A nudist retreat nestled below the Santa Cruz Mountains is opening its door to all Loma Fire refugees and their animals "until the fire’s out.”
Lupin Lodge CEO Lori Stout told NBC Bay Area on Friday that many shelters aren’t allowing displaced Santa Clara and Santa Cruz county residents to bring their animals, like horses, to stay with them as Cal Fire crews battle the fire, which as of Friday, had scorched 4,300 acres and destroyed eight homes.
So, Stout decided to invite the evacuees and their pets – including farm animals - to her Los Gatos retreat on Aldercroft Heights Road, which boasts to have been “freeing the nipple for 82 years.”
And the offer gets better: The stay is open to any of the cabins, yurts, dormitories and 100 campsites, for free. Prices vary, but a typical yurt costs $125 a night.
“Hey, we got lots of room,” she said.
Stout said she came up with the idea on Thursday, but has not yet received occupants.
But if history is any indication, the guests, clothed and not, will come.
During the 2015 Lake County Valley Fire, Stout invited the staff at the Harbin Hot Springs in Middletown, Calif., to stay at the lodge. During the Corralitos Fire near Watsonville last year, the lodge also opened its doors to evacuees, some of whom decided to try the nudist colony out. And in the 1980s, she said more than 1,000 firefighters stayed on the 112-acre property during the Lexington Fire and 1989 earthquake. Her retreat has been open since 1935.
Stout and her late husband, Glyn Stout, was accused last year of diverting water from a nearby waterfall during the drought; a topic she didn't want to discuss on Friday. She pleaded no contest to trespassing charges, and was sentenced to probation and 100 hours of community service, along with a fine of $9,800 to the Midpenninsula Regional Open Space District, the Mercury News reported.
Stout told NBC Bay Area that she plead no contest because her husband had died unexpectedly, but that she never actually trespassed.
As for making sure she doesn’t get duped or taken advantage of, Stout said that all guests have to undergo screening, including a database check through the Megan’s Law sex offenders list. They also have to provide a license plate number and driver’s license, which will show where they live. Only local residents will be approved, she said, and determining when it’s time for a guest to leave will be on a case by case basis.
“They can stay until the fire’s out,” she said.
Stout said evacuees looking for help should call the retreat at 408-353-9200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.