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MC Fireside Chats: Glamping Experts Discuss the New Year for the Industry

Glamping industry experts return to MC Fireside Chats next week January 11, 2023 to discuss how the business landscape is shaping up for the new year.

Joining hosts Brian Searl and Cara Csizmadia are recurring guests American Glamping Association founder Ruben Martinez, Outside Capital founder and Managing Principal David Smith, The Fields of Michigan Founder and CEO Irene Wood, Clockwork Glamping and RV Resort Design Lead Zach Stoltenberg, and Sage Outdoor Advisory Vice President for Outdoor Hospitality Connor Schwab.

They will be sharing how their companies have geared up for a brand new year and provide key insights into what members of the glamping industry can expect in the coming months.

The regular panel for the glamping industry will be joined by special guests Moliving founder and CEO Jordan Bem, and Glamping Innovations founder and Managing Director Sara Gladstone.

Born in Paris, France, Bem received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Economics at Brandeis University. He began his real estate and private equity career at a young age when he joined Arizona Investissements SA.

During his stint at Arizona Investissements SA, he managed to help grow the business vertically, contributing to the growth of the firm’s portfolio of prime international assets to over 2 million square feet. 

Now, Bem focuses on running Moliving, an end-to-end design and construction firm focusing on creating bespoke nomadic hospitality solutions for glamping businesses. Their designs 

Sara Gladstone is a commercially astute business leader who has worked across several industries from sustainability development to sales and marketing, and most recently the leisure and tourism sector.

Her latest venture is Glamping Innovations, a UK-based provider of innovative and sustainable glamping accommodation solutions. The company’s flagship design is the Panorama Dome and Tent glamping pod.

She will be discussing what led her to found the company, the idea behind some of the company’s designs as well as to talk a bit about the glamping industry in the UK as it gears up for the new year.

Next week’s episode of MC Fireside Chats will be sponsored by Horizon Outdoor Hospitality, a comprehensive third-party management and consulting solutions provider for RV Resorts, RV Parks, campgrounds, glamping sites, and outdoor destinations.

From capital fund holdings to individual owners and operators, Horizon Outdoor Hospitality offers a tailored approach to each property, ensuring innovative and effective solutions to find efficiencies and increase revenue regardless of the size, location, or market of the business.

January 4 Episode Recap

In this episode of MC Fireside Chats, outdoor hospitality experts opened a new year for the show with a discussion on various trends and their insights on where the industry as a whole is headed.

Fostering a good work culture and setting expectations are a very important part of any business.

For Intrepid Group founder & CEO Randy Hendrickson, investing in the company’s culture including managing staff and creating a positive work environment and a detail-oriented customer service is just as important as other aspects of running a business.

Hendrickson later added that people stay with a company not just for the brand but for the managers leading them and that a healthy culture and leaders who reflect that culture is key to success.

“It’s also interesting, I mean, there’s a number of studies I’ve read over the years that people don’t always stay with the company because of the company brand itself. They stay because of the relationship they have with their immediate supervisor,” he said.

Casey Cochran, Vice President of Business Development for Campspot further noted the importance of setting expectations for the reality of the day-to-day job of being an executive and owning a business and how this can benefit the company.

According to Cochran, money matters as employees still need to make ends meet at the end of the day, and that incentivizing staff could lead to increased revenue for the company and improved behavior among the people.

Mark Koep, founder & CEO of CampgroundViews.com, supported Cochran’s view adding that incentivizing staff encourages them to work more.

Later in the show, the discussion shifted to how the RV industry would fair this year. Koep referenced a recent RV Industry Association report which stated that wholesale numbers went down at the tail-end of 2022. 

Host Brian Searl however noted that despite RV sales dipping, the numbers are still higher than pre-pandemic levels according to an earlier discussion with a National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) representative back in December 2022. 

Hendrickson commented that RVs are not just for camping, but can also be used for traveling and as residential lodging while traveling around the country and that this trend is driven by demographic and changes in consumer behavior. 

With the shift in remote work for many businesses, Cochran noted the impact of this shift on the outdoor hospitality industry.

“Now, I think all of us would agree that we’re big components of remote work. But if that was to change, then I think you could maybe see, okay, this could affect our midweek stays even, you know, further because there’s not as many people that are able to do kind of that flexible workspace,” Cochran said.

About MC Fireside Chats

MC Fireside Chats is a weekly show devoted to the outdoor hospitality industry. The show is hosted by Brian Searl, the founder and CEO of Insider Perks and Modern Campground, and Cara Csizmadia, member services coordinator at the Canadian Camping & RV Council (CCRVC).

Airing live every Wednesday at 2 p.m. (ET), MC Fireside Chats features guests from the camping and RV industry who share their take on the current state of the camping, glamping, and RVing sectors as well as upcoming innovations in RV parks, campgrounds, outdoor resorts, glamping, and the RV industry.

To listen to previous episodes of MC Fireside Chats, visit: https://moderncampground.com/mc-fireside-chats/

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April 17, 2024 9:50 pm

I’m super excited about the upcoming Fireside Chat! It’s going to be jam-packed with insights on glamping trends and tips to level up guest experiences and operations in outdoor hospitality. Can’t wait!


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