How often will the Sauna be open for reservations?

We’re planning to have The Forge open for Member-Owners one weekend per month throughout the summer of 2017. We will relaunch with residencies in November, offering reservations Thursday – Sunday every week. This plan is contingent upon Member-Owner engagement: the more engagement we get, the more Sauna we can provide.

What will the cost of reservations be?

The Co-op’s will endeavor to offer the lowest possible price point to its Member-Owners. The current estimate is that Member-Owners will pay between $15 and $20 for reservations.

Will Non-Member-Owners be able to make reservations?

Member-owner will be able to bring non-member guests. (Member-owners will pay a discounted rate of $15 and non-Member-owners will pay the full $20 reservation price.) Member-owners will be able to book reservations for regular openings during our residencies, Thursdays – Sundays from November to April. We will also have Public openings for non-Members throughout season, which will be based on availability after Member-Owner reservations are fulfilled.

How do I become a Member-Owner?

Our initial Membership campaign closed April 30th. We will announce another campaign next season. Sign up here for updates to be notified of Public openings and our next Membership campaign.

Where will the Sauna be located?

The Forge will operate at locations throughout the cities. This year we did residencies at Surly and the American Swedish Institute. We will likely be back at both of those locations in addition to a number of other surprise venues. We will announce the schedule to our Member-owner email list when these partnerships are finalized.

How do I make a reservation?

Member-owners will receive an email with links to reservations at least one week prior to each opening. Non-Member-Owners can sign up here to receive notifications for Public openings.

Who will operate the new sauna?

The sauna will be hosted at all times by a trained and certified “Sauna Meister” of the 612 Sauna Society. Only Member-Owners of the cooperative will be eligible to apply for Sauna Meister training and hosting.

Does the Co-op have liability insurance? Does it protect Member-owners?

Yes. The 612 Sauna Society holds property and liability coverage through Moores Insurance. Member-owners are covered for liability under the policy. You can view this section here.

Are kids allowed in the Sauna?

Depends. We work hard to provide an experience that is quiet and relaxing. A restrained disposition is the Sauna norm and encouraged for everyone’s benefit. Obnoxious, loud, & disrespectful can’t be a part of the culture or experience. If your child is the former: welcome! If your child is the latter, adios! (This is equally true for adults. Lean more by reading the Sauna Society Code.) Also, kids of any age must pay the guest price for their sauna seat. 

What is a Sauna Cooperative and what are the Member-Owner benefits?

A cooperative (or co-op) is group of people united voluntarily to meet common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled business. Two defining legal aspects of a co-op are the control structure and the allocation of profit:

Control structure: In the cooperative business model, only Member-Owners can buy a share, and each Member-Owner can only buy one share, which means that only Member-Owners are shareholders and each shareholder gets one vote.  This helps cooperatives serve common interests and ensures that people, not capital, control the organization.

Allocation of Profit: Co-ops and credit unions share profits among their Member-Owners on the basis of how much they use the organization, not on how many shares they hold.

Benefits for Member-Owners include, but are not limited to:

The cooperative will own and operate the sauna. When you purchase a share of the cooperative, you become an owner. As a Member-Owner, you get access to the new sauna—your sauna. You also get a vote on how the company spends its profits, how we operate and how/if we grow.


Studies show that 93% of Member-Owners of sauna cooperatives are happier, more connected and radically more delightful human beings. Member-Owners of the cooperative also get priority access to lakeside pop-up openings and special events.


As a Member-Owner, you will receive an annual financial statement outlining our profit, loss, and spending. As a Member-Owner, you can help us grow the business by electing the Board of Directors and running for the Board yourself.

What is 612 Sauna Society?

The 612 Sauna Society started as a handful of curious friends, and friends of friends, gathering in a little mobile Sauna named The FireHouse. Our community grew beyond the bounds of 612 and sparked an explosive re-emergence of the great Northern Tradition of Sauna. Last winter the 612 Sauna Society gave a hot bench seat to over two thousand participants as our online community of enthusiasts became the most active online sauna community in the world. This winter, we’re going to take it to the next level. We’re raising funds to build a community-owned and operated mobile sauna—and forming a cooperative to make sure this community has access to a superb sauna experience for winters to come.

What are the top health benefits of sauna?

Heart health. People who spend more time in sauna were shown to have up to 63% lower risk of deaths related to heart disease.

Muscle Recovery. Sauna increases circulation, keeping muscles clear of metabolic byproducts and open to all the nutrients they need. It’s also been shown to increase levels of growth hormone – an important part of muscle repair and healthy weight maintenance.

Pain relief. Sauna induces the release of many anti-inflammatory compounds, and results in temporary pain relief and increased mobility in people with arthritis.

Hormone regulation and lean muscle preservation. In addition to increased growth hormone, spending time in a sauna improves insulin sensitivity and decreases the rate at which muscles are broken down for energy.

Improved immunity. Sauna increases white blood cells and reduces the chances of catching cold or flu by 30%.

Better skin. Deep sweating in a sauna cleanses pores and improves capillary circulation.

Deeper sleep. Sauna use is connected to deeper relaxation and relief from chronic tension.

Increased stress resiliency. Intermittent hyperthermia provides a controlled environmental stressor that promotes resistance to stress.

Social health. People who are lonely or disconnected are at even greater risk for death than people who smoke cigarettes! The community aspect of sauna is truly one of the most powerful tools to stay healthy all year long.

Inner fire. Alternating between hot and cold during sauna activates the body’s autonomic nervous system, promoting oxygen delivery and efficiency in the body. 

Why are you using a Kuuma stove for the sauna?

The mission of the 612 Sauna Society is to promote the health of our community by sharing a transformative sauna experience. The health and wellness of our community is at the heart of every decision we make, most notably perhaps in our choice of the most efficient sauna stove in the world—the Minnesota-made Kuuma stove. Wood-fired Kumma stoves the cleanest-burning, most environmentally-friendly source of heat available.

  • The current EPA standard for smoke emissions from a wood-burning stove is .93 lb/MMBtu. Kuuma stoves were certified in 2015 at the EPA labs in Madison, Wisconsin at .093 93 lb/MMBtu—that’s 10x less smoke than the current EPA standard.

  • The Kuuma’s exceptionally low emissions is due to the stove’s engineering for exceptionally high gasification efficiency. (The higher the gasification efficiency of a wood stove, the lower its smoke emissions.) Learn more about wood gasification here.

  • EPA tests certify that Kuuma stoves can achieve and maintain efficiencies of 99% and emit .01 gr/mj or less than 1 gr/hr, which is why they are widely known as the “smokeless stove.”

  • The efficiency of the Kuuma sauna stove is dependent upon the dryness of the wood and the amount of airflow permitted in the chamber, which is why we will have a trained stove technician onsite at all times to ensure a smokeless burn from our sauna stove.

  • We expect gasification rates of 65-70% with our sauna stove, which makes our stove 65-70% more efficiently than any wood-fired pizza oven in the city, where gasification is not occurring.

  • Our stove will also require approximately 20 times less firewood per month than a wood-fired pizza operation. Our sauna stove will require 398.36 pieces of 16” firewood per month. In comparison, a typical wood fired pizza operation in Minneapolis requires between 6,000 – 8,000 pieces of 16” firewood per month (or two cords/week)—that’s 20x more firewood burned in an open stove that creates 65-70% more smoke per hour than the Kumma.

  • Unlike LP gas, firewood can (and ours will) be harvested sustainably, giving our operation, not only the lowest emissions of any wood-fired stove in town, but also a higher rating on the sustainability scale than any food truck in the city.