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Monday, May 30, 2005

Nudist tourism puts on a layer of opulence

The once bare-bones ambience of the archetypal U.S. nudist camp is turning posh as owners add amenities from full-service spas to high-speed Internet. But there's still no need to dress for dinner.

In fact, much of the industry has cast off the term "camp" in favor of "resort" in the conviction that it better reflects the growing number of upscale venues.
"The bar has been raised," says Nancy Tiemann, owner of Bare Necessities, an Austin travel agency that specializes in nude travel. "(Nudist resorts) have come from being 5 miles down a dirt road behind a junkyard fence to really upscale resorts that are a far cry from that."
Driving the trend, they say, is the growing number of mainstream vacationers who don't necessarily identify themselves as nudists but nevertheless are willing to shed their inhibitions at a nudist resort. At the same time, they're not willing to sacrifice a certain level of service and comfort.
"We addressed a market segment that has heretofore not been addressed," says Stephen Payne, founder of Desert Shadows Inn Resort & Villas in Palm Springs, Calif., where rooms start at about $200 a night. "These people don't belong to any nudist organization. They're not pitching tents. They visit us just like they would any other resort."
But besides concierge service and the like, Desert Shadows offers amenities not encountered in so-called textile resorts. There's nude hot-air ballooning, in-the-buff moonlit hikes and naked drive-bys (via tour bus) of the homes of Palms Springs' rich and famous.

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hobbyists shedding threads for fun, profit

It's a natural business plan, with a definite bottom line. Getting naked is proving an attractive way for some Canadian entrepreneurs to do business. But it's not all about nude beaches and suntanned volleyball games.

Tanya Listwin is a veteran travel agent based in Vancouver and a naturist. She recently embarked on a new endeavour with Clothing Optional Vacations, a travel agency aimed primarily at Canadian naturists.

"There are lots of people who are really excited about my company because we do cater specifically to naturists and nudists and offer a variety of vacations and packages that they can feel confident in booking," she says.

Clothing Optional Vacations arranges cruise, resort and group trips for families, singles and couples. Listwin's website also includes listings for a few "lifestyle" resorts, the current euphemism for swinging couples.

Naturist travel is not restricted to the West Coast and its world-famous Wreck Beach, however.

Keith Scott, a private travel agent with Ingrid's Travel (Yours Naturally) based in Pickering, says that 90 per cent of his business is booking naturist tours, resorts and cruises. Only about one per cent of his clientele opt for a Canadian destination, however, with most heading south to sunnier climes to work on their all-over tans.

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Nudist Realtor pitches to like-minded buyers

MIAMI, Fla. - Jen Roberts, nudist Realtor, drove fast with her top down.
You could see her hair - blond, tied up - and shoulders - glossy and tan. She was rubbing on sunblock with her free hand and taking the long route to Haulover Beach, where clothes are optional.
She drove south along the train tracks for a while and crossed into East Hollywood. The houses were comfortable but not ostentatious. The yards were big and shaded, and some were fenced for privacy.
If you were a nudist - and even if you weren't - it would be a nice place to live, if you had a lot of money.
"You can't even look at a place for less than $300,000," she'd said earlier, back at her Hollywood office. "Prices are shooting up, and I don't know where it's going to end. I hate to say it, but if you're going to get in, you'd better do it now."
In this, of course, she sounded like all Realtors. But not when she talked about the hateful roughness of cloth on her skin, and how three of her first 15 sales were to nudists she met via the Internet.
Last year, her first in the business, she sold a small home to a young family of nudists for slightly less than $400,000, a preconstruction condominium to a single nudist man for $369,000 and an older unit on the Intracoastal Waterway to a nudist couple from New Jersey for $250,000.
Those people were "in their early 40s, very cool, very nice," she said.
Nudists in general are a Realtor's dream, demographically speaking.
"They tend to be a little older, probably a little more settled, at a stage in life where they're looking to buy a home," Roberts said. "And, of course, they like sunshine and the beach."

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The southern most tip of Maryland's Atlantic seashore

The southern most tip of Maryland's Atlantic seashore, famous for mosquitoes and wild ponies, might not be the first place you'd look for a nude beach. When naked, it seems best to keep your distance from things that bite and cause inflammatory swelling. Still, legend has it that if you walk north toward Ocean City from Assateague Island National Seashore, about a mile up there's a stretch of beach that has been considered clothing-optional for decades. I recently set out in search of this mythical land of naked bodies. Unfortunately, my journey resembled a tragic Greek poem more than a day of nude fun at the beach. Picture The Odyssey Part II, where Odysseus tries to get an all-over tan.

The first hurdle in going to the nude beach at Assateague is finding it., a web site run by the National Capitol Sun Club dedicated to Assateague's clothing-optional waterfront, offers an old map that uses letters and punctuation marks to represent sand and water, which at the beach are the worst landmarks ever. Why not include a symbol for air while you're at it?

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

UK's top nudist resorts revealed

A holiday cottage in Essex is one of the best places to bare all in the UK, according to a new guide.
Bare Britain highlights Pevors Farm, a naturist cottage in Sible Hedingham, as one of the top five resorts for naturists to visit.
The other four resorts are Broadlands in Norfolk, South Hants in Hampshire, Southleigh Manor in Cornwall and Tything Barn in Wales.
The guide also includes information about more than 50 beaches.
Author Nick Mayhew said he wanted to highlight Britain's many "idyllic" nudist locations.

"With so many beautiful beaches around our coastline as well as friendly clubs in great locations around the country, we hope this guide will inspire many more Britons to give bare bathing a go," he said.

The guide is due to be launched on 5 June, World Naturist Day.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005

Artist seeking naked volunteers

An artist is searching for volunteers to pose naked in a series of outdoor installations on Tyneside.

Controversial American artist Spencer Tunick wants people from across the UK to participate in his new work.

The work will be created along the banks of the River Tyne in Newcastle and Gateshead on 17 July and later displayed in an arts centre.

Tunick set up the world's largest nude photoshoot in 2003 when 7,000 bared all in Barcelona.

Photographs of the work will be displayed at the Baltic contemporary art centre in Gateshead next year and the installations will be

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Monday, May 09, 2005

New on DVD: Nudist Resorts of Canada

Ever thought of visiting a Canadian nudist resort but were unsure of what you might find when you get there? Worry no more.
In a story Digital Home Canada just had to release, the Federation of Canadian Naturists (FCN) announces the release this week of a new DVD to let you see what you can expect at Canada's nudist resorts.
Nudist Resorts of Canada - The Uncovered Country, produced by Canadian nudist Malcolm Scott, explores the facilities available at 20 of Canada's nudist resorts, including a nudist B & B.
From Vancouver Island to Prince Edward Island, (except Quebec; coming this fall) nudist resorts run the gamut from rustic wilderness to the typical high-end facility with multiple pools, spa and restaurant amenities.

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