Join us for the upcoming episode of MC Fireside Chats, presented by Modern Campground, where we’ll dive into the ever-evolving outdoor hospitality industry. Our panel of seasoned experts and campground industry players will be sharing valuable insights to keep you at the forefront of this exciting field. Don’t miss this chance to stay informed and ahead of the curve. Join us for this enlightening discussion.
Recurring guests comprised of: Scott Knepp, Director of Operations for IVEE Group; Mike Harrison, COO of CRR Lifestyle; Duncan Winship, co-owner of Papoose Pond Family Campground & Cabins, Joe Duemig, founder of App My Community, Nate Thompson of KCN Campgrounds and Sean Vidrine, CEO of Four Points RV Resort are set to join next week’s panel to provide their own unique perspectives on the industry.
In addition to these esteemed panelists, special guest Darvin Zurfluh and Tom Wach of Pinnacle Lifestyles, will be joining to discuss the features of Revelstoke’s Premier RV & Cabin Resort which recently received the Campspot award as one of the Best Campgrounds for the spontaneous campers.
Robert Lindsay Thompson, Camp Director, Greeter Falls Campground will be joining us to discuss the exciting development of recreational facilities near Greeter Falls. He will showcase the diverse range of camping options available, ensuring a memorable experience for all visitors.
While John Griffith, Founder of Outbound Kitchen will share how he leverages his exceptional expertise in culinary concept creation to revolutionize the way campgrounds can benefit from innovative culinary solutions.
The next episode of MC Fireside Chats will air live on Wednesday, April 19 at 2 pm ET on Facebook and YouTube.
May 10 Episode Recap
In the May 10 episode of the MC Fireside Chats podcast, sponsored by Horizon Outdoor Hospitality, hosts Brian Searl and Cara Csizmadia were joined by recurring guests Glamping Association founder Ruben Martinez, 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.
Adding to the insightful conversation, John and Tamika Roames, co-founders of Evolution Glamping, shared their expertise in the mobile glamping business. They emphasized their commitment to providing seamless and comfortable outdoor experiences for their customers.
Drawing from their background in the army, they discussed their passion for encouraging people to embrace the great outdoors. The conversation delved into the efficient setup and breakdown process of their glamping accommodations, specifically their bell tents.
Moreover, John also shared that one of the key challenges they face in their business is effectively spreading awareness and educating people about the concept of mobile glamping or pop-up glamping.
On the other hand, The Fields of Michigan Founder and CEO Irene Wood offered a valuable marketing strategy to address the challenge of promoting their glamping business. Her suggestion involves leveraging visitor bureaus or business centers during non-operating hours to create a pop-up glamping experience. This innovative approach allows them to showcase their business to local establishments such as restaurants, hotels, and event venues. By collaborating with these businesses, Irene emphasizes the opportunity to demonstrate the potential revenue benefits that glamping can bring. She proposes a revenue-sharing model for a trial period, ensuring a mutually beneficial arrangement for all parties involved.
In addition to marketing, Irene touches upon the scalability of their business. She mentions the current number of tents they have and considers the possibility of expanding their operations. This expansion could involve hiring additional staff or even exploring the option of franchising their business and partnering with a rental company.
Glamping Association Founder Ruben Martinez emphasized the importance of effectively using weekdays and resources in various types of glamping setups. He highlighted the significance of capitalizing on slower days like Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays to gain a competitive advantage. By leveraging these underutilized periods, businesses can greatly increase their revenue and overall success. Ruben also acknowledged the seasonal nature of the industry and stressed the need to maximize income potential by renting out accommodations throughout the entire week. Successfully navigating this challenge allows businesses to overcome the obstacles of seasonality and limited rental opportunities, giving them a significant edge in the market.
RV Resort Design Lead Zach Stoltenberg suggested exploring opportunities in concerts and live music events as a strategic approach. Zach said that instead of focusing on individual rentals on off-days, they should consider targeting larger events where they can deploy a significant number of tents for a few days. By capitalizing on the trend of selling experiences alongside concert tickets, they can offer VIP packages that include preferential staging areas, access to open bars, and accommodations for attendees. Zach acknowledged the intensive work required for these events but highlights the potential for substantial earnings in a short period. Furthermore, he recommended researching nearby amphitheaters, live music venues, or outdoor concert venues to tap into this market.
Moreover, Sage Outdoor Advisory Vice President for Outdoor Hospitality Connor Schwab shared that according to data saunas and hot tubs have a significant impact on a hotel’s average daily rate (ADR), ranking second only to bathroom and food and beverage services. Adding these amenities can increase ADR by 10 to 25 percent, depending on whether they are private or shared. For instance, including a private sauna in a glamping unit could potentially generate an additional $20 per booking. However, it is important to consider the cost of the sauna in relation to the time it takes to recover the investment, typically ranging from two to three years, while the sauna itself can last for ten years. Saunas and hot tubs are highly sought-after amenities by guests, alongside private bathrooms and food and beverage services.
In addition, the discussion touched upon changes in manufacturing and customer service dynamics. Manufacturers are urged to prioritize customer service in the current market. The industry is seen as stabilizing and transitioning to a new phase of slower but steady performance, considering the impact of interest rate increases on development speed. The glamping industry is compared to a growing child, moving from an adventurous to a stable and mature phase. Challenges faced by smaller operators, such as high interest rates and competition from national brands, are addressed. The speaker suggests repurposing unused sites for alternative uses and offers solutions to adapt to the evolving industry.
The episode also highlighted the benefits of larger, well-funded groups in the accommodations industry, emphasizing the importance of capital, experience, and a capable team for successful project development. It was noted that external professionals such as marketing agencies and consultants are valuable resources. The industry’s focus on quality rather than quick and cheap solutions was also discussed, emphasizing the significance of providing a unique guest experience to stand out in the glamping industry.
About MC Fireside Chats
MC Fireside Chats is a weekly show devoted to the outdoor hospitality industry, hosted by Brian Searl, founder and CEO of Insider Perks and Modern Campground; and Cara Csizmadia, member services coordinator for the Canadian Camping & RV Council (CCRVC).
MC Fireside Chats airs live every Wednesday at 2 p.m. Eastern Time, and 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.
Audiences can listen to past episodes of MC Fireside Chats here: https://moderncampground.com/mc-fireside-chats/