Outdoor Hospitality News

For owners, operators, team members, and anyone else interested in camping, glamping, or the RV industry.

MC Fireside Chats Set to Broadcast Live at the KOA Convention & Expo!

We’re midway through November, and excitement is mounting as we approach the live broadcast of MC Fireside Chats from the KOA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas sponsored by Modern Campground. Join us on November 15th at 2:00 PM EST and be part of an insightful exploration of the outdoor hospitality industry.

Our host, Brian Searl, will engage with Kampgrounds of America’s top leaders: Whitney Scott, SVP Strategy; Kimberly Wootteon, Vice President, Commercial Strategy; and Cole Reinhardt, Executive Director of Digital Strategy & Transformation.

Joining them are industry experts Sandy Ellingson, a Campground Advocate; Nate Thompson, Kevin Thueson and Cam Bowen from KCN Campground.

Additionally, we’ll feature exemplary KOA campground owners, offering insights into the essence of KOA’s camping experiences. Expect engaging and practical discussions about managing thriving campgrounds. Don’t miss this chance to be part of the live event next week and meet these inspiring figures!

This special episode will offer viewers a glimpse into the heart of KOA’s camping experiences, featuring enlightening conversations and real-world perspectives on running successful campgrounds. It’s a unique opportunity to see the industry’s leaders share their knowledge and stories.

November 8 Episode Recap

In the recent episode of MC Fireside Chats which was broadcasted live at the OHCE2023, host Brian Searl, the founder and CEO of Insider Perks and Modern Campground, led an insightful discussion featuring prominent figures in the outdoor hospitality industry. Each guest contributed unique insights and perspectives based on their expertise and experience in the field.

Paul Bambei, the President and CEO of OHI, spoke about the organization’s rebranding efforts from ARVC to OHI, emphasizing the need for inclusivity and growth within the industry. He detailed the extensive process behind the rebranding, signifying a deliberate move to broaden the organization’s reach to encompass a wider range of outdoor economy stakeholders.

Sandy Ellingson, an RV industry Advisor and Campground advocate, reflected on the dynamic nature of the camping sector. Despite a downturn in RV sales, she pointed out the unwavering enthusiasm within the community, suggesting a robust and adaptable industry capable of finding new ways to engage campers.

Steven Woodburn, the Sales Director at Tent Master, articulated the importance of the rebrand to outdoor hospitality, a sector that encompasses much more than RVs and campgrounds. Woodburn shared his company’s success in selling luxury glamping tents across various markets, illustrating the sector’s expansion and its embrace of diverse outdoor experiences.

Ryan Houchens, VP of Sales at Cold River Mining, appreciated the rebranding for its potential to attract businesses outside the traditional RV sphere, such as smaller glamping operations. He shared how his company’s hands-on gemstone mining activities connect children with nature, reinforcing the outdoor hospitality industry’s role in providing enriching experiences beyond digital screens.

Mike Harrison, COO of CRR Hospitality, spoke on the alignment between the rebranding and his company’s focus on experiential hospitality. He shared insights from the Innovation Summit and his session on marketing, branding, and identity, emphasizing the industry’s evolution towards an integrated approach to outdoor hospitality.

Tyler Duffy, President of CampLife, provided a vendor’s perspective, discussing how the conference facilitates direct feedback and insights from customers. He highlighted the importance of understanding industry trends and the need for software solutions to adapt to these evolving demands.

Candice McNamara, VP of Business Development at Staylist, shared new features introduced at the conference, such as ROI call tracking and tools for managing orphan nights. McNamara’s perspective as a young professional and her background in marketing and design offered a fresh look at the industry’s future, aligning with OHI’s forward-thinking brand.

Lastly, Alex Goldman, Vice President of US Sales at Ideal One Amusement Software, focused on the intersection of technology and outdoor hospitality. He discussed how his company’s software can enhance the guest experience by integrating cashless operations and automating services, which is crucial for evolving customer expectations.

Together, these leaders provided a comprehensive view of the outdoor hospitality industry’s trajectory, highlighting themes of innovation, community, and adaptability, all anchored by the newly rebranded OHI’s mission to unify and propel the industry forward.

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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