Staycation Showcases: Comfy Dome
JEFFERSON, Maine (WABI) - Plastic domes popped up in restaurants around Maine during the pandemic.
But did you know there’s a place in our state where you can actually sleep in one?
Joy Hollowell continues her special report on Staycation Showcases.
She takes us to Comfy Dome in Jefferson.
”Our guests, most of them have never camped before so they want to try camping but they don’t want to do what is required which is buying a tent, pitch a tent,” said Seth Fraser.
Fraser didn’t set out to run a glamping business.
“I worked in Manhattan for years in finance. Moved back to Maine and worked for state finance,” Fraser said.
He discovered a hidden pond on his property. Fraser flashed back to a magazine article he read a few years earlier.
“About these domes in the Swiss Alps. How cool would it be to have a dome down here for my daughter?” Fraser said.
Build it and they will come...did not work on his daughter.
“She absolutely is like no way, no how, don’t want anything to do with it,” Fraser said.
So a new thought came into his head.
“Hey, why not try and Airbnb. Put it on Airbnb and we literally booked like 30 reservations just like that,” Fraser said.
Wondering if it was just a fluke, Fraser listed the dome again the following year.
“And we were booked for June right up until October again,” Fraser said.
Fraser added two more domes and decided to pursue his passion of running a business, right in the middle of the pandemic.
“Last year we actually had an 800% increase of revenue. Best year yet,” Fraser said.
Each dome features a queen sized bed. Bathrooms are in a separate building. The domes can sustain winds up to 35 miles per hour, even higher with netting.
Privacy panels can be removed, giving guests a 360 degree view of nature.
“There’s no light pollution so it’s just all stars for miles and miles. Some of our guests have just taken these amazing photos,” he said.
During summer, the domes do heat up so Fraser installed these sun canopies that can be rolled up. Come fall and winter, there’s a heater in each dome which also helps to keep the snow and ice in check.
One thing you won’t find here: power lines. That’s because these domes are powered by solar panels.
“We really actually are in-between camping and glamping,” Fraser said. “It’s almost more like comfortable camping.”
The domes sit on 14 acres.
“At night, the frogs all start chirping. I’ve had people say, ‘can you quiet them down?’ And I say, ‘uh, that would take an act of God.’”
Fraser says Comfy Dome is already on track for another banner budget yet.
“We’re discovering that up to 50% of our visitors are from Maine,” he said.
He plans to install three more domes next year.
“For most people, this is just, it’s heaven,” Fraser said.
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