Pricing is à la carte so you can have maximum control of your schedule and budget. It is possible to significantly economize by sharing accommodations and/or travel to the San Juan islands. We have both a Ravelry group and a private Facebook group for participants to arrange lodging and travel collaborations. The Ravelry group is open. To be part of the private Facebook group, get in touch with us.
The basic items to keep in mind are:
- retreat and materials fee—$600, which includes a $125 materials fee. For a March retreat, the full amount is due by January 1; for a November retreat, due by September 1. We have been flexing these deadlines due to covid-19 uncertainties.
- lodging and breakfast at Lakedale—Lakedale extends off-season rates to us. Lodging and breakfast at Lakedale runs about $450–950 for 2022 (Sunday evening through Friday morning), depending on your choices among the alternatives, whether you share lodging, and so on (locals may commute). We have both a Ravelry forum and a private Facebook group for helping folks find lodging collaborators, especially for the cabins, which have a mix of bedrooms and loft spaces.
- least expensive: Sharing one of the two-bed lodge rooms with another participant (one room has separate bedrooms; the other two-bed rooms simply have separate beds).
- next least expensive: Sharing a cabin with two other participants (the cabins list greater capacities than three, but unless you know each other really well, having four or more isn’t optimal).
- Special off-season Lakedale rates for our retreats, 2023: Lodge room $169/night plus tax; log cabin $329/night plus tax; Lake House $529/night plus tax. Sharing is welcome. Lodge rooms have one or two queen beds (all Lodge rooms are the same rate). Cabins have a bedroom downstairs and a loft upstairs. Lake House has more extensive accommodations. Talk with the Lakedale staff about capacities of different accommodations.
- If the lodge is full and you have transportation, it is possible to stay off-site (say, at an AirBnB).
- lunch/dinner catering—If you choose to have lunch and dinner with the group, Monday through Thursday is $264 if paid by check or money order or $275 if by PayPal (I am only a pass-through to the caterer and PayPal charges me a transaction fee), plus an anonymous, optional tip on the final day of the retreat. Meal payment is due by three weeks before the gathering.Many dietary requirements can be accommodated with advance notice, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
- transportation—If you’re coming from outside the islands (as most of us are), figure in whatever resources you need to travel to get to Seattle, plus transportation between Seattle and Lakedale. For the vast majority, this involves the ferry from Anacortes (off-season, car and driver round-trip is $45–55, with the lower pricing for senior/disabled drivers). Riders (in cars driven by others) or walk-ons are $14.85 round-trip for regular adults and $7.40 for seniors. This is a good reason for people to coordinate transportation and chip in for someone’s gas and base ferry costs, or to share a car rental). The shuttle between SeaTac and Friday Harbor is about $100 to $50 round-trip. There are also flights to and from the Friday Harbor airport, and that mode of transportation may occasionally work best for someone’s travel plans. Sometimes flight plans require an extra night’s lodging to make ferry connections, although the ferries run late into the evening (as well as early in the morning) and it’s possible to arrive at Lakedale after hours. I have used inexpensive AirBnB listings near SeaTac to bridge the gaps when I don’t want to do the flight-and-drive all at once. When I collaborate with others on transportation, we usually go straight through from SeaTac to the San Juans.
Some people like to budget extra for island activities.
If you’re on a tight budget, everything you need for the retreat itself is included in your materials and retreat fees ($600). You can work with a spindle, which is easier to transport than a wheel. There are many great no-cost island adventures, a number of them involving good walks and discoveries right outside the cabin and lodge doors at Lakedale.
Transportation, lodging, and food are the variables you can play with to minimize expense, and I suggest you focus most closely on the first two. The food is really good. I participated in a number of events at Lakedale before beginning to facilitate retreats there, and ride- and space-sharing made it possible for me to do so.
We have detailed information available on transportation alternatives and encourage folks to get in touch with each other and make the logistics easy. The first time I needed to get to Lakedale, it seemed really complicated. Now it’s just a series of options, played like a game, that results in success. In my opinion, being at Lakedale is well worth the trip!