ceiling. The pod idea is a new one in the hospitality industry, she said.

“There are a couple places in New York, and there’s a place in Whistler Blackcomb. They’re calling themselves pod hotels, but either they’re a custom-designed bunk bed with a curtain enclosure, or it’s a really tiny hotel room with efficiency and they’re calling that a pod. So there are quite a few variations,” Burton said. “I believe we’re the very first place doing an actual sleep pod.”

And while it may be the first, it will never be the last when it comes to the things that hold up its industry. Per its tagline, Cohabit is “”big hospitality in a small space.”

For more information about amenities and booking, visit cohabitavon.com.


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