US chain launches outdoor-inspired hotel brand

Outbound Yosemite Resort will open near the Yosemite National Park (pictured) in Q1 2025.
Chicago, USA-based national real estate investor and operator Waterton has introduced the Outbound Hotels brand.

The latest line is a collection of locally-minded hotels offering differentiated lodging options for lifestyle travellers seeking outdoor-inspired experiences in boutique settings.

Brand vision

Giving visitors a curated connection to the outdoors, the vision for the Outbound Hotels brand began with Waterton’s acquisition of The Virginian Lodge in Jackson Hole, WY in 2020. Acquired in partnership with Jackson, Wyoming-based Orion Companies, it has been rebranded as The Virginian Lodge, an Outbound Hotel.

The Outbound portfolio was expanded in 2021 with the acquisition of Outbound Mammoth (formerly the Sierra Nevada Resort) in Mammoth, CA, and Towne and Country Stowe in Stowe, Vermont, acquired by Waterton in March 2023 and scheduled to reopen as Outbound Stowe in July 2024.

Yosemite development

Most recently, Waterton partnered with Argosy Real Estate Partners to bring its re-positioning and re-development acumen to a 17-acre qualified opportunity zone site in Oakhurst, California just south of the main gate to Yosemite National Park.

The property will be developed as Outbound Yosemite Resort, a 135-key outdoor-inspired, lifestyle hotel consisting of 108 new vacation rental cabins and 14 hotel rooms located above an expansive 12,500 sq-ft clubhouse, in addition to the 13-key boutique hotel currently on the site. Brooklyn-based design firm One Union Studio has been tasked with creating a comfortably cool aesthetic for this and the Vermont site. Outbound Yosemite Resort is slated to open in Q1 2025.

Property partners

Each Outbound Hotels resort is unique and features a variety of accommodation types, from cabins to chalets and bunk rooms to suites. Every property features the basics: ample self-parking, complimentary wi-fi and in-room coffee and tea.

To deliver a memorable experience to guests, Outbound Hotels partners with experienced hospitality providers, including Springboard Hospitality, a hotel management company with over 30 years of history transforming hotels, and The Gettys Group, a Chicago-based hotel design and development firm, to infuse each property with a unique charm and character. Amenity partners add extra touches for guests, including Solo Stove, known for their smokeless fire pits.

Expanding traditional hospitality

Waterton CEO and chairman David Schwartz, said: “Outbound Hotels expands the traditional hospitality model. Our portfolio of hotel properties creates lifestyle-oriented lodging options in destinations that provide year-round opportunities to connect adventure-minded visitors and locals to the outdoors.

“Local ambiance is often lost in today’s lodging products so we’re flipping the script to create authentic, experience-based destinations in select markets where contemporary, boutique options don’t exist.”

Broad demographic appeal

Matt Mering, executive vice president of hospitality at Waterton, added: “Outbound Hotels properties are well-positioned to meet the aesthetic and local-activity-focused Millennial and Gen Z cohorts while appealing to a broad demographic of travellers.

“Additionally, the long-term fundamentals and market dynamics in the selected markets are well-suited for our lodging strategy, as outdoor-inspired travel has become an increasingly attractive option. Together with our partners, we are committed to creating a compelling lodging experience that we believe will surprise, delight and connect visitors to some of the most attractive national park, mountain, beach and ski towns.”