Meet the Startup Bringing Safari-Style Retreats to a National Park Near You

Take only pictures, leave ... everything. They got it.

By Diane Rommel

 
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05 April 2017

Lots of people hope to make money from the outdoors life. Not many succeed. 

Jake and Sarah Dusek are the exceptions. She's English, he's Montanan, and they returned to the U.S. after marrying in the U.K. so their children could enjoy the same home-on-the-range childhood their dad did. The open plains reminded Sarah Dusek of a safari she'd once experienced in Zimbabwe. And thusly, Sage Safari, their first glamp site, was born. 

duseks (3 images)

Their aesthetic decisions are fascinating: Hunters didn't care about aesthetics, but the high-rollers who became their core clientele did. "We had multiple billionaires who would fly in on their private jets and stay with us," Sarah Dusek told Inc. Magazine. Zippers and other functional details were out (or at least obscured) in favor of canvas and wood. The prime design inspiration? The tents that accompanied military campaigns in the 17th century — which put the company in an unusually good position to provide accommodations for a Game of Thrones-themed event in Iceland. 

The Duseks now divide their time between event management and running their high-end safari-style retreats under the name Under Canvas — not only in Montana, but also just outside national parks, including the Grand Canyon and Glacier.

For more details on their business evolution (the Duseks now employ a seasonal staff of up to 150 and bring in $8 million a year), see here. To book a retreat, see here

Happy camping.

Photos via Under Canvas

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