Make a Splash at Tsasdi Resort in Lakehead
● By Claudia Mosby
Relax! You're on Lake Time
By Claudia Mosby
Photo: Jeannine Hendrickson
In spite of a history dating back more than six decades, Tsasdi Resort (pronounced ‘szawz-dee’), located in Lakehead, may be one of the best-kept secrets in the North State.
While explanations vary as to the meaning of its name, proprietor Julie O’Loughlin says, “We had a Wintu chief who stayed here quite a bit last spring. He told us his grandmother’s name was Tsasdi, which in the Wintu language means Shasta.”
O’Loughlin and her partner, Scott Schipper, took up residence in January 2015, the fifth owners in as many generations, and they pride themselves on their customer service. “One of our key philosophies is that everything is included,” says Schipper.
The largest private resort on Lake Shasta, Tsasdi sits on 20 acres with as many cabins, which can accommodate guests ranging from singles to parties of 12, with a resort capacity of 130.
“The top half of the property is nearly straight up,” says O’Loughlin. “It makes a great hike, but because of the vertical climb there aren’t any cabins up there.” If exploring by foot lacks appeal, a 2,000-foot communal deck beckons barbecuers, yogis and yoginis, and those who prefer relaxing while overlooking the lake.
“Our state-of-the-art dock holds up to 30 boats,” says Schipper. “We also have kayaks, canoes and paddleboards that our guests can use, all included.” As are the swimming pool, volleyball and basketball courts, horseshoe pit, game room and year-round movies in the lodge.
The duo will even create custom packages for summer visitors seeking things to do off property, says O’Loughlin. “Some groups have their agenda finalized and don’t need the guidance, but others are looking for additional ideas for activities in the region. We’ll offer as little or as much as they want.”
O’Loughlin moved to California with the intention of going to the Culinary Academy but says she ended up doing “parts of her passion” as a former executive at a large Silicon Valley corporate law firm. “All of that was about facilitating bonding in the corporate world,” she says. “Now it’s about facilitating for people on a more personal level.”
Notwithstanding their sophistication as travelers, O’Loughlin admits, “I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do this if not for my mother passing away unexpectedly. Scott was willing to come along for the ride. He’s a critical part of this.”
Initially focused on drawing visitors from the Bay Area, Portland, and Eugene in order to operate sustainably, they soon discovered a consistent stream of visitors from right here at home.
“We can’t emphasize how much the community has supported us,” O’Loughlin says. “We have about 15 weddings booked from Redding/Anderson this year, ranging from 70 to 200 guests. Even though a lot of the parties live locally, many are renting out the cabins and resort for the weekend, almost like a ‘destination wedding.’”
Social media and online marketing have boosted their early success. Five months after launching their website, multiple reunion bookings have left them with little available lodging. Nine months after starting a Facebook page, Tsasdi Resort has more than 1,200 followers.
“We often hear, ‘My friend shared something from Facebook,’ or ‘We read a review on Yelp or Trip Advisor,’” says O’Loughlin. “We also have couples that come out for a romantic weekend getaway every month.”
As for the personal reward, O’Loughlin sums it up well: “I get to look at this view. We see bald eagles on the island right across from us. Every single day we can go wakeboarding, hiking or skiing if we can fit it in. It’s an amazing life.”
www.tsasdiresort.us • (530) 238-2575
19990 Lakeshore Drive, Lakehead