SEAVIEW — An $8 million investment in environmental restoration and landscape design will soon transform a decrepit RV park into a state-of-the-art Japanese-inspired camping resort at 5411 Sandridge Road east of Seaview.

Snow Peak USA, the U.S. subsidiary of a company that Bloomberg calls “Japan’s cult outdoor brand” (tinyurl.com/Snow-Peak-Bloomberg) launched its first American facility with a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning at the former Wildwood Campground & RV Park.

“Our U.S. headquarters is in Portland, and we wanted our first Campfield to be close to home,” company Chief Operating Officer Matt Liddle told the Observer last week. “After surveying several locations, we ultimately fell in love with the wildness of the Long Beach Peninsula. We’re excited to bring guests to learn the rich history of this place, explore the region’s natural splendor, and reconnect with the powerful rhythms of nature on the Peninsula.”

“With extreme care for the natural environment,” Landscape architects 2.Ink Studio of Portland, EFA Architects led by Erik Fagerland of Long Beach, and Helligso Construction of Astoria will complete work at the 25-acre site in time for the 2023 camping season, Snow Peak said in a press release. Counting $750,000 for site purchase in October 2020 and other related expenses, total project cost will be around $10 million.

Campground amenities

In high season, Snow Peak’s Long Beach Campfield will include a variety of camping experiences for around 150 guests per night at traditional walk-up campsites, tent platforms, camper-van sites, and about 10 Jyubako mobile cabins designed by noted architect Kengo Kuma. Cabins feature comfortable bedding, cabin amenities and private bathrooms.

A Snow Peak outdoor-equipment retail store will be onsite, featuring Snow Peak products for sale or rent, a market for prepared meal kits, groceries and camping sundries. The facility will include a heated soaking tub and sauna in a Japanese-inspired onsen, and spaces for gatherings and interactive programming. Guests will park their cars in a lot at the entrance and transport their gear to their site via footpaths and high-efficiency carts.

Taking note of our area’s sometimes-challenging winter maritime weather, the company said that in addition to cabins, “Snow Peak’s Japanese-designed tents and tarps are made for rigorous conditions and will provide protective spaces for our guests to sleep, eat, and gather for most of the year.”

The onsite retail store and café will be open to the public. “We’re excited to welcome locals to enjoy a cup of coffee or a cold pint on our beautiful patio overlooking the wetlands! In addition, our rental equipment will be available for Campfield guests and will focus on Snow Peak camping equipment — mostly tents, tarps, and gathering gear,” company spokeswoman Amy May said.

Wide-scale marketing

Long Beach Campfield will be marketed nationwide and in Japan.

“As our first Campfield in the U.S., this is a story that we are eager to tell, and we’ve already begun to share the project with our audience through our national channels,” May said. “In addition, we have a dedicated community in Seattle and Portland who are already excited to visit the Campfield in 2023, and we’re planning additional marketing efforts focused on those markets.

“Our Japanese customers love sharing new experiences with Snow Peak. Between the Long Beach Campfield, our flagship retail store, and restaurant Takibi in Northwest Portland, we are creating an ecosystem of Snow Peak experiences in the Pacific Northwest that will be a big attraction for our Japanese Snow Peakers!”

Local cooperation

It took a year and a half of behind-the-scenes work to get to the groundbreaking. Snow Peak USA was complimentary about local cooperation, and said it looks forward to operating in concert with Pacific County’s business community.

“We’ve worked closely with Pacific County officials all along the way, and they’ve been incredibly welcoming and accommodating of our unique project. … We plan to support small businesses in the community and have already started building relationships with some partners that we hope to work with.”

Pro-environment

Four acres of wetlands will be restored at the site and Snow Peak pledges to operate with a pro-environment philosophy.

“Our guiding principle for the design of the Long Beach Campfield is ‘a destination retreat, orchestrated with nature, designed for human connection,’” the company said. “Stewardship of this lovely piece of the planet is deeply important to us, and we’ve worked closely with a local specialist on wetland mitigation and will be restoring several onsite acres of previously impacted wetland to its natural state with a focus on native plants. In addition, we’ll have paths throughout the site, so guests can wander through the forest, along the pond and waterways, and through the wetlands themselves while protecting the natural ecosystem.”

How the company runs its six resorts in Japan and the new one on the peninsula is shaped by Snow Peak USA CEO and Chairman of the Board Tohru Yamai.

“When I joined my father’s company years ago, I worked tirelessly to evolve Snow Peak into an outdoor lifestyle brand because of the joy camping had brought to my own life. As Snow Peak expanded, I realized we offered something greater than lifetime-guaranteed gear — memorable outdoor experiences that restore the human spirit,” Yamai said. “This realization sparked the idea of a campfield — a place for people to gather and experience the rejuvenating power of the outdoors. At Snow Peak, we believe time outside reconnects us with our truer selves and reorients us to the rhythms of nature. Our mission for the Snow Peak Long Beach Campfield is to create space for these experiences.”

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(2) comments

O vakansiyalar

Sauna in a Japanese-inspired onsen will appeal to bloggers.

Oasismom

The author of this article is rude. You didn't need to use the word decrepit. My family are the the original homesteaders of that property and built the Campground. They had since sold it to a different owner but was a well known and loved establishment as well as the family.

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