As we close out this decade, I can’t consider what’s happened recently in my life without considering the amazing hope and excitement that I have for the 2020’s.
My journey since 2010 had a lot of ups and downs. Both directly and through close friends and family, I came face-to-face with extremely challenging issues involving divorce, depression, cancer, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Unfortunately, today’s lifestyle compounds the “curveballs” one faces as we spend too much time indoors, sitting down, by ourselves, in front of screens or in traffic, distracted by always-on societal demands, etc.
In other words, modern living is not helping us feel connected and fulfilled, and the impact is real. Per the 2018 World Happiness Report, Americans are generally unhappy, and the U.S. is now dealing with all-time high levels of obesity, suicide, depression, addiction deaths, hate crimes, and loneliness.
Amazingly, this is happening while levels of education, wealth, health, childhood mortality, safety/crime, access to electricity and clean water, and employment are extremely positive. Moreover, Americans are spending more than $45 billion per year on psychotropic medications (Prozac, Adderall, etc.), which are supposed to help us feel better, not worse!
All that said, society is not standing still, and that’s when the next decade starts to feel exciting and full of potential. Medical and scientific breakthroughs related to neurology, psychology, and trauma clinically support holistic, nature-based experiences as the key to a happier future. During these experiences, people want to disconnect from their hectic lifestyle while “cleansing” physically, mentally, and spiritually in an immersive environment that is natural, empathetic, and authentic.
As we engaged in regenerative development over the past year, I really gained a much deeper appreciation for the insights that appear simply from studying Mother Nature and her resilience. It firmed up my belief that man and nature are not separate, but rather an energetically singular living system. This is critically important and will manifest in the way we plan, build, and operate our resort.
In 2019, we spent a lot of time building an amazing team, engaging with the community to understand the valley’s heritage, starting our design activities, and raising money. We are excited to kick off our forest restoration and regeneration efforts early next year, while continuing community integration and the design process throughout 2020. We plan to start civil and infrastructure work later in 2020, begin vertical construction in early 2021, and open for business in late spring of 2022.