ELMDALE, Kan. (KSNW) – Drive down any Kansas highway or byway, and you’re sure to see numerous single-grain silos standing all alone in fields and on old farms. Most of them stand empty. Others may have a tree growing inside.
One of those silos has been converted into a two-bedroom vacation rental.
If you’re looking to get away from the city, take a drive up Highway 50 to Elmdale, then head west about seven miles into the country. In less than 90 minutes, you can enjoy pure Kansas. Cool breezes blowing through the trees. The sounds of nature surround you, and complete darkness envelops you. All while staying in a brand-new silo house Airbnb.
Nestled in far west Chase County, in a creek valley surrounded by soybean fields, is a log cabin. Completed in 2019, it is available for rent.
“We decided that we were going to build a log cabin and rent it out for weekends, hopefully like a B&B. We thought just a couple weekends a month,” said the cabin’s owner, Gerald Wiens.
During the height of the pandemic in 2020, the Paw Print Cabin was rented out for at least 180 nights that year. Not far from the cabin stands a concrete stave grain silo, and it’s in pretty good shape. Wiens thought maybe he could do something with that too.
“That’s basically what happened. And then, you know, we just looked at a lot of ideas. We had little models drawn. We had different floor plans. How we’re going to try to accomplish this thing, and because we had to work along around a lot of parameters, we didn’t have a, you know, big open space to work with,” said Wiens, who lives in Marion.
“We came up with four floors. The silo is about 45 feet tall, and we added this little room onto the front addition. Just to take a little bit of pressure off. It’s kind of a little kitchen area, utility room type thing,” said Wiens of the small building attached to the base of the silo.
The kitchen and entryway lead into a circular living room complete with two leather chairs, a small wooden table, a flat-screen TV mounted above a stone-framed gas fireplace, and a half bathroom under the stairs.
The silo has 45 stairs winding up to the fourth-floor master bedroom.
“Two bedrooms. We tried to get a bathroom onto a floor with a bedroom, and it just wasn’t going to work. So the third floor is a bathroom, and the whole floor is the bathroom,” said Wiens.
The second-floor bedroom sleeps three. Wiens built a bunk bed with a full-size bed on the bottom and a twin on top.
The third-floor bathroom serves both bedrooms.
“It has a much bigger shower than any house I’ve ever lived in,” said Wiens.
Climb up one last flight of stairs, and you reach the master bedroom with its 16-foot ceiling and king-size bed.
“To say it’s been a labor of love, I mean, we spent so much time here. If you had to pay me to do this, I’d hate to say how many hours it took because it’s not your typical construction,” said Wiens.
The Owl’s Nest Silo welcomed its first visitors last weekend. So, how much does it cost to stay here?
“The rate for the silo is $175 a night. A two-night minimum, and then probably about a $65 cleaning fee.”
Wiens warns his silo isn’t the right spot for everybody.
“If you’re looking for someplace to go, like Disneyland or something, this is probably not the place for you to come. It’s more geared towards people that enjoy the outdoors.”
Wiens and his wife, Jan, did all the work themselves, with some help from their grandsons. One of them attends the School of Architecture at Kansas State University.
The log cabin can be rented out on Airbnb by searching in Chase County. The silo house will be added to that site soon.