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MC Fireside Chats to Conclude 2023 with a Special Wrap-up Episode

As 2023 comes to a close, MC Fireside Chats is set to deliver an engaging and insightful final episode, bringing together a diverse group of industry leaders to reflect on the year’s developments in Outdoor Hospitality and Recreation. This special wrap-up episode brought you by Modern Campground, promises to be a highlight of the year, offering fresh perspectives and valuable insights.

The episode on December 20, 2023, at 2 PM ET, features an impressive lineup of guests from various sectors within the industry: Ali and Eric Rasmussen from Spacious Skies Campgrounds; Joann DelVescio from the New Jersey Campground Owners and Outdoor Lodging Association; Joshua Turner from Blackstrap Glamping Resort, and Steve Rappleyea from Drivehome RV. Additionally, we’re introducing Greg Emmert, Co-founder and Senior Consultant at Camp Strategy, as our new regular guest.

These influential voices will share their experiences and insights, discussing how the year has unfolded for their businesses in the dynamic world of campgrounds, glamping, and RVs.

This episode is not just a reflection on the past year but also a forward-looking discussion, offering viewers a chance to glean wisdom and inspiration for their own businesses. As the last MC Fireside Chats episode of 2023, it promises to be a memorable event, encapsulating the challenges, triumphs, and innovations that have shaped the industry over the year.

Mark your calendars and be part of this enlightening conversation. Whether you’re an industry veteran or new to the field of Outdoor Hospitality, this episode is sure to provide valuable insights and inspiration as we look forward to the opportunities and challenges of 2024.

December 13 Episode Recap

In the recent episode of MC Fireside Chats, host Brian Searl begins the episode with excitement, highlighting that it’s the penultimate episode before the holiday season. He teases a special wrap-up show with numerous guests planned for the following week. Brian’s introduction sets a lively tone for the episode, which focuses on the glamping industry. He introduces the guests: Dave from Canadian Sleeping Barrels, Tyson and Audrey Leavitt, and Zach from Clockwork, indicating a diverse panel with varied expertise in the field.

Zach Stoltenberg, outlines the company’s role in assisting clients across the country with designing, branding, and building glamping resorts. Zach’s introduction underscores the architectural and design aspect of the glamping industry, highlighting the importance of aesthetic and functional design in creating successful outdoor hospitality experiences.

David Byers from Canadian Sleeping Barrels shares his unique journey into the glamping industry. He explains how a shortage of staff accommodation led to the innovative idea of converting their largest barrel sauna into a sleeping barrel. This adaptation not only solved a practical problem but also opened up a new market for them in the glamping industry. David’s story is a testament to innovation and adaptability in business.

Tyson and Audrey Leavitt from Lethbridge, Alberta, discuss their transition from building playhouses to creating storybook-themed accommodations. They mention their project, Charmed Resorts, and their approach to adapting playhouses into unique resort experiences. Their journey highlights the evolution of a business idea from a niche market to a broader, more inclusive audience.

Audrey Leavitt, taking over the conversation, emphasizes her role in social media and decorating the fairy tale houses at the resort. Her involvement underlines the importance of aesthetic appeal and storytelling in creating an immersive glamping experience. Audrey’s focus on details and storytelling is crucial in differentiating their resort in a competitive market.

Chris Jeub, owner of Monument Glamping in Colorado, introduces himself and discusses his YouTube channel, Glamping Guy. He shares his experiences with local permitting processes and neighborhood challenges, providing a realistic view of the operational challenges in the glamping business. Chris’s insights offer a glimpse into the less-discussed aspects of running a glamping operation, such as dealing with legalities and community relations.

The discussion shifts to the challenges faced in the glamping business, with Chris Jeub sharing his struggles with a neighbor opposing his operation. This part of the conversation highlights the real-world challenges that can arise in the industry, emphasizing the importance of community relations and navigating local regulations.

David Byers from Canadian Sleeping Barrels delves into the specifics of his unique sleeping barrels, discussing their portability, construction, and adaptability for different uses. His detailed explanation provides insight into the innovative aspects of his product, showcasing how creativity and functionality can merge to create a successful product in the glamping industry.

Tyson and Audrey Leavitt further discuss Charmed Resorts, focusing on their creative process and the evolution of their cottages based on customer feedback. They highlight the importance of adapting to customer needs and preferences, showcasing their commitment to providing an exceptional guest experience. Their approach to business emphasizes the significance of customer feedback in shaping and refining a product or service.

The conversation concludes with Brian Searl and the guests discussing various aspects of running a glamping business, including automation, guest experience, and business strategies. The discussion provides valuable insights into the operational and strategic considerations of the glamping industry, highlighting the balance between innovation, customer experience, and financial viability. The episode ends with a sense of camaraderie and mutual appreciation among the guests, each bringing their unique perspective and expertise to the table.

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. 

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/.


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