SCOTTS VALLEY (KPIX 5) — In the middle of the redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, life feels less hurried.
There are no sounds of traffic, just a nearby stream.
1440 Multiversity wants to remind guests to look up, and look inside themselves. The newly-built center on 75 acres in Scotts Valley is part school, part resort, part retreat, and fully focused on making guests more connected with what matters.
“Technology, the internet in particular, does a great job of connecting us to everything and everyone, except ourselves, and that’s really what 1440 is about, is the rest of ourselves,” said 1440 Foundation founder and director Scott Kriens.
1440 is named for the 1,440 minutes in a day. It wants to teach guests how to pay attention to those minutes – many of which are lost in our tech-driven world.
The 150-plus guest rooms do not have phones or TVs, but there is wi-fi.
“It’s not about going to a mountain top and escaping, it’s about bringing everything inside of us to everything else that we do. Being more fully alive – takes work,” Kriens said.
Putting in the work means going to classes on mindfulness, meditating, doing yoga, getting massages, taking a dip in the heated infinity pool and eating healthy foods.
Kreins has built his career in tech, as the former CEO of Juniper Networks.
“Today, I think I’m in a more aware place. I wouldn’t claim that I’ve solved anything, but I’m a whole lot more aware than I was head down, hammer wheel, grind out the widgets,” he added.
Twenty-nine-year-old Ben Weiner knows that kind of stress.
“The valley is a hustle,” Weiner said.
Weiner co-founded a startup in Ohio and moved to Silicon Valley two years ago.
“You’re in a competitive environment, so I was looking for a place to step back, come back to earth,” he said.
Part of that means eating the freshest foods, such as a vegan poke bowl.
“We try to take the concept of local, plant-based, and kind of influence it through the food,” said director of food and beverage and executive chef Kenny Woods.
Room rates can cost up to $340 per night.
When construction finishes next month, the center can accommodate 750 people for events. Class fees can vary widely and start at $320.
1440 says it wants guests to leave recharged and that it is not anti-tech.
Author Soren Gordhamer teaches on the power of being present.
“People ask me if I’m for or against technology, and I say I’m for awareness,” said Gordhamer.
His latest class is called “Disconnect to Connect.”
“We see a lot of people from the tech world, and for a lot of people from the tech world, they feel like when they’re constantly on, and just constantly at the mercy of their phone, they’re just not as creative. So people like Steve Jobs had a meditation practice,” said Gordhamer.
1440 Multiversity is part of a growing number of retreats giving the tech-dependent a space to learn how to find balance both online and off. The famed Esalen Institute in Big Sur, popular among hippies, is attracting more tech workers from Silicon Valley to workshops on mindfulness.
And San Francisco-based Digital Detox runs camps and retreats where people turn in their devices.
“If you’d like more time, we have it. Come here, and set some things aside,” said Kriens.