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Oregon’s Pacific Yurts Staying Ahead of Curve

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June 29, 2012 by   Leave a Comment

A few feet inside the warehouses, it smells like any other wood products manufacturing center: sawdust. But, what’s neatly stacked this way and that are no ordinary two-by-fours. They’re curved.

Welcome to Pacific Yurts Inc., a company in Lane County, Ore., that has been the industry leader in the yurt-making business since yurt making became a business, at least on a major scale. Which, according to a report by the Register Guard, makes sense, really, because before a young college graduate named Alan Bair spotted a National Geographic article on Central Asia 40 years ago, these funny-looking round structures were the stuff of nomadic sheepherders.

Those yurts were fashioned from tree saplings strung together with a woven tension band, a central ring at the apex of the “ceiling,” and animal skins stretched around the structure to keep out the wind, rain and snow. What Bair liked was its surface-to-volume ratio, its efficient use of material, and its simplicity. He decided to build one for himself.

Fast forward to 2012, and the Cottage Grove company finds itself smartly positioned to capitalize on a bevy of trends both American and international, from the desire for inexpensive vacation housing to green recreation to downsized lifestyles to year-round camping. It’s why Pacific Yurts survived the Great Recession when another Lane County yurt maker, Mindful Living, didn’t. And it’s why Bair sees a bright future for himself and his 25 to 30 employees.

“We helped create the industry,” he said. “And its uses are only limited by your imagination.”

To read the entire article in the Register Guard click here.

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