Something Inside of Us Sleeps, The Sleeper Must Awaken

Can a weed-helpful hotel reinvent this having difficulties NorCal city?

The 1923 hotel in Scotia was not too long ago revamped by Humboldt Social with cannabis included into the hospitality. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE

I’ve never been a weed man or woman. But with my face down on a therapeutic massage table in the historic Scotia Lodge spa, in the heart of California’s Emerald Triangle, a massage with cannabis-infused oil did not really feel like the worst idea. After all, a hotel workers member instructed me, only about 1% of men and women soak up hashish via the pores and skin.

“If that transpires, we’ll mail you to your place with a motion picture and make positive you have a great deal of munchies,” he explained with a smile.

That could possibly be a decent way to spend an evening in Scotia, I believed to myself. At the second, there isn’t a complete whole lot else to do in this old logging town, which has been hit tough by a downturn in the marijuana business.


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Owned and operated by Pacific Lumber Company for a lot more than 100 years, Scotia was once one of California’s largest company towns. Personnel lived in firm-owned houses and have been paid in scrip, or currency redeemable in corporation-owned outlets and eating places. Currently, the town’s 270 craftsman houses are transitioning into personal palms, and lots of of the historic structures sit empty. The space is surrounded by struggling pot farms. Its only preserving grace may be as a hub for vacationers driving the Avenue of the Giants, but nobody’s finished a great deal to capitalize on that. 

The Scotia Lodge is weed-friendly and even offers massages with cannabis-infused oil. 

The Scotia Lodge is weed-welcoming and even presents massages with cannabis-infused oil. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE

I’ve driven by Scotia countless moments on my way up and down Freeway 101, and I have stopped in neighboring Rio Dell for a swim in the Eel River and some outrageous waffles inside a hashish nursery. But on this unique trip, I determined to commit a evening in the lately restored Scotia Lodge.

Immediately after pulling off Freeway 101, I drove by the aged Pacific Lumber mill, now recognized as the Humboldt Redwood Company, and parked at the town’s key vacationer attraction, the Humboldt Redwood Business Fisheries Exhibit. The exhibit is composed of a number of placards about the firm, which owns 440,000 acres of redwood and Douglas-fir timberlands, and a program of aquariums that contains chinook salmon and steelhead trout at various phases in their daily life cycle.


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I wandered the show and viewed as fingerling, smolt and adult fish swam around in their tanks, eyeing me suspiciously by way of the glass. I was the only just one there, and I obtained the perception they did not have numerous website visitors.

There were no other guests during the author's visit to the Humboldt Redwood Company Fisheries Exhibit. 

There have been no other friends all through the author’s take a look at to the Humboldt Redwood Business Fisheries Exhibit. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE

A young trout at the Humboldt Redwood Company Fisheries Exhibit in Scotia. 

A young trout at the Humboldt Redwood Enterprise Fisheries Show in Scotia. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE

Again in my auto, I drove up Key Street and into town, passing the Scotia Museum and the Winema Theater, designed in 1919 (the two closed), as perfectly as the Palco Pharmacy, which opened in 1860 and just lately shuttered for superior. Quickly, the gleaming white Scotia Lodge and its stately columns and shiny eco-friendly garden appeared on the appropriate.


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The resort fell into disrepair just after Houston-dependent conglomerate Maxxam Corp. bought Pacific Lumber in 1985. Maxxam’s reign was controversial its practice of clearcutting plenty of acres of redwoods led to yrs of environmental protests and lawsuits. In 2007, the dad or mum organization positioned Pacific Lumber into individual bankruptcy, advertising it to an expenditure group in 2008. The lodge remained shut until eventually 2021, when husband-and-spouse workforce Jon O’Connor and Amy Cirincione O’Connor purchased it by their hospitality corporation, Humboldt Social.

They renovated the grand lobby, ballroom, eating lounge and party areas, along with 22 guest rooms on the initial and second flooring. They also opened a relaxed restaurant, Key + Mill, and began serving craft cocktails at Question Bar on the decrease level. They finally approach to create a swim club with heated pools and warm tubs in the great deal involving the hotel’s wings, but for now, the target is on the spa, which contains a few of clawfoot tubs, a Himalayan salt block and a massage place. 

The Rio Dell Bridge crosses over the Eel River into Scotia. 

The Rio Dell Bridge crosses around the Eel River into Scotia. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE


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A weed rubdown is the type of thing Humboldt Social is identified for. In addition to Scotia Lodge, the corporation owns various dispensaries, the hashish brand Social Character, and another lodge, Humboldt Bay Social Club, which also presents a hashish-helpful spa. The notion, according to the company’s marketing elements, is to integrate cannabis into hospitality by means of “cannabis-infused ordeals.” Evidently, even when weed is advertising for bottom dollar, there is hope that people might enterprise up to Humboldt County to study about and expertise the drug themselves.

To get a weed therapeutic massage, I experienced to obtain the cannabis-infused oil ahead of time over the mobile phone, decide on it up at the dispensary (or have it sent), and deliver it with me to my appointment. I opted for the $38 Glow, a “cannabis-infused personal oil” with vitamin E and amber that consists of 300 mg of cannabinoids. There was some confusion about no matter whether I’d be choosing up the oil or having it sent, and in some way on the day of my therapeutic massage, I ended up with two bottles.

I handed one particular bottle to my masseuse. Inspite of what the other hotel staff experienced explained to me, she claimed my body would soak up the THC we agreed she would use a third of the bottle.

A room at the recently revamped Scotia Lodge. 

A space at the just lately revamped Scotia Lodge. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE


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Other than the exclusive scent of marijuana emanating from the oil, the therapeutic massage was rather usual. I did notice it appeared to be going on an more very long time, although. I had booked a 30-moment massage for $65, but I began to get the effect that I’d been in there at the very least an hour — and not because I was higher. When the masseuse began scraping my pores and skin with a dry brush, I acquired even far more confused.

At the conclusion, the masseuse handed me a monthly bill for a 75-moment “Glow Up” therapeutic massage: $125. There should have been a blend-up, for the reason that the item I purchased (Glow) had practically the similar identify as the a lot more pricey and for a longer period therapeutic massage. She apologized, and I forgave her and paid out for the a lot more high priced therapeutic massage I did not buy. At the very least I hadn’t absorbed the hashish via my pores and skin, I assumed to myself, sensation thoroughly sober but also fairly peaceful.

The grand lobby at the Scotia Lodge. 

The grand foyer at the Scotia Lodge. 

Ashley Harrell/SFGATE

I retreated to my room, wherever complimentary carafes of whiskey and vodka had been ready. I drank those and then descended into the Marvel Bar, which occurred to be web hosting a 2 times-month to month karaoke evening. 5 folks confirmed up, including an older gentleman who actually nailed Ray Price’s “For the Great Times.”


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I ordered a burger, which turned out to be scrumptious, and chatted for a whilst with the bartender. Like a lot of in Scotia, she’d lived in the town all her lifestyle. And she likes it just the way it is, she told me.

“We are definitely even now caught in the moments below, but that is what attracts people in,” she reported. “It’s not occupied, and it’s not hectic, but it is beautiful.”