What's going on inside these weatherproof 'igloos'?
These types of pods started popping up during the pandemic and one enterprising entrepreneur has figured out a way for them to put a different spin on people's "enjoyment of the cold weather."
Red Heifer Winery in Smithsburg, Maryland, is home to seven weather-proof igloos that can be booked all winter long.
Even when temperatures dip close to freezing, one winery has found a way to allow customers to comfortably enjoy wine and cheese outdoors without needing to bundle up.
The Red Heifer Winery in Smithsburg, Maryland, is home to seven weatherproof insulated tents resembling igloos that can be booked throughout the winter. Each dome can fit up to six people, and, while temperatures outdoors may grow brisk and bitter, the inside can stay as warm as a spring day.
"I would say it's 67, 70 degrees in here, so very comfortable here in my light sweater," Yvonne Ford, one of the owners of the winery, told AccuWeather National Reporter Sarah Gisriel. The temperature had dropped to 37 degrees there on that day.
While these domes picked up popularity during the pandemic as businesses looked for a way to continue to host guests outdoors during the colder months, the Red Heifer Winery invested in its own before the pandemic back during the fall of 2019.
The Red Heifer Winery owns seven weatherproof domes where it can comfortably host guests outdoors even in cold weather. (Sarah Grisriel)
"We knew what people wanted," Ford said. "We knew how to set [the domes] up to make them feel inviting and cozy, but then also to have them electrified and heated and comfortable to be able to use all winter long."
Located on Quirauk Mountain, the highest point of the South Mountain in Appalachia's Blue Ridge Mountains, the winery is no stranger to low temperatures.
"This is technically the highest elevation in Washington County. We are over 1,500 feet, so our temperature here does tend to be a little bit different than the rest of the county," Ford said. The highest point at Quirauk Mountain reaches 2,145 feet.
Customers at the Red Heifer Winery clink glasses as they enjoy wine in one of the winery's weatherproof domes. (Sarah Grisriel)
With the capability to also withstand rain and snow, the domes are able to provide guests of the Red Heifer Winery a warm, dry refuge on nearly any day of the year.
"People are really enjoying them," Ford said. "It just completely shifted our enjoyment of the cold weather."
Reporting by AccuWeather National Reporter Sarah Gisriel.
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