Stay a Week…Memories for a Lifetime
The New Dungeness Lighthouse Keeper Program provides you, your family and friends a rare opportunity to spend a week at one of the best restored light stations in the country. Your time at the end of the Dungeness Spit will be filled with the sights and sounds of wildlife, surf, marine traffic and the laughter of visitors and your fellow keepers. From the time you are driven to the Lighthouse in one of our four wheel drive transfer vehicles until you return, you will escape reality and, for a short time, walk in the shoes of a lighthouse keeper. In addition to the memories you create, you will become part of a special group of people who are helping to preserve the lighthouse for future generations by taking care of this iconic landmark for a week.
All NDLSA members are eligible to become lighthouse keepers. Children keepers must be 6 years old or older and at least four adults (18 years or older) are required on the Station. You can reserve one or two bedrooms or the entire keeper’s house. If you reserve one or two bedrooms, the other rooms may be reserved by other keepers, who will quickly become new friends. Keepers normally communicate with each other prior to their scheduled stay to discuss meals, room preference and interests. A full house accommodates up to 8 people (3 queen beds and 2 twin beds) though 4-6 is more typical. The Light Station may not be suitable for physically challenged persons. If you have concerns, ask when you make reservations. Reserving the whole house (8 persons maximum) comes with a discount and is great for family reunions, a gathering of bird watchers or photographers, a get together for a group of old friends or a girls (or guys) week out! You still need to have four adults in the group and they all must be NDLSA members, but remember that family memberships cover all persons living in the same household. We must limit the maximum number of Keepers to eight.
- Check the availability calendar for dates that fit your schedule. One thing to consider when making a reservation is the tide range during your planned stay. Some like to be at the Station when there are low tides in the daytime. Some prefer other tide ranges. So check the tide chart and see what works best for you. Also, note the transfer times on the availability calendar, since these vary according to the tides.
- If you are not already a member of NDLSA, sign up for an Individual ($35) or Family Membership ($50).
- When you find a date that fits your schedule, email the General Manager at email@example.com or call 360-683-6638. Discuss with him dates you would like to stay, how many will be in your party and the mix of adults and children. Together, you can design a stay that fits your needs.
- After making the initial arrangements, you will receive a letter listing keeper names, number of rooms and dates of stay. To confirm the reservation you will need to pay a $50/person, nonrefundable deposit. Either mail a check made out to NDLSA to: PO Box 1283, Sequim, WA 98382 or you can pay the deposit on-line .
- When you receive an invoice for the balance of your keeper fee, you can also pay via mail with a check or on line. The invoice amount is due upon receipt.
- Prior to you stay you will receive a Keeper Packet containing information about keeper duties, information for giving tours, a complete inventory of what is available at the lighthouse (e.g. kitchen items, appliances, etc.), directions to the transfer station and emergency procedures. You will also receive a DVD Keepers Overview Video which will help you get oriented prior to your visit to the lighthouse. You can also view the video on line in two parts (Part 1 and Part 2). Reading this information and viewing the video will answer most of your questions about the program and make your stay more enjoyable.
The NDLSA receives no funds from any government agency and therefore relies on membership fees as well fees paid by keepers to maintain and restore the Light Station. It is these fees that help make the facility a beautiful place to visit and preserve it for future generations. As a keeper, you become part of a long line of individuals and families that have kept this light shining and open to the public for over 20 years.
The Association has been able to avoid increasing keeper fees since 2012, but now we find our maintenance, utilities and transportation related expenses have exceeded income. We have been cutting expenses wherever possible until we now find we must increase keeper fees beginning with the 2017 scheduling year. We are increasing the adult and whole-house fees ONLY, not the children’s fee or membership fees. For bookings beginning January 1, 2017 the adult fee will be $375 / week. If you wish to occupy the entire house a single person needs to make the arrangements and pay the deposit as well as the keeper fee. The whole-house fee will be $2250, which equates to a $750 savings for eight adults! The fee for children 6-17 years old at the time of the stay is still $195. The non-refundable deposit remains $50.
After analyzing our monthly financial reports for the last two years, it is apparent that our average income is exceeded by our normal “routine” operation expenses. After much study and consideration by our ad-hoc committee, they recommended a minimal increase in keeper fees for the year starting 1 January 2018. This recommendation was approved by the NDLSA BOD at the 9 November BOD Meeting.
The adjusted fees for the year starting 1 January 2018 are:
- The adult weekly rate increased from $375per week to $395 per week and,
- The “Whole House” weekly rate (for maximum of 8 adults) increased from $2,250 per week to $2,370 per week.
- All other fees, terms and conditions related to keeper stays and membership remain unchanged.
- The revised fees will become effective on reservations made for and after 1 January 2018 through 31 December, 2018.
Payment due dates will be clearly indicated on the invoices. Refund requests for emergencies or health issues will be handled on a case-by-case basis. For any questions regarding fees please call the General Manager at 360-683-6638.
You can pay by check (preferred) or on-line via our “SHOP” webpage.
While you do not need to stay up all night and tend the light, modern Keepers do have a few duties they need to perform while they are in charge of the Lighthouse. The Keeper Packet and Keepers Video you receive (see above – How Do I Sign Up #6) will provide you with all the information you need for giving tours and performing your duties. Most important is to greet visitors who have made the 5 mile trek out and provide tours of the Lighthouse. Other duties include raising and lowering the flag, watering the grass (with a manual underground sprinkler system), mowing when needed (once a week during the growing season) and polishing the brass in the tower at the end of the day. Splitting the tasks among fellow keepers makes it easy, keeps the place looking nice and provides a memorable experience for visitors.