Esalen Institute Launches Campus Renewal with Special Gift for Most Significant Renovation in 52-year History

May 15, 2015, 12:00 ET from Esalen Institute

BIG SUR, Calif., May 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Esalen Institute today announced a $1M donation by Chip Conley to support the Lodge Renovation and Campus Renewal project, the most significant renovation in its 52-year history.  

"We're incredibly grateful to Chip for stepping forward with such generosity to make the first outright million-dollar gift in our history," said Tricia McIntee, Esalen CEO. "We're equally gratified to have the full support of the Esalen Board of Trustees and to so many individuals across the country in our Esalen community who have supported this significant construction project."

Conley is a member of the Board of Trustees with deep roots in the Esalen community, beginning in 1984 when he graduated from Stanford business school.  He is a New York Times best-selling author, hospitality industry entrepreneur and leader (Joie de Vivre, Airbnb), and acclaimed TED Talk guest speaker on topics such as "measuring what makes life worthwhile." Conley shares his unique prescription for success in PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, based on noted psychologist Abraham Maslow's iconic Hierarchy of Needs. 

"I've taken to heart Maslow's observation that 'If the only tool is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail,'" explains Conley.  "Because of Esalen, my tool box is bigger, so I'm giving back because of it.  As a seeker of transformation in all that I do, I share Esalen's vision for making transformative experiences available for generations to come.  With this gift, I hope to inspire others whose lives have also been indelibly marked by their experiences in this extraordinary community."

"In recognition of Chip's selfless contributions to Esalen over so many years," added Esalen CEO, Tricia McEntee, "it is my pleasure to announce that the Board of Trustees has decided that the bookstore in the newly-expanded Lodge will be named in his honor."

In 2008, Chip began teaching workshops on "How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow" by embedding self-actualizing practices into organizations, based upon his popular 2007 book titled PEAK.  As a "conscious business" innovator, Chip is involved with invitational conferences hosted by the Esalen Center for Theory and Research in partnership with the Conscious Capitalism Institute, which aims to connect and cultivate fellowship among leaders in a growing movement. For example, in 2013 Chip organized and convened a conclave of the "who's who" of business leaders under 40 years of age. 

The Lodge Renovation and Campus Renewal project, will enhance the experience of workshop participants, guests, faculty and staff.  For the first time, Esalen is offering a lasting legacy for generous donors to the Campus Renewal Project.  Contributors at specific levels can honor or memorialize an individual, family, teacher or evolutionary leader at various locations at Esalen.

A ground honoring ceremony in mid-March marked the commencement of the first phase of the project – renovation of Esalen's iconic lodge – setting the stage for long-term development plans, including upgraded facilities, greater levels of environmental sustainability, and expanded capacity for delivery of educational programs.  Since opening its doors, Esalen has been host to more than 900,000 visitors and 17,000 workshops. Today, more than 500 workshops are offered throughout the year, in addition to conferences and personal retreats.

To learn more about becoming a donor to the Campus Renewal Special Gifts Project, contact Elizabeth Stacey, Director of Institutional Advancement at or 831.250.1022 x253. 

About Esalen
Esalen is a leading center for exploring and realizing human potential through experience, education and research. The community works toward the realization of a more humane and all-embracing world, seeking answers to questions unlikely to be explored by traditional universities and religions. Esalen sponsors pioneering initiatives and offers personal, spiritual and social transformation practices for residents, interns and workshop participants.

Perched on a windswept rocky promontory on California's scenic Big Sur Coast, Esalen opened its doors over 50 years ago as a center for positive, personal change, and for the 750,000 people who have been through its gates since 1962, nothing has ever been quite the same. For more information, go to


SOURCE Esalen Institute