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Longboysfan
03-28-2017, 08:52
I was told that the Hiker Hostel owned by Josh & Leigh Saint in Dahlonega, GA has been sold.
New owners corporate take over in a few weeks.
They are, what I consider, the anchor and best place to start any NOBO hike.
I'll miss them.

MuddyWaters
03-28-2017, 09:13
Will be fun to watch it be run into ground....

I wouldnt support a corporate owned enterprise here if thats correct...well see

Josh and leigh were successful because they had ridiculously low price, and very high level of service. Raise prices and competition will suddenly appear . No secret they could have charged 2x, but maybe not doing so kept compeition out..

TTT
03-28-2017, 09:22
I've spent many hours memorizing the name of their dog "Maggie" for when I book into the hostel in 2018. Now all this is in vain. A fruitless expenditure of my brain cells. I wish they had given me fair warning that they were selling :)

MuddyWaters
03-28-2017, 09:25
They been on market for at least 5 yrs from what I recall....

colorado_rob
03-28-2017, 09:49
.... curmudgeonly blah, blah, blah, the usual MW stuff ....

Josh and leigh were successful because they had ridiculously low price, and very high level of service. Raise prices and competition will suddenly appear . No secret they could have charged 2x, but maybe not doing so kept compeition out.. Not sure how one defines "ridiculously low price", but we just stayed there 3 weeks ago. Fantastic stay, friendly folks, but it was apparent that the owners were a bit frazzled.

Back to the price: $85 per person for a 1.5 hour shuttle ride from Atlanta, a night in the hostel, a very modest breakfast and a ride to the trailhead. Similar hostels are about $25-30 for the bunk, call the breakfast $10 value, meaning a $50 per person shuttle ride, in a van (ancient ford) that held a dozen of us, I wouldn't personally call this a "ridiculously low price", but it seems fair. 2X that price would be ridiculously expensive.

I hope the place does well under the new owners and they continue to serve the AT community, but the fact they sold is not surprising.

MuddyWaters
03-28-2017, 10:00
Not sure how one defines "ridiculously low price", but we just stayed there 3 weeks ago. Fantastic stay, friendly folks, but it was apparent that the owners were a bit frazzled.

Back to the price: $85 per person for a 1.5 hour shuttle ride from Atlanta, a night in the hostel, a very modest breakfast and a ride to the trailhead. Similar hostels are about $25-30 for the bunk, call the breakfast $10 value, meaning a $50 per person shuttle ride, in a van (ancient ford) that held a dozen of us, I wouldn't personally call this a "ridiculously low price", but it seems fair. 2X that price would be ridiculously expensive.

I hope the place does well under the new owners and they continue to serve the AT community, but the fact they sold is not surprising.

When I was there it was $22 including breakfast...ridiculously cheap for such a spotless well run place. One of best on trail.

They prorate shuttles....my ride to springer was.....$7



Ridiculous

rocketsocks
03-28-2017, 10:08
When I was there it was $22 including breakfast...ridiculously cheap for such a spotless well run place. One of best on trail.

They prorate shuttles....my ride to springer was.....$7



Ridiculous...and the van was much younger then :D

MuddyWaters
03-28-2017, 10:12
...and the van was much younger then :D

Van?
Old suburban

I think they had a van, I didnt ride in it

TJ aka Teej
03-28-2017, 10:14
Has this been confirmed?

Longboysfan
03-28-2017, 10:24
Has this been confirmed?

Yes.
I was there last week.

My prices were for pickup at MARTA / Shuttle to Town at night for food / Overnight stay / Breakfast / Shuttle to trail head - Neels gap. $91.
My second time around at then of trip. I finished my section hike a day early and texted then for room from trail.
Shuttle pick up / Shuttle to town for food / over night stay / Breakfast / Shuttle to town for food / overnight stay / breakfast / Shuttle to MARTA. $93.

If that's not an excellent price I do not know what is.

Uncle Joe
03-28-2017, 10:53
Those prices aren't bad. I recall a shuttler in Hiawasee telling me they used to shuttle people in the area to the airport in Atlanta for something like $175. These were not hikers, mind you, just people who didn't want to drive and leave their car.

bigcranky
03-28-2017, 12:04
Well, it's $85 per hiker for thru-hiker special, whether there is one hiker to pick up, or a dozen. I expect they lose money when it's only a few, and make money when the van is full. Same with the hostel bunks.

I've enjoyed the couple times we stayed there, and we have another stay coming up.

TJ aka Teej
03-28-2017, 12:33
When I asked "Has this been confirmed?"

Yes.
I was there last week. My prices were for pickup...
in a thread titled "Hiker Hostel- Sold," I was asking if "Sold" had been confirmed.

lwhikerchris
03-28-2017, 12:44
I love this place. It was a great place to start my hike, folks are super friendly, they picked me up from Gainesville, took me to resupply at walmart, and dropped me off at Springer the morning after. Great breakfast, fine folks, the sense of a real beginning to a great journey was had here. Not only that but 2 of their caretakers were working at the hostel in Millenocket at the end of my hike and remembered making breakfast for me. We joked that that breakfast was the reason I made it to Maine.

It'll be interesting to see what comes of it.

Uncle Joe
03-28-2017, 13:37
Well, it's $85 per hiker for thru-hiker special, whether there is one hiker to pick up, or a dozen. I expect they lose money when it's only a few, and make money when the van is full. Same with the hostel bunks.

I've enjoyed the couple times we stayed there, and we have another stay coming up.

Good point.

MuddyWaters
03-28-2017, 13:51
Anyway you look at it, $85 from atlanta, overnight in super clean place, great breakfast, and shuttle to springer or amicalola is a screaming deal. These arent short distances.

The shuttle alone is about 85 miles and could be fairly price at $150

lkmi
03-28-2017, 19:13
When I asked "Has this been confirmed?"

in a thread titled "Hiker Hostel- Sold," I was asking if "Sold" had been confirmed.

https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/ga/dahlonega/7693-highway-19-n/pid_12130913/

tflaris
03-28-2017, 22:08
I'm happy for Josh and Leigh and hope that HH will continue their great service.


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Dogwood
03-28-2017, 22:21
Yes.
I was there last week.

My prices were for pickup at MARTA / Shuttle to Town at night for food / Overnight stay / Breakfast / Shuttle to trail head - Neels gap. $91.
My second time around at then of trip. I finished my section hike a day early and texted then for room from trail.
Shuttle pick up / Shuttle to town for food / over night stay / Breakfast / Shuttle to town for food / overnight stay / breakfast / Shuttle to MARTA. $93.

If that's not an excellent price I do not know what is.

For $85 the Hiker Hostel Thru-hiker Special was just that a GREAT DEAL! A 2.5hr RT 100+ mile RT from Dahlonega to N. Springs MARTA shuttle for the owners IF traffic is cooperating, a well run clean hostel stay with very good hostel amenities, modest b-fast, great insider AT hiker info, and a shuttle to Amicalola Falls SP or Springer Mt parking lot.

Josh and Leigh will be sorely missed by many including this person.

Trillium
03-29-2017, 09:35
Josh & Leigh gave excellent, excellent service. I stayed with them 3 times. Once I was in the shower and Leigh shouted through the door that they were going into town and asked if I wanted anything picked up. I asked for a quart of chocolate milk. Next day Leigh told her assistant who was checking me out to charge me for the chocolate milk but not include until after the other charges since she had personally paid for it. The woman forgot to charge me. I realized it after they dropped me off at Woody Gap to continue on. When I got to Neels Gap, I mailed the money to Leigh along with a thank you note. Vaya Con Dios Leigh & Josh!

elray
03-29-2017, 11:50
Stayed there for our 2014 attempt, awfully nice people, wish them all the best for their next endeavor!

Jeff
03-29-2017, 18:42
Yes one of the best deals you can find. I can only imagine the beating their vehicles take on the forest service roads to Springer every day.

MuddyWaters
03-29-2017, 20:39
Yes one of the best deals you can find. I can only imagine the beating their vehicles take on the forest service roads to Springer every day.

I can say, it was the closest Ive ever been to being on an amusement park ride, without being on an amusement park ride.

I was last stop going to amicalola. Being last....I sat in the back of suburban. I was so carsick I went into bathrooms and sat down for 30 min or so. I KNOW to take dramamine before these rides, and I had forgot it. I usually keep it in my FAK because it makes mountain car rides much better as a passenger.

I cant imagine brakes or shocks last long. Not sure they had much of either...
Just kidding they had brakes.
they definitely could have used some new shocks though.

saltysack
03-29-2017, 23:05
I can say, it was the closest Ive ever been to being on an amusement park ride, without being on an amusement park ride.

I was last stop going to amicalola. Being last....I sat in the back of suburban. I was so carsick I went into bathrooms and sat down for 30 min or so. I KNOW to take dramamine before these rides, and I had forgot it. I usually keep it in my FAK because it makes mountain car rides much better as a passenger.

I cant imagine brakes or shocks last long. Not sure they had much of either...
Just kidding they had brakes.
they definitely could have used some new shocks though.

Now that y'all mentioned it...holy ship that was a white knuckle ride back seat of Wes Wissen's old jeep up springer....


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4eyedbuzzard
03-29-2017, 23:37
Here's the new owners http://www.barefootluxury.com/

Some more background on them http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170104006573/en/Barefoot-Luxury%E2%84%A2-Acquires-Barefoot-Cay-Resort

4eyedbuzzard
03-29-2017, 23:41
And this press release on the Hiker Hostel acquisition http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170315006511/en

colorado_rob
03-30-2017, 00:54
Now that y'all mentioned it...holy ship that was a white knuckle ride back seat of Wes Wissen's old jeep up springer....


Really? If there are two things I've learned from this thread: folks sure have different perceptions on what a "ridiculously low price" is, and folks back east sure have a different perception on what a "rough" road is. Move that (excellent quality) dirt road up Springer out west and it would probably be in the top 20% of forest roads in terms of high quality and ease of driving. Seriously!

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 07:16
Here's the new owners http://www.barefootluxury.com/

Some more background on them http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170104006573/en/Barefoot-Luxury%E2%84%A2-Acquires-Barefoot-Cay-Resort


Hmmmmmm......seems incongruent

map man
03-30-2017, 08:13
It looks like this Barefoot Luxury company is just getting off the ground. If I understand correctly they just acquired their first property in January. I'm surprised they haven't already rebranded the hostel as the "Barefoot Hiker Hostel." I suppose, though, that the name might confuse people into thinking it was only for people who planned to hike barefoot:rolleyes:.

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 08:23
Either way they have the venture capital which typically means private investors/owners looking to maximize profits, or a high debt load, or both. None of which generally leads to great deals from a consumer standpoint. Perhaps they'll be an exception. I'd say give them the benefit of the doubt. Time will tell.

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 11:15
Im not real optimistic
I seen many things I liked destroyed by new owners
Not talking about immediate, but 5 yrs from now


They can do 3 things:
Make it better
Make it worse
Leave it alone

New owners rarely leave things alone for long

And theres no way I can see to make it better at what it currently is.

Process of elimination

Hope Im wrong. But if not, someone else will step up to fill need for hikers on the cheap heading to springer. Theres a need.

TTT
03-30-2017, 12:47
A pessimist is an experienced optimist :)

bigcranky
03-30-2017, 14:34
I did smile at their new website for the Hiker Hostel, that it's geared toward "upscale hikers." Like, really, are there any other kinds? :)

RockDoc
03-30-2017, 15:04
I wish Josh and Leigh the best.

Josh was such a josher.... We shipped him our packs and when we arrived he said he never got them..to our aghast. Then after watching our response he smiled and said 'they're over there'.

He might have been tired of the drive to Springer, on the weavy FS road. He drove it so fast that one young thru hiker screamed 'pull over', then vomited.

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 15:28
He might have been tired of the drive to Springer, on the weavy FS road. He drove it so fast that one young thru hiker screamed 'pull over', then vomited.

40-50 mph,dips,bumps,curves...
It wasball i could do not too
Didnt think id make it honestly..

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 18:48
Just spoke with Leigh because I wanted to ensure I had no issues with my reservation. Checked out the new website too.

Found this interesting (yet not very hiker friendly)


Must be 21 years old to reserve an accommodation
Deposits: A deposit of 50% of the total cost of the group is due ninety (90) days prior to arrival. If your arrival date is fewer than 90 days away, we require this 50% deposit within 5 business days of the booking. Sixty (60) days prior to arrival, the remaining balance is required. If the fore mentioned deposits are not received within the time frame stated, the hold on the rooms will be released.

I'm a planner and even I wasn't able to set my reservation that far in advance!

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 18:48
Just spoke with Leigh because I wanted to ensure I had no issues with my reservation. Checked out the new website too.

Found this interesting (yet not very hiker friendly)



I'm a planner and even I wasn't able to set my reservation that far in advance!

And just to be clear - that looks like that is going to be new policy going forward.

TTT
03-30-2017, 18:58
3 months interest on 50% of cost - let the games begin!

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 19:48
3 months interest on 50% of cost - let the games begin!Not so much the interest. That's minor. It's the paying in full by 60 days which equals running +60 days on cash flow. That's a business---person's dream. What is their cancellation policy regarding deposits, pre-payments, and last minute changes and cancellations one wonders? What are the timelines for full and partial refunds? That kind of stuff can dissuade many people from booking.

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 20:02
Not so much the interest. That's minor. It's the paying in full by 60 days which equals running +60 days on cash flow. That's a business---person's dream. What is their cancellation policy regarding deposits, pre-payments, and last minute changes and cancellations one wonders? What are the timelines for full and partial refunds? That kind of stuff can dissuade many people from booking.


There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!



Cancellations: Cancellations made 60 days or more prior to arrival are entitled to a full refund; cancellations 30 to 60 days prior to arrival are entitled to a 50% refund minus the initial non-refundable deposit of $100 per person. Cancellations 30 days or fewer prior to arrival are non-refundable, non-transferable, and have no credit value. A date change to a reservation is treated as a cancellation and rebooking. Credit for the re-booking shall be given in the same terms as the refund stated above. Date changes made within 30 days of arrival will not have a credit applied to the new booking. Prices on unconfirmed reservations are subject to change at any time without notice. We recommend that you insure against unforeseen circumstances that could necessitate partial or full cancellation of your reservation.

TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 20:08
There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!

Wooooow.......

To me, this simply says "F-you, we really don't care if you enjoy the stay or not because we have a virtual monopoly in the town."

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 20:14
There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!Sounds more like cruise line policies than a hotel. I get that they serve a unique audience at a particular time of year. But that's a pretty draconian policy for land lodging. No mention even of trying to work things out if something happens (flight cancellation, other unanticipated delays in travel). I think I'd make other plans and then call on arrival in Atlanta to see if they had last minute availability if I wanted to try the "experience".

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 20:17
There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!


You must not get around much.

All high demand resort area accomodations, usually have similar policies.
Book 6 mo in advance, pay half, 2nd half due X days, cancel outside of 30 days forfeit whole thing.
Which is why they sell trip insurance... so people dont lose $2000 if they get ill, etc.

During special events...with high demand, and higher prices...many hotels will have similar special policies

problem is...this...aint....neither...

BuckeyeBill
03-30-2017, 20:38
There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!

I agree. I travel at least once a month on buying trips and don't like staying in flea and bug infested places. But a place that now says they are catering to "upscale hikers" is only trying justify their increase rates and policies. Only on occasion due I book so far in advance (i.e. SEMA show in Las Vegas). But if something come up, the hotel that I am staying at lets me cancel without penalty. I had planned on staying there later this summer for the start of a 3 week hiking vacation, but now I think I will make reservations some where else.

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 20:50
I can understand perhaps a two week cancellation policy with limited refund. They likely could maintain a wait list for dates they are fully booked to make up for any cancellations. But if you read the policy this works out to 60 days non-refundable for most people as it's 50% refund between 30 and 60 days but also minus the initial non-refundable deposit of $100 per person. No mention of the old thru-hiker special either.

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 21:16
I can understand perhaps a two week cancellation policy with limited refund. They likely could maintain a wait list for dates they are fully booked to make up for any cancellations. But if you read the policy this works out to 60 days non-refundable for most people as it's 50% refund between 30 and 60 days but also minus the initial non-refundable deposit of $100 per person. No mention of the old thru-hiker special either.

Can't wait to see what the new rates will be!

TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 21:17
I double checked their site as well, and I didn't see any specific policies for hikers. So to me, this means one of two things:
1) They are making reservation policies difficult simply to help keep rooms open for hikers.

Or
2) They are moving more towards a resort on the trail model and are eventually planning to push out the hiking clientele.

I've never been there, but I've seen enough corporate but-outs to know when something doesn't smell right.


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Greenlight
03-30-2017, 21:20
I think they'll get more guff than they bargained for. Try to upscale me when I'm four days off the trail and smelling like rotten shrimp and something the dog rolled in, and I'll get my food at Dollar General, take a sink bath in their restroom and high tail it back to my hammock.


Here's the new owners http://www.barefootluxury.com/

Some more background on them http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170104006573/en/Barefoot-Luxury%E2%84%A2-Acquires-Barefoot-Cay-Resort

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 21:22
No mention of the old thru-hiker special either.


Yes there is. See below.
However.....it isnt linked to on the main site, it comes up on google, so maybe it exists on a server, and they meant to link it, or maybe they intentionally didnt and didnt think it would show up.

Do note that it says "for the 2017 season"

I have a feeling that they will offer spa services soon, and increased pricing. Just a gut feeling based on their other type properties.




From February 24th until April 20th we offer a package for hikers starting the trail. Because we can group hikers on shuttles, we are able to offer this package at a reduced rate. For the 2017 season, that rate is $85.
What’s Included?
• Shuttle from North Springs MARTA Station or Gainesville, GA to the Hostel
• Overnight stay in one of our bunk rooms
• Breakfast
• 8 oz of white gas or denatured alcohol (additional fuel may be purchased by the ounce)*. Fuel canisters also for sale.
• Shuttle to Amicalola Falls State Park or the Springer Mountain parking lot (0.9 miles north of Springer Mountain on USFS 42).

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 21:42
I double checked their site as well, and I didn't see any specific policies for hikers. So to me, this means one of two things:
1) They are making reservation policies difficult simply to help keep rooms open for hikers.

Or
2) They are moving more towards a resort on the trail model and are eventually planning to push out the hiking clientele.

I've never been there, but I've seen enough corporate but-outs to know when something doesn't smell right.


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From their "parent" site:

Ambiance, service and the ability to experience all that life has to offer is how we define luxury.


​At Barefoot Luxury™ all of our resorts, experiences and events are centered on only one thing -- you. We want you to enjoy the casual elegance of your accommodations, experience your surroundings to their fullest extent, and savor every moment... until you return again.

4eyedbuzzard
03-30-2017, 21:42
In the end, it's still a hostel, not a 5 star destination resort. FWIW, here's AMC for the huts


Cancellations

For reservations for 10 or fewer guests:

Full refund up to 14 days prior to arrival date, less $25 processing fee.

No refunds less then 14 days prior to stay.

Transfers may be granted in the event of emergencies and severe weather at the AMC's discretion. In most cases, the severe weather exception applies only to above-treeline situations. In either case the Reservations Office must be notified immediately. I wonder what Uncle Johnny's policy is? ;)

Lone Wolf
03-30-2017, 21:46
it's a want not a need. i went to georgia 14 years in a row. never stayed in a hostel before walkin'.

PennyPincher
03-30-2017, 21:47
In the end, it's still a hostel, not a 5 star destination resort. FWIW, here's AMC for the huts

I wonder what Uncle Johnny's policy is? ;)

I think it's going to be changing.

Greenlight
03-30-2017, 21:56
Elegance is elegance. It is upscale and refined. Casual is casual. It is laid back and easy going. There is no such thing as casual elegance. It's a marketing gimmick.

[QUOTE=We want you to enjoy the casual elegance...[/QUOTE]

TTT
03-30-2017, 22:09
Does this mean I must book an overseas flight 3 months in advance and hope there will be no delays in my ETA, or forfeit my deposit and sleep outside in the bushes to experience my surroundings to their fullest extent, and savor every moment...

It appears my Plan A of heading to the Hiker Hostel needs to be upgraded to a Plan B

Venchka
03-30-2017, 22:11
These folks are trying to out POSH the Biltmore Estate. Good luck with that.
"We require a deposit based on the value of your first night’s stay to secure your reservation for a room or package. This deposit will be applied to your last night’s stay and will be forfeited in the event of an early departure.
If you cancel 8 or more days before your arrival, a $50 cancellation fee is charged; the remainder of the deposit is returned to your credit card.
If you cancel within 7 days of your arrival, the cancellation fee is equal to your deposit.
To revise an existing reservation, please call our reservation department, toll-free, at 866-779-6277, Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET or submit an online request."
The person from NY who missed his train south would have been SOL under these new rules.
The business won't last long or the real hikers won't be staying there. There's probably room for a Hiker Hostel 2.
Wayne


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Venchka
03-30-2017, 22:15
Elegance is elegance. It is upscale and refined. Casual is casual. It is laid back and easy going. There is no such thing as casual elegance. It's a marketing gimmick.
We've been fortunate to find a few places that come very close to casual and elegant. However, the phrase is not used in the advertising. You either have it or you don't. You can't make it up.
Wayne


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TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 22:21
.
The business won't last long or the real hikers won't be staying there. There's probably room for a Hiker Hostel 2.
Wayne


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I think pushing out the riff-raff hikers is the whole idea here. My gut tells me starting January2018 it will no longer be a hiking hostel.


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Venchka
03-30-2017, 22:40
I think pushing out the riff-raff hikers is the whole idea here. My gut tells me starting January2018 it will no longer be a hiking hostel.


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No doubt that is the plan.
However. North Georgia AIN'T the location to try to make that business model work.
The remote wilderness Hostel model has been perfected in the Canadian Rockies.
Wayne


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Dogwood
03-30-2017, 22:51
I did smile at their new website for the Hiker Hostel, that it's geared toward "upscale hikers." Like, really, are there any other kinds? :)

Even though it was called The Hiker Hostel and perhaps much of the biz that went through the doors were the hiker market the Hiker Hostel also openly catered to other clientele such as cyclists, sightseers, waterfall seekers, the occasional fisherman or hunter, historical buff, non hiker per se wander, the occasional winter outdoors activists, and those wanting less expensive accommodations than four in mainstream hotels or pricey B&B's. This makes biz sense attempting to run a FT yr round fiduciary solvent biz to cater to more than just the hiker clientele which peaks seasonally. I would expect the new owners to operate with this biz model to a greater degree than even the Saints. IMHO, most pay to stay required hostel owners catering to hiking communities do so not primarily out of running a for high profit biz.

Dogwood
03-30-2017, 23:15
Just spoke with Leigh because I wanted to ensure I had no issues with my reservation. Checked out the new website too.

Found this interesting (yet not very hiker friendly)

Must be 21 years old to reserve an accommodation
Deposits: A deposit of 50% of the total cost of the group is due ninety (90) days prior to arrival. If your arrival date is fewer than 90 days away, we require this 50% deposit within 5 business days of the booking. Sixty (60) days prior to arrival, the remaining balance is required. If the fore mentioned deposits are not received within the time frame stated, the hold on the rooms will be released.

I'm a planner and even I wasn't able to set my reservation that far in advance!


And just to be clear - that looks like that is going to be new policy going forward.


There is no hotel that has this strict a policy. I just made a reservation for our anniversary and I can cancel "day of" and still get a full refund!


You must not get around much.

All high demand resort area accommodations, usually have similar policies.
Book 6 mo in advance, pay half, 2nd half due X days, cancel outside of 30 days forfeit whole thing.
Which is why they sell trip insurance... so people dont lose $2000 if they get ill, etc.

During special events...with high demand, and higher prices...many hotels will have similar special policies

problem is...this...aint....neither...

Exactly as MW said.

I've heard the Saints recalling peak NOBO periods when they'd be catering to 800+ hikers per wk desiring overnight and or shuttle service.

Dogwood
03-30-2017, 23:27
Some of the comments here are stemming from a change, a lack of the familiar, which is being perceived as threatening. Change is always in the wind. Change is what attracts MANY MANY to hiking in the first place.

The Hiker Hostel NEVER has been a place for all people all the time. The Saints, as I strongly expect as will be with the new owners, will attempt to accommodate people as well as possible. The new owners are based out of Atlanta which bodes well going forward.

Casual elegance, - simple, gracious, neat, clean, relaxed, is an apt description of The Hiker Hostel.

Wish the new owners Godspeed and biz success while keeping to the grounded casual elegance of The Dahlonega Hostel(Retreat?). :)

MuddyWaters
03-30-2017, 23:46
I think pushing out the riff-raff hikers is the whole idea here. My gut tells me starting January2018 it will no longer be a hiking hostel.


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My gut feel as soon as I heard corporate....

If josh and Leigh could have made enough $ to pay others to run it, while they sat back and got rich.....dont you think they would hav instead of busting their arse? I would have...

Its a home, and business, with 2 peoples working it.
The only way a corporation will eek profitability out of it while paying people to run it as a pure business, is by drastically altering business model....which I think blows it up. I suspect a woodsy mtn spa b&b retreat that shuttles guests to hike on AT is in future just gut feel.

TX Aggie
03-30-2017, 23:53
Some of the comments here are stemming from a change, a lack of the familiar, which is being perceived as threatening. Change is always in the wind. Change is what attracts MANY MANY to hiking in the first place.

The Hiker Hostel NEVER has been a place for all people all the time. The Saints, as I strongly expect as will be with the new owners, will attempt to accommodate people as well as possible. The new owners are based out of Atlanta which bodes well going forward.

Casual elegance, - simple, gracious, neat, clean, relaxed, is an apt description of The Hiker Hostel.

Wish the new owners Godspeed and biz success while keeping to the grounded casual elegance of The Dahlonega Hostel(Retreat?). :)

Change is the only thing that is constant.

I don't wish the new owners ill-will, but that doesn't mean that if things go the way I expect it won't be a loss for the hiking community.

For what it's worth: from the looks of the place, I can understand what the new owners are trying to accomplish. But it will result in at least a scaling back of thru-hiker accommodations if they're successful.




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FatMan
03-31-2017, 11:00
There is no doubt in my mind that the new owners are looking at an entirely different model. I am guessing this will be turned into a rustic luxury B&B with wine trail and outdoor programs offered to the guests.

Could be an opportunity for someone to recreate Josh and Leigh's business model w/o having to pay directly for their success by purchasing their business.

TX Aggie
03-31-2017, 13:35
There is no doubt in my mind that the new owners are looking at an entirely different model. I am guessing this will be turned into a rustic luxury B&B with wine trail and outdoor programs offered to the guests.

Could be an opportunity for someone to recreate Josh and Leigh's business model w/o having to pay directly for their success by purchasing their business.

Bingo! We have a winner.

Create a vacuum, and there will be a natural tendency to fill said vacuum.

10-K
03-31-2017, 14:10
Without being able to see the books there's no way to say one way or the other. The only people who know for sure are the previous owners and the new owners - both of which know all the financials. My best guess is that the hostel is marginally profitable - but not quite enough to hire a management team to run the place - but enough to stay in business and attract a buyer.

As for the $85 hiker special. They didn't just pull that number out of a hat.

Wish the former owners success in their new pursuits and hope the new owners are able to succeed with whatever they're going to do.

PennyPincher
03-31-2017, 17:55
After my phone call yesterday where I assured that nothing about my reservation had changed with the sale, I unexpectedly received a phone call from someone who works for Barefoot. I think he's actually at HH. He wanted to reassure me that all was good. I took the opportunity to mention to him my disappointment in what will become the new reservation policy. I do understand from the business side why the policy is there. After all, even last night, they had hikers they couldn't accommodate because someone had a reservation yet didn't show. So a spot or several stayed empty and with no deposit taken (under the old/existing rules) this means the HH lost out on revenue. I mentioned that perhaps the policy was too strict for hikers. I should have mentioned particularly those making reservations in the bunk room or whatever they call it versus the cabins. Or perhaps having a cut off time to cancel - let's face it, most people know at least a day in advance that their plans are changed. Or even a check in time where you need to guarantee your room with a credit card when you reserve. I was actually quite astounded that I didn't have to provide any info when I made my reservation a few weeks back. He listened very attentively. He said he is definitely learning about the clientele as well. I did mention that though I had never been there I made my reservation strictly on it's reputation in the hiker community and mentioned that "everyone I know" is a bit put off by the new reservation/cancellation policy.

I will say that I am unlikely to be there again soon but hopefully within 3-5 years for a thru. So for now I am going to watch and see what the feedback is after the transition is complete to the new policies as well as seeing if they "correct mistakes" they may make initially.

TTT
03-31-2017, 19:43
Will they still be providing a shuttle service collection and drop off in 2018?

Dogwood
03-31-2017, 20:12
When people don't show up it's not just the HH that loses revenue. Other hikers or others seeking HH accommodations lose out too.

TTT
03-31-2017, 20:39
When you're expected to book 3 months in advance and rely on airplanes, trains and shuttles, it's no wonder people don't show up on the dot. Why aren't the other hikers subject to the same criteria?

Slow Trek
03-31-2017, 23:22
I agree,their service was excellent,everything was clean and they were very helpful. We stayed in one of the Container Cabins-very nice. Best wishes to Josh and Leigh!

BillyGr
04-01-2017, 14:56
One thing that people seem to be missing - it mentions those deposits 90 days & 60 days in advance. What it DOESN'T say, though is that if they still have a spot open, say a week or 2 days before you are arriving that you can't book it.

So, if you aren't willing to book that far in advance, doesn't seem to be a reason you can't still call them closer to arrival and get a spot, as long as one is still available (which might be more likely if many don't want to be tied in that far ahead?).

4eyedbuzzard
04-01-2017, 15:05
One thing that people seem to be missing - it mentions those deposits 90 days & 60 days in advance. What it DOESN'T say, though is that if they still have a spot open, say a week or 2 days before you are arriving that you can't book it.

So, if you aren't willing to book that far in advance, doesn't seem to be a reason you can't still call them closer to arrival and get a spot, as long as one is still available (which might be more likely if many don't want to be tied in that far ahead?).Yeah, that would be my plan. Get a reservation well in advance at a place with normal cancellation policies as a backup and call the hostel when your plans firm up a day or two out or even when you arrive. Then just cancel the other reservation - or keep it if they're full.

Riocielo
04-01-2017, 16:44
I agree. I travel at least once a month on buying trips and don't like staying in flea and bug infested places. But a place that now says they are catering to "upscale hikers" is only trying justify their increase rates and policies. Only on occasion due I book so far in advance (i.e. SEMA show in Las Vegas). But if something come up, the hotel that I am staying at lets me cancel without penalty. I had planned on staying there later this summer for the start of a 3 week hiking vacation, but now I think I will make reservations some where else.

Me, too. We were planning on staying there to bookend a section hike, but now I'm hesitant.


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Slo-go'en
04-01-2017, 18:22
They have about a 2 month "busy season", mid Feb to mid April. Once that's over, it's time to switch to the B+B mode for the rest of the summer and fall.

The farther out people make reservations, the greater the chance of something happening to change the plans. So, if someone wants to book 3 months in advance, requiring a big deposit helps insure if the plans do change, they get notified, which will reduce the number of unexpected no shows. The second payment 30 days out reconfirms the booking. When reserving accommodations, leaving a credit card # is a common requirement and can be charged if your a no show and didn't cancel.

RockenR
04-02-2017, 10:00
One thing that people seem to be missing - it mentions those deposits 90 days & 60 days in advance. What it DOESN'T say, though is that if they still have a spot open, say a week or 2 days before you are arriving that you can't book it.

So, if you aren't willing to book that far in advance, doesn't seem to be a reason you can't still call them closer to arrival and get a spot, as long as one is still available (which might be more likely if many don't want to be tied in that far ahead?).

This is just my uneducated opinion, but I live in and out of hotels for work. The reason some places wont take fill ins is that its a PITA to go back and find the person who no showed, then refund them. Also, at what time are they a no show? If you have someone at the desk wanting to check in at 7pm so you fill the room. Then the reservation shows at 7:15, again, a PITA during a No Vacancy seasonal run.
Some hotels don't want to fool with walk-ins especially in a seasonal market. Its easier just to keep the original plan and if you get a no show, still charge the no show.
Last Friday I was sent to Panama City Beach FL. If anyone knows about this area, its Spring Break time now. So on Friday at 3pm I'm having the secretary find a vacancy. Such a pain. If I had tried to walk in, I know I wouldn't have gotten a room anywhere within 50 miles of the city.
Again, not arguing, just what I've seen in the past.

Dogwood
04-02-2017, 10:52
One thing that people seem to be missing - it mentions those deposits 90 days & 60 days in advance. What it DOESN'T say, though is that if they still have a spot open, say a week or 2 days before you are arriving that you can't book it.

So, if you aren't willing to book that far in advance, doesn't seem to be a reason you can't still call them closer to arrival and get a spot, as long as one is still available (which might be more likely if many don't want to be tied in that far ahead?).

This describes the scenario I experienced in 06 on a AT NOBO. I'd assume the vast majority of long section and thru-hikers would know further in advance than a couple of days they were doing such hikes. Preachy as it is commitments and organization are part of HYOH. Few would embark on a 4-6 month "vacation" without appropriate organization and preparation such as reservations(flight, train, boat, hotel, tours, etc), etc. A long hike might(should? ) be treated likewise? Not everything is always best left to making it up as one goes along?

Dogwood
04-02-2017, 10:54
They have about a 2 month "busy season", mid Feb to mid April. Once that's over, it's time to switch to the B+B mode for the rest of the summer and fall.

The farther out people make reservations, the greater the chance of something happening to change the plans. So, if someone wants to book 3 months in advance, requiring a big deposit helps insure if the plans do change, they get notified, which will reduce the number of unexpected no shows. The second payment 30 days out reconfirms the booking. When reserving accommodations, leaving a credit card # is a common requirement and can be charged if your a no show and didn't cancel.

Ah ha +1....

Trillium
04-02-2017, 13:52
Hiker Hostel definitely used to take walk-ins if they weren't at 100% occupancy. In '13 shortly after I left Gooch Mtn Shelter I called and spoke to Leigh and asked if there was any space available for that evening. There was and so she told me to be at Woody Gap by 5pm and I would be picked up by their evening shuttle. I actually arrived at Woody a few minutes after 3pm and their shuttle was about ready to leave the parking lot and shuttle hikers to the Hiker Hostel and Dahlonega; glad I didn't have to wait 2 hrs. :)

MuddyWaters
04-02-2017, 13:58
Hiker Hostel definitely used to take walk-ins if they weren't at 100% occupancy. In '13 shortly after I left Gooch Mtn Shelter I called and spoke to Leigh and asked if there was any space available for that evening. There was and so she told me to be at Woody Gap by 5pm and I would be picked up by their evening shuttle. I actually arrived at Woody a few minutes after 3pm and their shuttle was about ready to leave the parking lot and shuttle hikers to the Hiker Hostel and Dahlonega; glad I didn't have to wait 2 hrs. :)

Was not uncommon at all for people that stayed and shuttled, to discover they overestimated their abilities, call them up and get picked up and then slackpack for a few days. After a few days of rain, they did a lot of business picking wet hikers up that decided they needed to dry out. Lots of people call them from the trail.

Longboysfan
04-03-2017, 14:08
Yes. I was one of them and they had a place for me on short notice:D.

Dogwood
04-03-2017, 14:17
Was not uncommon at all for people that stayed and shuttled, to discover they overestimated their abilities, call them up and get picked up and then slackpack for a few days. After a few days of rain, they did a lot of business picking wet hikers up that decided they needed to dry out. Lots of people call them from the trail.

First night of freedom can seem like the first night of a long prison stay to some.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMq3pebqgI4

dudeijuststarted
04-03-2017, 14:19
If true, congratulations on a dream come true and thanks for the memories!!!!

Dogwood
04-03-2017, 14:19
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Utop2U6Zgo

FRESH FISH.

capehiker
04-06-2017, 20:28
I just stayed at HH last weekend. The place is immaculate. They were actually steam cleaning the floors when I was there. One of the new owners was there and was cordial. He was doing everything Josh and Leigh were doing. I wish them all the best as well as the direction of the HH in the future.

TX Aggie
04-06-2017, 21:54
I just stayed at HH last weekend. The place is immaculate. They were actually steam cleaning the floors when I was there. One of the new owners was there and was cordial. He was doing everything Josh and Leigh were doing. I wish them all the best as well as the direction of the HH in the future.

Great to hear


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theory
04-15-2017, 00:54
I recently stayed there and met Maggie and we hiked the entire trail together around the property. I met great people there and got great advice. When another hiker told me recently that they were trying to sell the place I couldn't understand why. It is a beautiful hostel and in a wonderful location. I would love to have been able to stay there again but now that it has been sold it will never be the same.

-Theory!

Skyline
04-24-2017, 18:08
I think pushing out the riff-raff hikers is the whole idea here. My gut tells me starting January2018 it will no longer be a hiking hostel.


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On Barefoot Luxury's "corporate" website, they list five properties including Hiker Hostel. The others are diverse, and include island resorts and even a resort specializing in diving. One link is to "Barefoot Lodge"...


" IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE NORTH GEORGIA MOUNTAINS ... COMING SOON
"Guests of Barefoot Lodge will find nature’s tranquility and endless activities: hike the Appalachian Trail and Benton MacKaye Trail, cycle, trail run, experience historic Dahlonega. Wine enthusiasts spend the day touring the vineyards and brides connect with the perfect wedding destination. Enjoy the casual elegance of your accommodations, experience your surroundings to their fullest extent, and make lasting memories."


Will Hiker Hostel become Barefoot Lodge, or will this be a separate venue? It almost sounds too ambitious for the current Hiker Hostel. Is there ample room on the property at Hiker Hostel to create a second venue, or someplace nearby?

PennyPincher
04-25-2017, 10:36
I had a truly enjoyable stay at Hiker Hostel. As it turns out it was the last week that Josh and Leigh would be there. I met Jessie, one of the new owners as he has been "learning the business" for the last couple months. Seems to really be interested in carrying on the best of the Hiker Hostel policies etc and continuing with the great experience. Also seems like it was time for Josh and Leigh to move on to something new. I wish them both well in their new endeavors, whatever they may be. It definitely set a standard for hostels in my mind. Much more like a home than anything else. Very clean! I like that!

pmartincma
04-27-2017, 21:24
I enjoyed several very nice stays in the fall, last year and this spring on an AT section hike. Wish them the best.

Just checked the hiker hostel website to see how they were handling reservations online now. Prices have increased some. The $19 bunk is now $25 + lodging tax and state tax and I know the other rates have gone up some. Don't know if it's a seasonal thing, but will be interesting to follow in the future. Here is the online reservation site linked to the hiker hostel website: https://hikerhostel.com/reservations/

4eyedbuzzard
04-27-2017, 21:44
Just spoke with Leigh because I wanted to ensure I had no issues with my reservation. Checked out the new website too.

Found this interesting (yet not very hiker friendly)



I'm a planner and even I wasn't able to set my reservation that far in advance!


And just to be clear - that looks like that is going to be new policy going forward.Perhaps they read our posts? They changed their reservation/cancellation policy https://hikerhostel.com/policies/ Not quite so bad now. more than 7 days = full refund, less than 7 days = 50%

PennyPincher
04-27-2017, 23:10
Perhaps they read our posts? They changed their reservation/cancellation policy https://hikerhostel.com/policies/ Not quite so bad now. more than 7 days = full refund, less than 7 days = 50%

That's great! Perhaps the feedback that I and others gave made a difference. Nice to see they listened.

Rest Step
05-10-2017, 17:17
Just had to canceled my reservation with the Hiker Hostel. When I checked to see if everything was stilll ok, I got a reply from Mike the new owner that said I would need to get my own transportation from Marta. In February I made a reservation with Leigh to be picked up at the Marta station and then spend the night. Guess things have changed. Just going to shuttle straight to the trailhead!

PennyPincher
05-10-2017, 18:05
Just had to canceled my reservation with the Hiker Hostel. When I checked to see if everything was stilll ok, I got a reply from Mike the new owner that said I would need to get my own transportation from Marta. In February I made a reservation with Leigh to be picked up at the Marta station and then spend the night. Guess things have changed. Just going to shuttle straight to the trailhead!

They aren't doing shuttles? WTheck?


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Rest Step
05-10-2017, 18:24
Still going to the trail, just not the Marta. They were real nice about everything though.

Slo-go'en
05-10-2017, 21:34
Still going to the trail, just not the Marta. They were real nice about everything though.

I stayed there a few days after the new management took over. Was not impressed. With tax, the bunk cost $30. The breakfast was minimalist, hardly worth getting up for. Then they charged us an additional $8.00 each to shuttle us back to the trail at Woody Gap - 6 miles up the road!

PennyPincher
05-12-2017, 22:59
I stayed there a few days after the new management took over. Was not impressed. With tax, the bunk cost $30. The breakfast was minimalist, hardly worth getting up for. Then they charged us an additional $8.00 each to shuttle us back to the trail at Woody Gap - 6 miles up the road!

When I was there it was $85 for pickup, stopped at Wally World on the way into HH, bunk, good sized breakfast, shuttle to trail head. That was last week of Josh and Leigh being there for the transition.

skiBee
05-13-2017, 10:16
Stayed there a couple of weeks ago.
Two days before I was to arrive in Gainesville Ga on Amtrack I got a call telling me they would not pick me up. But they did arrange an uber. I still had to do al the uber stuff but he was there waiting for me even though the train was an hour late.
The HH is a nice place, I stayed in a container cabin and it was neat.
They took us to the springer mountain parking lot and dropped us off.
I spent one night on the trail in the rain and wanted to get picked up at Hightower gap and HH said nope, not today, maybe tomorrow and we have no way to get you back to Gainesville.
I will be trying the trail again in October but will try and go from Gainesville to the trail.

Ethesis
05-13-2017, 17:48
http://www.topofgeorgiahostel.com/shuttles

seems they still do the Slack Pack Georgia program.

Ethesis
05-13-2017, 17:49
Shuttles don't start until Feb 15.

PennyPincher
07-31-2017, 22:50
Has anyone checked out the new rates?!

Jeff
08-01-2017, 09:24
Has anyone checked out the new rates?!

Thought it was a typo !!! ????

Slo-go'en
08-01-2017, 16:43
Yikes, the price jumped from $85 to $350! Good luck with that. Adding "Luxury" to the name is a hint only well to do hikers are welcome.

My experience with the new owners last spring was not favorable, but it was only a few days after the transition.

TTT
08-01-2017, 16:52
Some call it business savvy, but I call it a scam and greed. Was going to stay there but decided not to be a victim of rip-off artists

saltysack
08-01-2017, 17:21
Yikes, the price jumped from $85 to $350! Good luck with that. Adding "Luxury" to the name is a hint only well to do hikers are welcome.

My experience with the new owners last spring was not favorable, but it was only a few days after the transition.

Holy ship.....got to be a typo....at that rate good luck does that include a Sherpa? maybe they be ready to dump it in a few years to cut there loss.....I'll be ready


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PennyPincher
08-01-2017, 17:46
I'm wondering if the rate for the bunk room at $350 or whatever it was is for all 4? That at least wouldn't be much more than what it was except that you have to coordinate with 3 others to all show up at the same time. Kind of sucks


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George
08-01-2017, 18:13
never been there, but the real estate listing looked like the building was way too nice to be practical for a hostel, not surprising the new owners look to be going in a different direction

as stated previously in this thread, it really opens up an opportunity for a hostel / shuttle business with the highest potential volume on the AT

after seeing 350$ is 110$ too much for the atlanta shuttle package?

Ethesis
08-01-2017, 18:21
So the end of the slack pack Georgia deal.

MuddyWaters
08-01-2017, 19:24
Not a hiker hostel anymore......imo

Slo-go'en
08-01-2017, 19:44
I'm wondering if the rate for the bunk room at $350 or whatever it was is for all 4? That at least wouldn't be much more than what it was except that you have to coordinate with 3 others to all show up at the same time. Kind of sucks
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Looked to me that 4 people renting a bunk room ran $500. Provide your own transportation to get there.

$350 was the hiker special, pick up in Atlanta, breakfast (of sorts) and a ride to trail head (your choice of FS42 or approach).

DownEaster
08-01-2017, 21:37
So now it looks like:

Fly red-eye into Atlanta, carrying on your backpack so nothing gets mangled by baggage handlers.
Get a MARTA day pass.
Take MARTA to the Post Office to get the box with trekking poles & other TSA offensive items (plus maybe bulky gear you strap outside the pack) you mailed yourself.
Take MARTA to Walmart; buy fuel and 4 days worth of food.
Take MARTA to North Springs station.
Get a shuttle from North Springs to Amicalola Falls State Park.
Start hiking.

That about right?

PennyPincher
08-01-2017, 23:44
So now it looks like:

Fly red-eye into Atlanta, carrying on your backpack so nothing gets mangled by baggage handlers.
Get a MARTA day pass.
Take MARTA to the Post Office to get the box with trekking poles & other TSA offensive items (plus maybe bulky gear you strap outside the pack) you mailed yourself.
Take MARTA to Walmart; buy fuel and 4 days worth of food.
Take MARTA to North Springs station.
Get a shuttle from North Springs to Amicalola Falls State Park.
Start hiking.

That about right?

What shuttles are available to take you to AFSP?


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Ethesis
08-01-2017, 23:48
I've used shuttles and Uber.

Slo-go'en
08-02-2017, 00:14
What shuttles are available to take you to AFSP?
There are several drivers who provide shuttles. But if 50 people a day are showing up, someone should buy a bus and start a service.

DownEaster
08-02-2017, 00:34
The exact shuttle availability is TBD until next year. If several of us are arriving in Atlanta on the same day, it's probably worth coordinating to pre-arrange a shuttle or Uber ride.

Maineiac64
08-02-2017, 08:02
Yikes, the price jumped from $85 to $350! Good luck with that. Adding "Luxury" to the name is a hint only well to do hikers are welcome.

My experience with the new owners last spring was not favorable, but it was only a few days after the transition.
If you look at make a reservation and check availability you will see they are sold out for most of their high end accommodations for many days. Looks like they have tapped into a niche.

Elaikases
08-02-2017, 08:50
If you look at make a reservation and check availability you will see they are sold out for most of their high end accommodations for many days. Looks like they have tapped into a niche.

As the hike becomes more popular, the demographic edges enlarge.

EuroPacker
08-06-2017, 14:02
Property is now officially no longer a hostel.

This week the company that bought it announced they have completely renovated and turned it into a luxury bed and breakfast- even giving it a new name "Barefoot Hills". If your read their news release they are going to focus on the winery scene in Dahlonega and Atlanta tourists instead of just hikers.

Hiker Hostel - RIP 2017

MuddyWaters
08-06-2017, 14:37
Property is now officially no longer a hostel.

This week the company that bought it announced they have completely renovated and turned it into a luxury bed and breakfast- even giving it a new name "Barefoot Hills". If your read their news release they are going to focus on the winery scene in Dahlonega and Atlanta tourists instead of just hikers.

Hiker Hostel - RIP 2017


you dont buy a business, to throw the business out and make it something elsel...unless its a very desireable property

because they paid a premium for the business...compared to just building their own facilities, it would seem a questionable plan on the surface

dervari
08-07-2017, 12:15
I'm wondering if it's even worth listing in the guidebooks anymore.

ldsailor
08-07-2017, 12:51
So now it looks like:

Fly red-eye into Atlanta, carrying on your backpack so nothing gets mangled by baggage handlers.
Get a MARTA day pass.
Take MARTA to the Post Office to get the box with trekking poles & other TSA offensive items (plus maybe bulky gear you strap outside the pack) you mailed yourself.
Take MARTA to Walmart; buy fuel and 4 days worth of food.
Take MARTA to North Springs station.
Get a shuttle from North Springs to Amicalola Falls State Park.
Start hiking.

That about right?

My backpack (Zpack Arc Haul) is too big to carry on, and I fear baggage handlers, so I do this. Go to Walmart and buy a $17 (and change) large duffel bag (it has wheels and folds into itself when empty!). Pack everything in there except fuel and check it in. When I get to my destination, I empty the duffel bag and do a cost analysis. If I can mail it ahead cheaply enough, I will and pick it up at the end of my section hike for the flight home. If postage costs more than a new duffle bag, I just give it to the shuttle driver who picks me up at the airport. By the way, you don't have to send everything via priority mail. The duffel bag weighs 2 lbs. and retail ground is usually cheaper than a new duffel bag.

Before I am accused of being a money bag, I'd rather spend the $17 and protect my gear from airport damage. If anyone has a better solution, I'm all ears.

TTT
08-07-2017, 13:20
I just bought an E3 Transit bag with the same idea in mind
Think it takes 70 L
40032

MuddyWaters
08-07-2017, 16:33
My backpack (Zpack Arc Haul) is too big to carry on, and I fear baggage handlers, so I do this. Go to Walmart and buy a $17 (and change) large duffel bag (it has wheels and folds into itself when empty!). Pack everything in there except fuel and check it in. When I get to my destination, I empty the duffel bag and do a cost analysis. If I can mail it ahead cheaply enough, I will and pick it up at the end of my section hike for the flight home. If postage costs more than a new duffle bag, I just give it to the shuttle driver who picks me up at the airport. By the way, you don't have to send everything via priority mail. The duffel bag weighs 2 lbs. and retail ground is usually cheaper than a new duffel bag.

Before I am accused of being a money bag, I'd rather spend the $17 and protect my gear from airport damage. If anyone has a better solution, I'm all ears.
Browse thrift stores all yr long when in area
$3-5
Pick up a few

You dont need rolling duffel
Just take frame out of pack and have it dmall enough
Put frame rods and some gear in a small duffel
Throw away at airport

tunnelbear
08-07-2017, 21:36
Looks like a "Hiker Hostel - Standard Bunk" for April/March 2018 is $48.30 a night. New web site at http://www.barefootluxury.com/ (select "barefoot hills" under destinations)

EuroPacker
08-08-2017, 01:18
Looks like a "Hiker Hostel - Standard Bunk" for April/March 2018 is $48.30 a night. New web site at http://www.barefootluxury.com/ (select "barefoot hills" under destinations)

You can go straight to www.barefoothills.com. They still have the bunks "Hiker Hostel". Maybe its two different properties now?

BuckeyeBill
08-08-2017, 10:08
Did anyone notice on the website they have a picture of a boundary marker instead of a trail marker for the trail?

The Old Chief
08-08-2017, 11:02
From 2001 to 2004 I did hikes starting in March from either Amicalola or Springer. Never stayed at the Hiker Hostel, mainly because it wasn't open or not in the guides during that time period. Never had trouble planning or coordinating getting to the start of the trail from either Amicalola or USFS 42 without the availability of the Hiker Hostel. Didn't have the convenience of Uber or digital phone service either. During this same period of time I stayed 4 years in a row at Rainbow Springs Campground, 2 years under the old owners and 2 years under the new owners. I daresay many of you have never heard of Rainbow Springs Campground or know of its location. It was always packed with hikers during the peak season. But now it's gone and no one misses it, except for maybe me. Jensine was a hoot! Hostels open and close and you just adapt--or go home. If you think the new Hiker Hostel charges too much just don't go there. If you're starting out a thru-hike or section hike at Springer and need to be picked up after 1 or 2 days of hiking because of weather you should seriously consider going home.
Just to let you know I have stayed with Josh and Leigh several times over the years and consider them friends. I can understand why they sold their property and wish them the best. The new owners can do whatever they please, and charge whatever they please with the property. Whether I stay there again is up to me not them.

saltysack
08-08-2017, 11:28
Curious on others thoughts...is there an opportunity for another "hiker hostel" that services the budget minded Starting a Thru? I.e. Airport package.....curious as to how many folks used this service?


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saltysack
08-08-2017, 11:35
There are several drivers who provide shuttles. But if 50 people a day are showing up, someone should buy a bus and start a service.

Is that a realistic number?


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ldsailor
08-08-2017, 15:02
Browse thrift stores all yr long when in area
$3-5
Pick up a few

You dont need rolling duffel
Just take frame out of pack and have it dmall enough
Put frame rods and some gear in a small duffel
Throw away at airport

You know, I'm embarrassed. It never occurred to me to check a thrift store for a duffle bag. Thanks for the tip.

Btw, you're right. I don't need a rolling duffle bag. It just so happens the cheapest one at Walmart has them.

ldsailor
08-08-2017, 15:14
Curious on others thoughts...is there an opportunity for another "hiker hostel" that services the budget minded Starting a Thru? I.e. Airport package.....curious as to how many folks used this service.

When I was there at the beginning of my hike in early April last year, they were turning people away right and left because they were full. IMHO they faced a pure economic problem. Their fees were too low. Had they increased prices somewhat to cut demand, at least in high season, they would have made a lot more money and maybe they'd still own the property.

That's a lesson for anyone who tries to take up the slack now that HH is gone. I really believe there is a need in the market.

Send me a PM if you need an investor :)

Slo-go'en
08-08-2017, 15:47
Curious on others thoughts...is there an opportunity for another "hiker hostel" that services the budget minded Starting a Thru? I.e. Airport package.....curious as to how many folks used this service?
The problem is property prices are through the roof in that area with the demand from people fleeing Atlanta. It would only work for someone who already owns something suitable they bought 20-30 years ago and is mostly or all paid off.

Lone Wolf
08-08-2017, 15:53
a hostel is not needed near the southern terminus. the AT was fine before any hostels

saltysack
08-08-2017, 16:04
When I was there at the beginning of my hike in early April last year, they were turning people away right and left because they were full. IMHO they faced a pure economic problem. Their fees were too low. Had they increased prices somewhat to cut demand, at least in high season, they would have made a lot more money and maybe they'd still own the property.

That's a lesson for anyone who tries to take up the slack now that HH is gone. I really believe there is a need in the market.

Send me a PM if you need an investor :)

From what I gathered they were ready to travel and kind of worn out....similar to WP at mountain crossings....

SLO yea I didn't think about the Atl influence on values in the area. Maybe I'll buy a short bus this winter and do lil shuttling....[emoji38]


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George
08-09-2017, 17:43
a hostel is not needed near the southern terminus. the AT was fine before any hostels

the way I see it, a gathering point is needed for efficient mass shuttling - the "hostel" is just the cheapest venue to provide said gathering point,

while you have it why not do slack packing - so many drop out at the beginning and want shuttles from the road crossings any way, either way this is when there are the most customers and they usually still have money

- LW the "need" for a service does not necessarily determine the practicality of a business - you do shuttling, no hiker "needs" a shuttle, they can walk

MuddyWaters
08-09-2017, 18:03
a hostel is not needed near the southern terminus. the AT was fine before any hostels

Yes
But the convenience of a one-stop, well priced service for atlanta pickup, clean lodging, breakfast, and shuttle to trail was very popular.

Lone Wolf
08-09-2017, 22:42
a person drives from ohio to damascus. person wants to walk from erwin to damascus back to car. person needs a shuttle to erwin. what don't i get, george?

ldsailor
08-10-2017, 13:11
a hostel is not needed near the southern terminus. the AT was fine before any hostels

In the immortal words of Steve Jobs, “A lot of times, people don't know what they want until you show it to them.” Forbes article (https://www.forbes.com/sites/chunkamui/2011/10/17/five-dangerous-lessons-to-learn-from-steve-jobs/#5cdf9853a95c)

George
08-10-2017, 20:18
a person drives from ohio to damascus. person wants to walk from erwin to damascus back to car. person needs a shuttle to erwin. what don't i get, george?

a person flies into Atlanta, gets in late, needs a place to organize, rest and get to the trailhead - hence the springer area hostel
can this person get uber directly to amicola, organize in the bathroom and start hiking - yeah I do and likely you too

but your section hiker from Ohio can walk/ hitch back to the car or plan around public transport also

what you do not get is that they are on vacation - desire, not need is driving both business opportunities

theinfamousj
08-11-2017, 13:27
I know the hostel is popular with NoBos, but don't forget the SoBos who would like a shower and a real bed after they finish their hike.

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BuckeyeBill
08-11-2017, 15:33
The way I see it you can either pay their price or stay some where else. IMHO the new owners may discover that their bread and butter business early in the year (before Memorial Day) won't stay with them. Come June, the city dwellers may use their place, butt how many will pay $40 + dollars a night for a bunk bed with share bath and shower facilities?

TX Aggie
08-11-2017, 15:56
The way I see it you can either pay their price or stay some where else. IMHO the new owners may discover that their bread and butter business early in the year (before Memorial Day) won't stay with them. Come June, the city dwellers may use their place, butt how many will pay $40 + dollars a night for a bunk bed with share bath and shower facilities?

Just my guess: after this hiking season is over, they will completely redo the hostel cabins. The discrepancy between their new target clientele and thru hikers can't be much more stark.

There's an opening for a new hostel, but I don't see how anyone could open a new one and have it anywhere near as economical as this one was simply due to startup costs.

BuckeyeBill
08-11-2017, 16:21
Just my guess: after this hiking season is over, they will completely redo the hostel cabins. The discrepancy between their new target clientele and thru hikers can't be much more stark.

There's an opening for a new hostel, but I don't see how anyone could open a new one and have it anywhere near as economical as this one was simply due to startup costs.

That could be the reason behind Josh and Leigh selling the place, but I do not want to speculate. The general overhead alone had to have been high. Josh and Leigh were such nice people and I am sure that they didn't want to raise the cost to such a level that hikers could not afford to stay with them. I wish both of them well in their future plans.

capehiker
08-12-2017, 12:18
They've rebranded and are called Barefoot Hills Hotel. I think the quicker we all acknowledge this is an entirely different entity, and not a hiker hostel, we can move on. There is a lot of money to be had in north GA, and it doesn't come from thru hikers. I just hope the guidebooks recognize this so they can take it off their list for next year.

MuddyWaters
08-12-2017, 12:30
the place is in the middle of nowhere, out in the woods

they either got to make money by being a quiet, exclusive resort/spa...which it aint
or shuttling people around to places to do things, and being a bargain..which they dont seem to want to do

I dont see the business model personally for the location.....

Maineiac64
08-12-2017, 14:38
They've rebranded and are called Barefoot Hills Hotel. I think the quicker we all acknowledge this is an entirely different entity, and not a hiker hostel, we can move on. There is a lot of money to be had in north GA, and it doesn't come from thru hikers. I just hope the guidebooks recognize this so they can take it off their list for next year.

The new owners offer a thru hiker package so why take it off the list? It is $210 per person for a standard bunk or part of another package purchased, extra hikers using shuttle pay an additional $100. You may not like or want the option but it is an option.
One night in one of our accommodations (based on the package purchased)Pick up from North Springs MARTA at either 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ETComplimentary Continental Breakfast ServedShuttle to and from resupply store (20 minute stop)8:30 a.m. ET next day shuttle to either Amicalola Falls State Park or Springer Mountain Parking Lot

Standard Bunk Bed – $210 + taxEco Cabin – $300 + taxStandard Guest Room – $310 + taxLog Cabin – $320 + taxDeluxe Guest Room – $325 + taxDeluxe Eco Cabin – $350 + taxDeluxe Bunk Room (accommodates 4 guests) – $500 + tax*Please note tax is 12% (5% hotel and 7% sales)

capehiker
08-12-2017, 21:48
The new owners offer a thru hiker package so why take it off the list? It is $210 per person for a standard bunk or part of another package purchased, extra hikers using shuttle pay an additional $100. You may not like or want the option but it is an option.
One night in one of our accommodations (based on the package purchased)Pick up from North Springs MARTA at either 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ETComplimentary Continental Breakfast ServedShuttle to and from resupply store (20 minute stop)8:30 a.m. ET next day shuttle to either Amicalola Falls State Park or Springer Mountain Parking Lot

Standard Bunk Bed – $210 + taxEco Cabin – $300 + taxStandard Guest Room – $310 + taxLog Cabin – $320 + taxDeluxe Guest Room – $325 + taxDeluxe Eco Cabin – $350 + taxDeluxe Bunk Room (accommodates 4 guests) – $500 + tax*Please note tax is 12% (5% hotel and 7% sales)

You are correct. I guess I could rephrase saying that this new hotel shouldn't be compared or associated with the Hiker Hostel.

LittleRock
08-14-2017, 10:22
I think they'll learn their lesson after the first year, as others have.

To cite one example, I stayed at Black Bear Resort near Hampton, TN during their first year in business. Little bit different situation there: it was family owned, great people, they had done all the renovations themselves and prices were reasonable ($50/night for 1-room cabin w/ no electricity, shared bathroom).

Came back next year and things had changed considerably. Part of the main building had been turned into a bunkhouse where hikers could stay for $20/night, they had a tenting area for $10/night, they had a room with games, fridge, computer and TV, plus a new camp store with lots of hiker oriented resupply items.

My guess is the family took over and originally intended to turn the place into a mountain resort, then wised up after realizing who most of their clientele were.

dervari
08-15-2017, 00:29
Continental breakfast? Another downgrade. Hikers need protein. Not going to get that from bagels and a cheese Danish.


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TTT
08-15-2017, 01:54
Putting it into perspective for myself, a stay at the 5 star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, costs $335 for a Deluxe room with 2 guests and buffet breakfast plus a selection off an a la carte menu.

rickb
08-15-2017, 04:13
Putting it into perspective for myself, a stay at the 5 star Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel in the heart of Cape Town, South Africa, costs $335 for a Deluxe room with 2 guests and buffet breakfast plus a selection off an a la carte menu.
The cost of the rooms don't seem too bad -- $86.25 for a real bed with a private bath, or even $42 they are charging for a bunk (if it is a step above hiker grunge quality).

It's the cost of the shuttle that wil get you.

Venchka
08-15-2017, 08:50
The way I see it you can either pay their price or stay some where else. IMHO the new owners may discover that their bread and butter business early in the year (before Memorial Day) won't stay with them. Come June, the city dwellers may use their place, butt how many will pay $40 + dollars a night for a bunk bed with share bath and shower facilities?

Price hostels and tent sites in the Denver Recreational Metro Area (RMNP, Frisco, Breck, etc.) in August. $40 is about the mean price for shared Hostel space. Tent sites with pit toilets and piped water somewhere are $20. Showers and flush toilets can double the price.
Wayne


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Jeff
08-15-2017, 09:21
I think they'll learn their lesson after the first year, as others have..

Completely agree with this....we learned so much owning Green Mountain House that first year.

PennyPincher
08-15-2017, 11:17
I don't begrudge the new owners operating it the way they think will maximize their profit. I'm all for profits. I do think I am lucky because I was there this past spring during Josh and Leigh's last week there. It was great to meet them. Hope our paths cross again. They seem like really terrific people. I got to hang and talk with Leigh a little. It was clear they needed to "move on to the next thing" for them, even if that meant a month long nap!

I do feel the loss to the hiking community with the increase in pricing etc.

saltysack
08-15-2017, 11:48
Does anyone know how to reach Josh and Leigh?


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The Old Chief
08-15-2017, 12:55
With all the increases in pricing for this hostel I would think starting your hike with a night at the Amicalola Lodge at the State Park would be comparable. A private room and bath, great dining room serving breakfast, lunch, and supper and best of all walk out the front door and be on the Approach Trail in about 2 minutes.

EuroPacker
08-15-2017, 17:52
The new owners offer a thru hiker package so why take it off the list? It is $210 per person for a standard bunk or part of another package purchased, extra hikers using shuttle pay an additional $100. You may not like or want the option but it is an option.
One night in one of our accommodations (based on the package purchased)Pick up from North Springs MARTA at either 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ETComplimentary Continental Breakfast ServedShuttle to and from resupply store (20 minute stop)8:30 a.m. ET next day shuttle to either Amicalola Falls State Park or Springer Mountain Parking Lot

Standard Bunk Bed – $210 + taxEco Cabin – $300 + taxStandard Guest Room – $310 + taxLog Cabin – $320 + taxDeluxe Guest Room – $325 + taxDeluxe Eco Cabin – $350 + taxDeluxe Bunk Room (accommodates 4 guests) – $500 + tax*Please note tax is 12% (5% hotel and 7% sales)


I think that is a very astute observation. This is definitely no longer a Hostel, but it doesn't mean its no longer hiker friendly. As I peruse their site I see lots of ovations to the hiking community. The thru hiker deal, albeit more pricey, is prominently displayed. Perhaps there is a market here none of us saw- that the stereotype of the grimey old salt is just that- stereotype.

I hiked through the Alps many years ago, and was paying these prices on a relative basis then. Everything Euro is more expensive though but perhaps a new trend here for everyone to take notice.

TX Aggie
08-15-2017, 18:41
I think that is a very astute observation. This is definitely no longer a Hostel, but it doesn't mean its no longer hiker friendly. As I peruse their site I see lots of ovations to the hiking community. The thru hiker deal, albeit more pricey, is prominently displayed. Perhaps there is a market here none of us saw- that the stereotype of the grimey old salt is just that- stereotype.

I hiked through the Alps many years ago, and was paying these prices on a relative basis then. Everything Euro is more expensive though but perhaps a new trend here for everyone to take notice.

Good point. While I haven't doe a thru and only do weekend hikes so far, I can definitely tell that today's hiker community is not what I was expecting. I think they are MUCH more affluent and willing to spend a little more than previous generations. Seriously, 20 years ago would one of the most popular tents have been a $600 tent vs $150 tent just to save 1-1.5 lbs?


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PennyPincher
08-15-2017, 20:29
Does anyone know how to reach Josh and Leigh?




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They're in Maine somewhere right now. Hiking I believe.

saltysack
08-16-2017, 07:07
They're in Maine somewhere right now. Hiking I believe.

Thx....I'd sure like to ask them a few questions...


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saltysack
08-16-2017, 11:56
Out of curiosity what would y'all consider a fair price for the "thru hiker special".....$85 seems too cheap to thrive or survive but new barefoot rate of $200 seems too high??? $150?


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PennyPincher
08-16-2017, 20:53
Out of curiosity what would y'all consider a fair price for the "thru hiker special".....$85 seems too cheap to thrive or survive but new barefoot rate of $200 seems too high??? $150?


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I don't know. During thru hiker season a pick up from the last stop on the MARTA where you pick up 6-8 people at a whack (possibly more) $85 per seems like a decent chunk of change, even with a bunk and breakfast.

MuddyWaters
08-16-2017, 20:59
Compare your options.
I always felt 120-150 was probably fair if someone had to source the transfer, lodging, bkfast, shuttle separately.
Only way 85 worked was many sharing majority of transfers and shuttles

Last Call
08-16-2017, 21:19
Well if anyone deserves a break on price it would be a thru-hiker.....

Lone Wolf
08-16-2017, 21:21
Well if anyone deserves a break on price it would be a thru-hiker.....

uhh.....no

Last Call
08-16-2017, 21:24
Why not Lone Wolf? They are the ones that make the trail special....after all, they are out there sacrificing a part of their very life to the trail.

Lone Wolf
08-16-2017, 21:33
Why not Lone Wolf? They are the ones that make the trail special....after all, they are out there sacrificing a part of their very life to the trail.

they're tourists on vacation. the trail makes the trail special not somebody walkin' on it. by choice.

Last Call
08-16-2017, 21:37
Lone Wolf - Have you ever had the good fortune to listen to a thru-hike holding forth around a campfire or pik-a-nik table? They just have an air of majesty about them.....if it weren't for the thru's, can you imagine what the trail would become?

Just Tom
08-16-2017, 22:47
The AT was not built for thru hiking, it was for day hiking and short trips. Without thru hikers perhaps the trail would be back to what it was designed to be?

Lone Wolf
08-16-2017, 23:01
Lone Wolf - Have you ever had the good fortune to listen to a thru-hike holding forth around a campfire or pik-a-nik table? They just have an air of majesty about them.....if it weren't for the thru's, can you imagine what the trail would become?

i've only thru-hiked 5 times so i have some idea

capehiker
08-16-2017, 23:06
Lone Wolf - Have you ever had the good fortune to listen to a thru-hike holding forth around a campfire or pik-a-nik table? They just have an air of majesty about them.....if it weren't for the thru's, can you imagine what the trail would become?

You had me going for a moment. Nice sarcasm. :D

Lone Wolf
08-16-2017, 23:09
:d.....................

saltysack
08-17-2017, 07:26
they're tourists on vacation. the trail makes the trail special not somebody walkin' on it. by choice.

+1


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theinfamousj
08-17-2017, 10:28
Lone Wolf - Have you ever had the good fortune to listen to a thru-hike holding forth around a campfire or pik-a-nik table? They just have an air of majesty about them.....if it weren't for the thru's, can you imagine what the trail would become?An air of magesty? They spout bon mots and truths with the self-importance as if they were the initial originator of those things.

While I am glad that they discovered healthier ways of living, it is sad that they weren't always living that way.

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Weather-man
09-03-2017, 20:06
Just saw this thread. I had spoke to Josh in '15, when my daughter and I did Springer to Neels, and he mentioned he was trying to sell the place. Good folks and they'll be missed.

Does anyone know if this new place still runs the same shuttle service? I'm thinking of Springer to Woody in a few days to try out some new Hammock gear and I had just planned on using the HH, as I've done in the past. Not sure about logistics now....?

PennyPincher
09-03-2017, 20:19
Just saw this thread. I had spoke to Josh in '15, when my daughter and I did Springer to Neels, and he mentioned he was trying to sell the place. Good folks and they'll be missed.

Does anyone know if this new place still runs the same shuttle service? I'm thinking of Springer to Woody in a few days to try out some new Hammock gear and I had just planned on using the HH, as I've done in the past. Not sure about logistics now....?

Pricing has changed as well as some of the services. Check their website.

TTT
09-03-2017, 20:23
HIKER HOSTEL IS NOW BAREFOOT HILLS –CREATING AN EXPERIENTIAL BOUTIQUE HOTEL WITH SUPERIOR PERSONALIZED SERVICE


Our property was founded in 2004 as Hiker Hostel by experienced hiking enthusiasts who realized that there was a lot more to starting their Appalachian Trail journey then most people would think. Now, thirteen years later, not only do AT Thru Hikers visit us each Spring to begin their journey North, we also attract outdoor enthusiasts of all disciplines, from all over the globe. Anyone is welcome to come and stay, and experience the benefits and personal service that AT Thru Hikers have known since our beginnings.




In March 2017, Hiker Hostel was acquired by Barefoot Luxury, Inc. to add to its portfolio of global experiential travel offerings. Over the summer of 2017, Hiker Hostel underwent extensive upgrades and renovations, and was reopened as Barefoot Hills.
Today, Section Hikers, Cyclists, Mountain Bikers, Kayakers, Fly Fishermen and general nature enthusiasts of all walks join Wine Country aficionados, Gold Rush history buffs, and everyone else who has come to appreciate all that scenic Dahlonega has to offer during their stay at Barefoot Hills.
Of course, we remain true to our core AT Thru hiking guests, and to the Hiker Hostel community of guests whom made Barefoot Hills possible.

TTT
09-03-2017, 20:26
THRU_HIKER SPECIAL
RATESStandard Bunk Bed – $210 + tax
Eco Cabin – $300 + tax
Standard Guest Room – $310 + tax
Log Cabin – $320 + tax
Deluxe Guest Room – $325 + tax
Deluxe Eco Cabin – $350 + tax
Deluxe Bunk Room (accommodates 4 guests) – $500 + tax

*Please note tax is 12% (5% hotel and 7% sales)




INCLUDES

One night in one of our accommodations (based on the package purchased)
Pick up from North Springs MARTA at either 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ET

Complimentary Continental Breakfast Served
Shuttle to and from resupply store (20 minute stop)
8:30 a.m. ET next day shuttle to either Amicalola Falls State Park or Springer Mountain Parking Lot

TTT
09-03-2017, 20:30
NEXT ATTEMPT

RATES
Standard Bunk Bed – $210 + tax
Eco Cabin – $300 + tax
Standard Guest Room – $310 + tax
Log Cabin – $320 + tax
Deluxe Guest Room – $325 + tax
Deluxe Eco Cabin – $350 + tax
Deluxe Bunk Room (accommodates 4 guests) – $500 + tax

*Please note tax is 12% (5% hotel and 7% sales)

INCLUDES
· One night in one of our accommodations (based on the package purchased)
· Pick up from North Springs MARTA at either 1:30 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. ET
· Complimentary Continental Breakfast Served
· Shuttle to and from resupply store (20 minute stop)
· 8:30 a.m. ET next day shuttle to either Amicalola Falls State Park or Springer Mountain Parking Lot

Engine
09-03-2017, 20:40
Prices increased by a large margin.

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Deacon
09-04-2017, 06:20
Those prices border in ridiculous.

DownEaster
09-04-2017, 09:33
Those prices border in ridiculous.
In my opinion, they've crossed that border. Minimum of $235.20 for a bunk bed?

MuddyWaters
09-04-2017, 09:35
In my opinion, they've crossed that border. Minimum of $235.20 for a bunk bed?

Im sure its a nice bunk bed.

And it comes with a shared shuttle ride. Well, maybe not shared at those prices.

saltysack
09-04-2017, 10:01
They're obviously moving away from being a hiker hostel.....even changed name to prove it.


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The Old Chief
09-04-2017, 10:42
It seems to me with their pricing they should make more money with fewer people and fewer problems to deal with. There are plenty of hikers that show up in March and April with the money to stay there. But with the restrictions their location poses to someone in need of transportation to the trail and other needs, they have placed themselves in competition with many other lodging options in the area. Several motels in Dahlonega with dining options nearby, Amicalola Lodge, and even in Blairsville. It's probably easy to get there using public transportation. The guidebook lists a B&B there with a much better rate for a private room, with free shuttle to Neel Gap, than the hostel. I'm sure Mountain Crossings runs a shuttle every day to Springer during this time period. With just a little planning the old Hiker Hostel should become a non-issue. As I've stated in a previous post, almost everyone went to Rainbow Springs Campground 20 years ago and hardly anyone went in to Franklin. It just seemed too far away and too bothersome to get there and get out of. Now nearly everyone goes in to Franklin and Rainbow Springs is just an old memory. Ron Haven saw an opportunity and acted on it and has become a good friend to the trail community. Maybe he will go down to Dahlonega and find the right motel for sale and do the same there.

capehiker
09-04-2017, 22:42
I'm surprised Sir-PacksAlot hasn't jumped on this.

KDogg
09-05-2017, 01:12
That's over double what I paid for that package last year. I'd probably still pay it though. It was super convenient and made getting to the trail worry free. Not sure how I would have gotten to the trail otherwise. There must be shuttles that you can take but the Hiker Hostel package was really good. I didn't have to start the trail right off the plane nor did I have to take a long car ride the day I started. Not sure about the new owners though as the don't seem like they really want to cater to thru hikers. Can't see myself using this service as a section hiker. Will be interesting to see if they are sold out next year. They were booked solid for a couple months when I was there.

EuroPacker
09-05-2017, 05:22
Just for fun I called them last week to see if there was any negotiation in the prices. Answer was no! Appears to be sold out for most of the rest of this year. They only have 4 hiker bunks now too. I do have to say that the woman who took my call could not have been nicer.


That's over double what I paid for that package last year. I'd probably still pay it though. It was super convenient and made getting to the trail worry free. Not sure how I would have gotten to the trail otherwise. There must be shuttles that you can take but the Hiker Hostel package was really good. I didn't have to start the trail right off the plane nor did I have to take a long car ride the day I started. Not sure about the new owners though as the don't seem like they really want to cater to thru hikers. Can't see myself using this service as a section hiker. Will be interesting to see if they are sold out next year. They were booked solid for a couple months when I was there.

JC13
09-05-2017, 10:50
I'm surprised Sir-PacksAlot hasn't jumped on this.Lol, apparently you didn't receive the email about rates for the eclipse! I believe it was $60 for a bunk, hot dog, and drink. Cabins were triple as well, $180 a night I believe. Wish I hadn't deleted the email after I finished laughing at the rates now to be sure on the pricing.

KDogg
09-05-2017, 16:53
Sad to say but, given that they are sold out for most of the year, it sounds like Josh and Leigh were undercharging.

Maineiac64
09-05-2017, 19:50
I'm surprised Sir-PacksAlot hasn't jumped on this.
I think the opportunity is for a shuttle driver to partner with a low cost hotel close to Springer/Amicalola for a package deal.

capehiker
09-05-2017, 20:02
I think the opportunity is for a shuttle driver to partner with a low cost hotel close to Springer/Amicalola for a package deal.

You bring up a better idea. That would be better.

Longboysfan
09-08-2017, 16:31
In my opinion, they've crossed that border. Minimum of $235.20 for a bunk bed?

Yes. Way past.

Longboysfan
09-08-2017, 16:34
I was there in the Spring as they were converting from the Saints to the new company. Got the great rates, rides, information, service.
Now I'm section hiking and further up the trail so I would not have to use them.

MuddyWaters
09-08-2017, 18:20
Really got to want to stay at hostel bunk to pay 235.
Might as well stay hotel and shuttle.

BillyGr
09-10-2017, 16:53
Really got to want to stay at hostel bunk to pay 235.
Might as well stay hotel and shuttle.

You can stay at the bunk for $42, just provide your own transportation.

Looks more like they are trying to get out of the transporting/shuttling business than trying to stop hikers from staying there?

w.a.s.h.a.d.
09-29-2017, 07:26
When Josh and Leigh ran this enterprise, it had a personal touch. They were the owners, but they were also the ones cleaning bathrooms, designing and building innovative things like the wood-fired water heater, and raising chickens for those delicious eggs in the morning. Everything about this was a reflection of who they were.

Now it is just a cash cow corporate investment. They will probably "succeed" in much the same way that a McDonald's franchise "succeeds". They will also probably make a lot of money from new AT hikers who never experienced the difference. But I doubt I'll ever be darkening the door of such an establishment. $42/night for a bunk? I remember staying there for less than $20/night and getting a true hiker breakfast in the morning. But it wasn't just the monetary value. Josh and Leigh had hiked the trail. They loved biking and other adventures. For them, this wasn't just theoretical, so they understood what AT hikers were going through as they started, sectioned, or ended their journey.

I remember Josh shuttling a couple of us up Nimblewill Gap in that Suburban on a road that was more trail than road. (Seriously, I've been on some rough forest roads, but this one had obstacles that would challenge the hardiest of vehicles.) Any chance the corporate owners would take a chance like that? I'm sure their lawyers will have the final say in everything they do, which means a lot of these touches are gone forever.

When people say "$42 isn't so bad", remember that is per person. If I want to hike with three of my friends and stay at "Barefoot Hills", we'll be paying (after taxes) $200. I checked the rates, and for that, we could get a nice room at Amicalola Lodge, with great views, a full breakfast, and immediate access to great trails including the approach trail. Suddenly that "McDonald's" (with immediate access to - nothing) doesn't look nearly as good.

I wish the best for Josh and Leigh, but I'll miss them and I'll miss the Hiker Hostel.

KCNC
09-29-2017, 09:31
My guess is that those are the "back of the door" rates (you know, the ones you see posted inside the room at a Hampton Inn that say the $95 room you're in goes for $249 per night.)

But it's no longer a "Hostel" - it's an "Experiential Boutique Hotel"- that's just over 4x the letters, so I suppose a ~4x increase in price is only reasonable.

Looks like they're going for the DINC (Dual Income, No Children) market who are looking to spend a couple of thousand for a long weekend "experience," not hikers looking for an overnight.

While I don't begrudge them the decision to take the business in the direction they choose, I don't think they're a reasonable choice for the average hiker any longer.

capehiker
09-29-2017, 11:49
They just posted their "thru hiker package" on Facebook and it goes for $200 and no longer includes pickup at the Gainesville Amtrak. That's $120 more than what Josh and Leigh charged. I think the important thing to remember, as mentioned above, is this is no longer a hostel but a boutique hotel.

MuddyWaters
09-29-2017, 13:18
It reminds me of the hotels that advertise themselves as "pet friendly " but then charge 75- 150 dollars for a pet for 1 night .

Truth is, they ...do...not...want...your...pet.

TTT
09-29-2017, 16:14
I'm waiting for the travel agency to book me into the Amicalola Lodge. Hope it's not full in late February.

EuroPacker
10-01-2017, 06:34
I posted similar thiughts on another thread. Comparing this new place to a totally different concept that once shared the same ground is pointless.
That would be like comparing an Applebees to the mom and pop coffee shop that previously rented the space.

Hiker Hostel is dead and gone, and quite obvious that it wasn't as lucrative as all believed- hence J&L wouldn't have sold it. This Barefoot Hills place should be compared to the nearby bed and breakfasts that are all in this price range- like it or not.

I do think the Barefoot Hills folks have added a nice touch by supporting the ATC with donations. They obviously care somewhat about the community otherwise they'd just keep it all to themselves.



They just posted their "thru hiker package" on Facebook and it goes for $200 and no longer includes pickup at the Gainesville Amtrak. That's $120 more than what Josh and Leigh charged. I think the important thing to remember, as mentioned above, is this is no longer a hostel but a boutique hotel.

Crash
10-01-2017, 09:31
they are out there sacrificing a part of their very life to the trail.
Sacrificing is what the trail and shelter maintainers do. Hikers are enjoying the fruit of our labours (that we do not get remuneration!)

Uncle Joe
10-01-2017, 09:48
In the end the market will decide for them. It's not likely they will get a lot of AT traffic, at least not from thru's. So they will have to focus on the traditional tourist. I think the confusion with the previous business will probably hurt them in the short-run until it becomes more obvious this isn't the same place and that it's not necessarily targeting the same customer.

Lybarger
10-01-2017, 18:26
In the end the market will decide for them. It's not likely they will get a lot of AT traffic, at least not from thru's. So they will have to focus on the traditional tourist. I think the confusion with the previous business will probably hurt them in the short-run until it becomes more obvious this isn't the same place and that it's not necessarily targeting the same customer.

If a hiker pays for a shuttle from North Springs MARTA station to Dahlonega, pays for a motel room in Dahlonega, pays for a breakfast and pays for another shuttle to Springer Mountain.....it might end up costing the $200 Barefoot Hills is charging.

Uncle Joe
10-02-2017, 08:48
If a hiker pays for a shuttle from North Springs MARTA station to Dahlonega, pays for a motel room in Dahlonega, pays for a breakfast and pays for another shuttle to Springer Mountain.....it might end up costing the $200 Barefoot Hills is charging.

True. I think $210 it definitely a good deal if you use them to start your hike. And probably the only way it's economical.

MuddyWaters
10-02-2017, 10:39
True. I think $210 it definitely a good deal if you use them to start your hike. And probably the only way it's economical.

Not a good deal for a bunk vs your own hotel room, and shared shuttle vs private. Its competitively priced overall....but you pay premium for what you get....for the privelege of associating with others.

Id rather holiday inn express in gainesville personally, for same overall price. And be a pig at breakfast. Have private shuttle take you straight to amicalola at time you arrange.

Uncle Joe
10-02-2017, 10:43
Not a good deal for a bunk vs your own hotel room, and shared shuttle vs private. Its competitively priced overall....but you pay premium for what you get....for the privelege of associating with others.
True. If you were a lone hiker though you would easily spend that one those things separately. OTOH, if they were picking up say 5 people they would make out pretty good. I don't know what the previous place was charging, tbh. In the end, the market will decide. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

MuddyWaters
10-02-2017, 10:47
True. If you were a lone hiker though you would easily spend that one those things separately. OTOH, if they were picking up say 5 people they would make out pretty good. I don't know what the previous place was charging, tbh. In the end, the market will decide. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.
My bunk was $18 i think, my shuttle from hostel to amicalola was......$7. (prorated, many in suburban). Breakfast was good....but i could have eaten 3x as much. Probably best i didnt because suburban ride made me sick

AlamoHiker
10-02-2017, 15:21
I got lucky. I made reservations months ago when they were just starting to figure out the new pricing for the thru-hiker special.