Travel / Home + Design

Dallas’ Plugged-In Power Couple Create a West Texas Oasis to Help Guests Go Off the Grid

Inside The Local Chapter, a Remote Escape for Design-Minded Travelers

BY // 05.05.21
photography Reed Kennedy

Dallas tech entrepreneurs Baxter Box and Amber Venz Box have always been remarkably tuned in to Internet culture. In 2011, just as blogs were transitioning from niche to mainstream, the couple co-founded rewardStyle, a game-changing affiliate platform that allowed influencers to monetize their fashion posts. When Instagram exploded, they launched LIKEtoKNOW.it to deliver links directly to app users. But their newest venture, The Local Chapter, invites us all to unplug, if only for a weekend.

The Local Chapter is perfectly and beautifully remote — four custom luxury yurts spaced across a 392-acre desert mesa in Terlingua (a fifth yurt is where Amber and Baxter, and at times their children Birdie, Boyce, Bizzy and Boots, unwind), with sweeping views of Big Bend National Park in West Texas. Tech heads from Google and Uber and a contingent of bloggers have all discovered The Last Chapter. It’s a region that Amber, in true millennial fashion, fell in love with after she spotted Serena Van Der Woodsen’s Prada Marfa sign on Gossip Girl. For the lucky few who secure a booking, nature may be part of the allure, but true refuge can be found within the minimalist 573-square-foot yurts. Of course, that’s by design.

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Each custom yurt is equipped with a cozy fireplace and Orion telescope.

“Baxter and I spend most of our lives in front of a screen, so when we get away, we want it to be exactly what we want and only what we need,” Amber says. “Everything in the yurt needed to have a home and be the very best [example] of the thing.”

The couple tapped top brands and highlighted local treasures. With the help of designer Stacy Hyde, each yurt is outfitted with furniture by Croft House, CB2, and Adesso. In addition to electricity, cozy fireplaces, and running water, there are Dyson hairdryers, Orion telescopes, Sou Sou textiles, and Texas-sourced plants. King-size beds are topped with dreamy Sferra linens, while the plush outdoor furniture is from Dallas-based Stori Modern.

Baxter Box and Amber Venz Box

When the Boxes welcomed their first guest to The Local Chapter at the end of 2019, they could not have predicted how prescient their idea to create a remote desert escape would be in the coming months. And, while the world is returning to some semblance of normalcy, an influx of newly minted Texans — many of whom also work in the tech industry — will continue to benefit from the couple’s thoughtful approach to going off the grid.

From $420 a night, at thelocalchapter.com.

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