breitenbush hot springs rebuilding campaign
An Open Letter from Sarahjoy Marsh, Executive Director of DAYA Foundation
Breitenbush recently announced the opening of the new Grove rooms for reservations! This is an important milestone for us, creating new year-round guest accommodation spaces to begin replacing those that burned down. That being said, as your fiscal sponsor and fundraising chairperson, I need to share with you why it is still so critical that we continue fundraising.
The Grove Hermitage guest rooms were delayed by 3 months. This means 3 months of lost revenue amounting to $400K. This also causes a ripple effect where retreats are delayed due to the need for the more immediate revenue that comes from guest reservations vs retreat reservations (which are paid by the presenter at the end of their event).
The heavy lift is not over. We are only part-way into the renovations and rebuilding of utilities and structures lost to fire. This has also brought unforeseen financial vulnerabilities: lost revenue; building expenses (which are at least 4 times greater than the insurance payout we received from our fire insurance policy); and continual instability for the worker-resident community. It’s my job to share the data with you and to be forthcoming. I, as much as all of you, want Breitenbush to make it! I want to see it survive and thrive.
With that, I am sharing with you pictures of where we used to be and where we are today. The info graphics you’ll show you our current financial situation. Even with new guest accommodations, our financial recovery will take years. There are more buildings to construct—including individual guest cabins and community/staff homes lost to the fire. Additionally we miss our Sanctuary, our Healing Arts building, and a number of essential utility structures including shop buildings, diesel genset building, Well 4 Pumphouse, etc. The list goes on.
Beyond these, as the water levels in the river reduce due to the disappearing glacier up-mountain, our ability to create hydroelectricity will inevitably be compromised. To address this we plan to install solar technology to augment our off-the-grid power generation. We also have a vision for greenhouses that can contribute to the food we supply to help feed our guests and ourselves in the future. Such planning is relevant as we face a future that may involve dislocations in the economy, supply chain issues, and other social disruptions.
The insurance payout from the fires was based on the valuation of cabins, healing arts building, and shop buildings that were 100 years old, and operating utility systems that were established and functioning for 40 years.
Replacing these structures will cost over 4 times the amount of the insurance payout, which was $4 million.