A few years ago, when the 1440 Multiversity was being introduced as coming to Scotts Valley, many residents had apprehensions of them coming to the old Bethany University. Fears of more traffic, construction disturbing a once quiet and secret spot tucked away in the Santa Cruz Mountains that for the most part was just a place where you passed and stopped to get gas on your way to Santa Cruz, or visit the old Santa’s Village back in the day. Fear of more people coming into our city. And really, fear of the unknown as many did not know what the 1440 was all about.

As construction began, some of the issues that locals, especially those living in the immediate vicinity of the location had such as traffic and construction crew and vehicles were in fact an issue for many of the residents. The project, on approximately 70 acres that are surrounded by beautiful trees and landscape, began in 2015 and took about 2 years to complete, with some residents complaining about the congested area and roads with constant trucks coming through their neighborhood. Obviously, there was no way to work around this. Trucks, workers, and traffic that a construction site like this brings can’t be done without the above.

But the light at the end of the tunnel began to appear as many locals started seeing the beautiful facilities that were being built and began to get excited to think that they would be able to experience it all once the site was built. Yet as the 1440 opened up, many area residents that started going by the campus and were visiting the facilities were being told that the campus was not open to the public, unless you were attending a class or a guest of the 1440.

The 1440 Endless Hot Tub

As you can imagine, many local residents were not too pleased with this with some feeling priced out of some of the venues that were being offered, and others leaving and feeling unwelcome when they were told that it was not a public facility. The explanation by 1440 is that based on them holding a certain non-profit status, it cannot be open to the public. So while the public may not be too keen on the process and protocol, the organization must operate under certain procedures and protocol, according to their representatives. Which is a shame really, from the standpoint of more people not being able to experience this magnificent project and organization. From their spa center, their beautiful restaurants and dining rooms, to their trails, shops and coffee shops, the 1440 Multiversity is truly a sight to see and is very impressive.

Click on any of the above images for a larger view

But hey, I get it. I may not like it, but I get it. Especially when you consider the fact that some guests of the 1440 may be attending workshops like couple’s relationship training, grief therapy, silent meditation, etc. Imagine being a guest there wanting to escape the hustle and bustle and in need of grief therapy, only to be surrounded by a crowd coming in and out of the facilities. Again, I totally get it and it does make sense to want to have a certain amount of privacy for their guests. Just wondering if there could be some sort of happy medium where it can work for everyone including locals in the Scotts Valley area.

So as the publisher of My Scotts Valley Magazine (this website) along with the My Scotts Valley Facebook page, I have had some collaboration with some of the people at the 1440 Multiversity as so many local residents have expressed many similar comments and feelings as those above and have many times been a little more vocal about the situation on our Facebook page. The thing is, locals are vested in this community and care. Nothing wrong with that. And, I must admit, I too have been interested in what they are doing and possibly attending some courses or events.

So recently I had the honor of getting a walk-through of their facilities by their Marketing Operations Manager Chandra Duffy and a member of their Digital Marketing department, Noelle Stearns.

Going through their facilities was amazing starting off with their beautiful buildings and setting that the facility offers. They feature several shops with clothing, books, crafts, and more. Their coffee shop was so inviting and if it were to be in the middle of town, it would probably be filled up everyday with coffee patrons and people looking for a place to meet. In fact, if I was to want to open up a coffee shop that could be used as a hub for the locals, I would start by getting some ideas from this coffee shop first.

Their restaurants, although I did not taste the food, were superb with beautiful architecture and a large and stunning stone fireplace in the middle of one dining area that also featured large tables, with beautiful high wood beam ceilings throughout. Pretty much picture perfect.

Their “training” rooms and auditoriums were spacious, open, lots of high ceilings, and very well decorated, as were their actual rooms where guests stay. All in all, you get a feeling that you would get in one of the nicest lodges in Lake Tahoe, or in one of Yosemite’s nicest hotels and lodges. 

But I was there on a mission and had a lot of questions from many of you readers along with many questions I had myself. So rather than do an interview, I thought that the best thing would be to provide them with a list of some of the most popular and talked about questions and comments from locals and allow them some time to read through each one and answer appropriately.

And here they are:

1. What is 1440? Who is it for and whom does it cater to? And please explain the typical classes or workshops being offered.

One of the many rooms setup as a large workshop or conference room

1440 Multiversity opened in May 2017 on the site of what was formerly Bethany College. “1440” refers to the number of minutes in a day, each one a chance to connect with what truly matters—both within and around us. The concept of a “multiversity” is to provide a space for holistic learning that engages the multiple aspects of mind, body, and heart (versus a university which focuses primarily on the intellect). 

1440 Multiversity stems from a desire to establish a beautiful and nurturing physical location, where people of all walks of life can come together in community—to explore, learn, reflect, connect, and reenergize.

We welcome anyone who wants to engage in some of life’s most meaningful questions.  While some people visit our campus for a personal getaway, we also host groups of all sizes for off-site meetings, trainings, conferences, and other overnight events that resonate with our mission and vision.

We offer programs, events, and classes that relate to nutrition, movement, creativity, spirituality, relationships, and leadership development. 

2. I understand that the cafe, restaurant, and trails are off-limits to locals or visitors to the area unless they are a registered guest at the time that they are using those facilities. Can you please explain why that is? And how can people use the spa facilities? Can they sign up just for a spa treatment alone?

Coffee shop and lounge

1440 is something different—it’s not a resort or a hotel—it’s a new kind of space where we hope to give our guests tools to address deep and abiding issues, and improve their quality of life and relationships. We take the responsibility to provide this special and sacred space very seriously, and part of that is ensuring that everyone on campus is here with that work in mind.  For instance, some of our program registrants may be undergoing intense personal work (couple’s relationship training, grief therapy, silent meditation, etc.) and we are protective of their experience during their time at 1440 wherever they may be on campus, including on the trails, in the restaurants, etc. 

We are also a private, non-profit educational institution. As a 501c-registered organization, we must comply with federal regulations regarding the sale of goods and services on our campus.

We absolutely welcome anyone to register to take our programs and attend our events, and especially love having the local community avail themselves of the many diverse programs and events we offer. Registrants of our programs are welcome to use all 1440 facilities, including the trails, infinity tub, fitness center, etc. 

3. Would 1440 ever entertain some type of guest pass for locals to use the facilities with some type of badge or wristband given only to local residents of Scotts Valley?

We are currently considering implementation of a day pass. Stay tuned for more information on this option. In the meantime, if you’d like to get a taste of 1440, sign up for an evening event and include dinner at Kitchen Table so you can try our cuisine at a very reasonable price.

4. Many locals feel priced out of your classes and events. Can 1440 have special incentives for those living in the Scotts Valley area?

We are a non-profit, and while we may offer incentives from time to time, our pricing strategy is competitive with similar facilities and market conditions. We strive to offer a range of accommodations that fit in with a variety of budgets. Our programs are all-inclusive and include the workshop fees, three meals a day at Kitchen Table, accommodations, access to the Healing Arts and fitness centers, and a robust supplementary class schedule that offers everything from qigong, yoga, and meditation to special evening gatherings. 

5. Are there classes available that are more budget friendly for those who live in town and cannot afford to rent a room in addition to those who want to take classes but would just rather take a 2-minute drive home for the night?

The intention behind 1440 is to provide immersive experiences that allow guests to really unplug and connect to what’s most important within. The best approach for those not wanting to spend the night is to try out our evening events. We are in the process of developing additional day-long programs to appeal to the local community as well. 

6. One of your employees has stated that there are special evening classes that are open to local residents…Can you elaborate on that?

Our evening events are a great way for local residents to experience 1440. Come join us! Offerings range from yoga to musical performances to book talks/signings by New York Times best-selling authors, to cooking classes with our executive chef, and more. Often, you will have the opportunity to add a meal at Kitchen Table to your experience.

Please find our event listings (which are always being updated, so keep checking back) here: https://1440.org/events/.

To stay up-to-date on not only events, but all of our happenings, please follow us on Facebook at https://facebook.com/1440multiversity.

7. Tell us about the one-time classes like cooking classes that are being offered on occasion? Who heads them and what is the average cost?

Our Executive Chef, Kenny Woods, leads the cooking classes that take place monthly in our Teaching Kitchen. Ticket prices have ranged from $40 for a talk/demonstration to $90 for a hands-on teaching experience complete with feasting on the prepared meal afterwards as part of the evening.

8. Are there career opportunities at 1440?

Yes. We have hired over 100 people from the local area. Please check our job listings here: https://1440.org/employment-opportunities/.

9. How does an instructor or speaker get to have a class? Does 1440 seek the speakers or do they enroll somehow?

Both. We actively pursue some faculty members, and some faculty members actively pursue us. If you or someone you know would like to propose a program, please visit https://1440.org/program-proposals/.

10. Where can people go and find a calendar of classes, workshops, and seminars?

We list all of our programs on our website here: https://1440.org/programs/.

As mentioned above, the evening events are listed here: https://1440.org/events/.

11. Locals in Scotts Valley had certain apprehensions about 1440 going in due to increased traffic, the construction that had to take place, and the perceived likelihood of a disturbance of peace and quiet that surrounded the area, there near Highway 17. Yet many were calmed when they started realizing what facilities were being built and were excited about them. And now that people are not allowed to use the trails, the cafe, or the restaurant unless they are a paid, registered guest, there is disappointment that can be felt by locals. How would you respond to them and what message would you like to convey?

The range of responses in the community is understandable. We have been humbled by the support of so many, while also recognizing that there are others in the community who wish for more. Throughout the construction and opening, we have tried hard to listen to the concerns of the local community and be receptive to them, keeping in mind that we want to have a long-standing role in this town as a regional center of education for adults interested in the big questions of life. We’ve enjoyed hosting members of the community (Scotts Valley and surrounding areas) at our programs and events and hope to continue doing so. To stay tuned to opportunities (events and programs), sign up at https://1440.org

In closing, I do believe and hope that the people at the 1440 are looking to make the experience one that could work for locals in addition to their guests, and I believe that there is probably some soul searching, if you will, going on about how to keep the attendants and guests’ privacy concerns in check, while creating a more friendlier experience for us locals. Maybe I am wrong and maybe that is wishful thinking on my part, but I get the sense that something is in the works. See question and answer #3 above about the possibility of a “day pass” in the future that is being considered.

I don’t know. It is a tough thing to balance and we may not ever see much more access for locals who are not paying guests then we are seeing now, but in the very least this conversation and community input lends itself to thinking, talking, and hopefully brainstorming on how to make this a win-win for all. Their facilities are much too beautiful to not be enjoyed by all. And no doubt about it, the people there that I met were so welcoming and seemed to really want to listen to everyone’s thoughts and concerns. It is a feel good place that does good, in my opinion.

More to come, I am sure.

About the Author:

Robert Aldana is the Publisher and Founder of My Scotts Valley Magazine and the popular My Scotts Valley Facebook Page. He is also a licensed REALTOR® since 1986 specializing in the Scotts Valley area and lives in town with his wife, three daughters, two cats, and one very special dog.

You can reach robert directly at 831-252-3959 or email him at [email protected], or send him a message on his contact page at www.robertaldana.com/contactrobert