VDare.com, an organization that holds extremist and white-nationalist beliefs, had planned to hold its first conference this spring at Tenaya Lodge, adjacent to California's Yosemite National Park. However, upon learning of the group's nature, the resort promptly canceled the contract.
The mission of the hate group came to light with the Jan. 23 publication of an article by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights organization. According to the SPLC article, "The conference presents a noticeable shift away from the organization's strategy of using the Internet to propagate racism toward one of real-world activism -- a shift echoed by other white nationalist groups like Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute and fueled by a sentiment widespread on the far-right that President Trump's election offered a legitimizing win for white nationalism."
Founded in 1999 by Peter Brimelow, VDare is a anti-immigrant hate website "dedicated to preserving our historical unity as Americans into the 21st Century." It is named after Virginia Dare, said to be the first English child born in the New World in 1587.
The three-day conference was set to begin on March 31. Upon SPLC's publishing of the article, Tenaya Lodge decided to cancel the event, and resort spokesperson Glen White issued the following statement:
Tenaya Lodge today became aware of the nature of VDare Foundation, an organization that several weeks ago booked meeting space and rooms from March 31 to April 2.
Unfortunately, at the time of booking we did not realize this group has values that are in conflict with our embracement of diversity among our employees and guests, including people of different cultures, lifestyles, creeds, nationalities, races and ages. We are also concerned that providing meeting space and rooms to this group could be disruptive to our other guests' enjoyment of Tenaya Lodge and the services we provide to those guests.
In response, we've taken steps to immediately cancel this booking. We regret the mistake and want to assure our employees and guests that in no way does Tenaya Lodge endorse this group.
The Tenaya Lodge has 240 guest rooms, 57 cottages and 15,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including a 10,000 square foot ballroom. Outdoor options include a 3,000-square-foot covered pavilion and a 3,000-square-foot grand terrace.