Breitenbush Hot Springs

Last updated: May 19, 2009 (6 years ago)

Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Breitenbush Hot Springs

(Detroit, Oregon, United States)

Mission Statement:

Service Health Growth

Community Description:

We are an intentional community and worker-owned cooperative that operates Breitenbush Hot Springs Retreat and Conference Center, hosting 25,000 guests annually. Sixty miles east of Salem, Oregon, Breitenbush sits on 155 acres in ancient forests of the Cascades. Our community ranges from 50 – 90 adults and children. We are off the grid, using hydro and geothermal, and practice low-impact Earth stewardship.
The members of the worker-owned cooperative make major decisions about community and business affairs at annual meetings, and elect the board of directors from their midst to oversee operations. The business, financial and marketing directors all work as a team and report to the board. To be a worker-owner, a community member must be employed for one year, be an employee in good standing, and purchase a membership share of $500.
The community lives across the river from the retreat center in an ecovillage setting. We have regular community sharings, and three times a year we close for a four-day community renewal where we join together for training, fun, and community building.
We live a rich, full life here. We delight in an abundance of diverse people, innovative ideas, healing practices, friendships, and challenges.
From our credo: “Our primary service is to provide a healing retreat and conference center that promotes holistic health and spiritual growth. We mutually support and respect each person’s dignity, and awaken to the Spirit within each of us that acknowledges we are all One… It is our hope that the thriving Community which we create will be an inspiration to others in their exploration of lifestyle and community. We also extend ourselves to the greater society in which we live, the world community, and commit ourselves to being socially, spiritually, politically, and environmentally responsible.”



  • Area: 155 acres
  • Current Number of Residences: 35
  • Land owned by: The Community
  • Additional Comments: There is some cohousing


  • Adult Members: 55
  • Child Members: 5
  • Non-member Residents: 20
  • Percent Women: 50%
  • Percent Men: 50%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes
  • Visitor Process: They need to call for reservations.
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Additional Comments: Home Schooling and Alternative Education


  • Decision Making: By an individual community leader
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: Yes


  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: No
  • Required Labor Contribution: No
  • Additional Comments: The Business Director, Finance Director and Marketing Director are all salaried. All other staff make minimum wage with housing and benefits and are expected to work 32 hours weekly avg.


Sustainability Practices

  • Current food produced: 0%, or close to 0%


  • Shared meals: 2-5 times per week
  • Dietary Practice: Mostly Vegetarian
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: Not at all important – people may eat however they individually choose.
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Education Style(s): Up to each individual
We happily link to the following organizations, all of whom share our strong commitment to promoting community and a more cooperative world:
Cohousing The Federation of Egalitarian Communities - Communes Coop Community Cooperative Sustainable Intentional North American Students of Cooperation Global Ecovillage Network
Special thanks to the sponsors of our Art of Community Events.
Bryan Bowan Architects California Cohousing International Communes Desk ICSA NICA Wolf Creek Lodge