2019 at the OTR Sauna….
First of all, I’d wish to say welcome back to all the participants of that most unique of environments that is the OTR Sauna. It goes without saying that this off season has had its fill of trials and tribulations starting before OTR2018 even ended. But we’re not here to dwell in the past – however, this year’s theme of the ‘70’s does give pause to reflect on how far things have come. Gone are the days of that forgotten muddy weed patch with but blue tarps draped over tree branches and dragging hot iron from the fire pit. This year will be a step back from recent times with only the dry saunas, fire pit, field, and river available for regular use. It won’t be the slice of paradise we’ve all come to love and enjoy. But in the grander scheme this is still far forward from our humble beginnings.
So yes – we will endure this year and look towards the future. Let me assure everyone that there is a grand plan; one that had always been long in the dream state. This off-season kicked it fully into motion. The plan has already gone from the minds of the designers; been put on paper with extensive attention to detail; passed through the TRA long range planning process; passed through the TRA feasibility review; gained approval of the full TRA board of trustees at the spring 2019 meeting; and phase 1 of construction is already underway. These are but a couple of the renderings of what’s to come. More will be around the area for your viewing as well as copies of the full design report we submitted.
It takes but a quick look around at recent site improvements such as the shower houses to know that the sauna improvements will be of a high build quality. But it also goes without saying that this will be the largest and most complex project to date that the TRA build team has undertaken. TRA has already agreed to step up with initial funding but we still need everyone’s help to realize our dream of making your sauna area into the world class, one of a kind facility it should be. There are already 2 very generous anonymous benefactors that have agreed to match dollar for dollar everything we fundraise up to $10,000 until the end of OTR … every dollar pledged becomes three dollars towards the project. So, I’m asking everyone (individuals, groups and grottoes) to help us reach this goal and all donations are still tax deductible. Online donations can be made at…. https://www.otr.org/tra-and-otr-donations/ (scroll down to sauna). Donations can be made while registering for this year’s event – online or in person. Donations can be made to our box in the sauna area. And donations will be accepted at our special event.
Special event??? Well we knew we had to offer something above and beyond the norm to restore fun and keep everyone entertained. So … Saturday night (11pm – ???) we will be hosting a late-night light and music foam dance party (weather & conditions permitting) in the grassy area in front of the sauna stage. Admittedly we are venturing into experimental territory but were looking forward to making the Sauna Area at OTR2019 and beyond a memorable experience for all.
Rich Geisler, Sauna Master