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MC Fireside Chat: A Look Ahead at Outdoor Hospitality Trends with Sector Leaders

Don’t miss out! Mark your calendar for the MC Fireside Chat on April 3rd at 2 PM EST. It’s your chance to hear directly from experts about the latest trends and insights in outdoor hospitality and recreation.

This episode features a stellar lineup of recurring guests, including Mike Harrison, Chief Operating Officer of CRR Lifestyle, Campspot Vice President for Business Development Casey Cochran, Campground Views Founder and CEO Mark Koep, RV industry advisor Sandy Ellingson, Christine Taylor of  Towne Law Firm, Scott Bahr, the President of Cairn Consulting Group, and Jeff Hoffman, President of Ohio Campground Owners Association, They will join our host, Brian Searl, for a dynamic and enlightening conversation.

Seize this chance to gain exclusive insights from the visionaries driving the future of outdoor hospitality and recreation. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead in the industry!

March 27th Episode Recap

In an engaging episode of MC Fireside Chats, hosted by Brian Searl, leaders from across the RV industry gathered to discuss the latest trends, innovations, and challenges facing the industry. The panel included Phil Ingrassia from the RV Dealers Association (RVDA), Shane Devenish from the Canadian RV Association (CRVA), John Harris from Harbinger Motors, Rich Schnippel and Mike Depositar from Encore RV, and Debbie Brunoforte from Little Dealer Little Prices RV. Each brought their unique perspective to a conversation that spanned topics from electric RVs to dealership experiences and the future of RV manufacturing.

Phil Ingrassia, representing RVDA, shared insights into the dealership side of the RV industry, emphasizing the importance of adapting to consumer demands and the evolving landscape of RV sales. He highlighted the role of dealers in providing quality service and support to RV enthusiasts, ensuring that the buying experience is as enjoyable as the journeys that follow. Ingrassia also touched on the challenges and opportunities presented by the shift towards electric and more sustainable RV options, suggesting that dealers are key to navigating these changes successfully.

Shane Devenish from CRVA discussed the Canadian RV market, noting similarities and differences with the U.S. market, particularly in terms of consumer trends and industry challenges. Devenish highlighted the resilience of the Canadian RV industry, despite economic fluctuations, and shared optimism for growth and innovation. He also underscored the importance of industry-wide collaboration and advocacy in promoting RVing as a sustainable and enjoyable way to explore the great outdoors.

John Harris of Harbinger Motors introduced a groundbreaking development in the RV industry: electric chassis for RVs. Harris explained how Harbinger Motors is addressing the growing demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in the RV space, focusing on the benefits of electric RVs, such as improved driving experience and reduced environmental impact. He acknowledged the current technological limitations for smaller RVs but expressed confidence in the future advancements that will make electric RVs more accessible and appealing to a broader audience.

Rich Schnippel and Mike Depositar from Encore RV shared their journey in the adventure trailer market, emphasizing the importance of quality, innovation, and customer service. Schnippel discussed the challenges of starting and growing an RV manufacturing business, including overcoming setbacks like facility fires and navigating the complexities of product development. Depositar, highlighting his recent addition to the team, spoke to the operational challenges and the focus on maintaining product quality while meeting consumer expectations for value and durability.

Debbie Brunoforte, from Little Dealer Little Prices RV, provided a fascinating look into the world of RV retailing, sharing her approach to creating an unforgettable dealership experience. Brunoforte’s dealerships are designed to entertain and educate customers, featuring unique themes that transform the shopping process into an adventure. She discussed how her business adapts to consumer trends and the importance of creating a welcoming environment that reflects the joy and freedom of RVing.

The conversation also touched on the broader implications of electric RVs for the industry, with panelists discussing the potential for electrification to transform RV travel. Harris detailed the specific advantages of electric chassis, including the potential for a quieter, more eco-friendly camping experience without the need for traditional generators. The panelists debated the readiness of campgrounds for electric RVs and the importance of infrastructure development to support this transition.

Rich Schnippel and Mike Depositar delved deeper into the philosophy behind Encore RV’s product design, emphasizing the balance between innovation and practicality. They discussed the strategic decision to focus on adventure trailers that can be towed by a wide range of vehicles, expanding the accessibility of RVing to a broader audience. Their commitment to building a strong dealer network and ensuring high-quality customer service was highlighted as a cornerstone of their business model.

Debbie Brunoforte’s innovative approach to dealership design was explored further, with discussions on how her “edutainment” model has resonated with customers. By creating an immersive shopping experience, Brunoforte has been able to differentiate her dealerships in a competitive market, fostering a deeper connection with customers and enhancing the overall appeal of RVing.

The panelists also addressed the challenges of navigating the current economic landscape, with insights into how consumer confidence and economic indicators influence the RV industry. They discussed strategies for adapting to changing consumer preferences, such as the shift towards more economical and environmentally friendly RV options.

The episode of MC Fireside Chats offered a comprehensive overview of the RV industry’s current state and future directions. From the exciting potential of electric RVs to innovative dealership experiences and the challenges of manufacturing and market adaptation, the conversation underscored the industry’s dynamic nature. The insights shared by Phil Ingrassia, Shane Devenish, John Harris, Rich Schnippel, Mike Depositar, and Debbie Brunoforte highlighted the collaborative effort required to continue driving the RV industry forward, making RVing an increasingly accessible, enjoyable, and sustainable way to explore the world.

About MC Fireside Chats

Hosted by Brian Searl, CEO of Insider Perks and Modern Campground, MC Fireside Chats airs live every Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET). The show brings together industry experts to discuss the latest in camping, glamping, RVing, and more. For a recap of previous episodes, visit moderncampground.com/mc-fireside-chats.

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March 31, 2024 2:06 pm

I noticed something off with the context here, but diving into the chat revealed cool insights! The talk about smart RV tech and unique designs for younger crowds got me thinking. It’s exciting to see how the industry is evolving. What are your thoughts on these trends?

March 31, 2024 2:13 pm

Isn’t it exciting to see how outdoor hospitality is evolving? The blend of smart tech in RVs is making trips more convenient and fun for us travelers. And hey, the eco-friendly shift is not just good for the planet but also gives us cool, unique stay options. Cool, right?

March 31, 2024 3:47 pm

You won’t believe the chat! They dived into smart RV tech and eco-friendly gear. it’s like a glimpse into the future of outdoor fun! 🌿 So cool to see how RVs are evolving with connectivity and sustainability in focus. Can’t wait for these innovations to hit the road! 😊

Kenneth Jackson
Kenneth Jackson
March 31, 2024 4:09 pm

The future of outdoor hospitality is looking smart and green. Tech integration and eco-friendly vibes will make our adventures comfy and planet-friendly. Cool stuff ahead!

March 31, 2024 6:06 pm

Did you catch the Fireside Chat highlights? Leaders shared cool insights on tech in outdoor hospitality and experiential travel trends. What’s your take on the RV industry’s future?

April 1, 2024 2:26 am

Guess what? I had a chat with some outdoor hospitality big shots, and let me tell you, it was eye-opening! We dived into the fancy glamping trend, talked about how luxe amenities are drawing in more travelers, and even explored the world of virtual reality tours. It’s like a whole new outdoor experience!


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