The COVID-19 crisis has forced Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) to delay the opening of Terramor Outdoor Resort, a glamping resort the company is currently building in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Whitney Scott, KOA’s vice president of marketing, told WOODALLSCM.com (WCM) that due to state travel restrictions and delays in getting tent furnishings the decision was made to bump the opening date from late June to mid-July.
“Many things were being ordered overseas that were unable to stick to their usual shipping timeline,” she explained. “We are now looking at a July 15 opening at limited capacity.”
Built on the site of a former KOA park, the 60-acre property will feature 64 luxury canvas tents set among the trees and oriented around a lodge featuring a bar and restaurant, store and equipment rentals. The property will also feature a nature-inspired pool and outdoor recreation areas where guests can relax and socialize.
“The governmental restrictions have been difficult to navigate and accommodate,” explained Scott. “We have had to push back our opening date causing a series of cancellations and rebookings twice. We have also had to change our marketing efforts to focus on more hyper-local guests for certain periods. We, of course, want to always abide by the regulations, especially to keep guests and staff safe, but it does create a whole lot of unintentional overhead and marketing costs.”
She told WCM that KOA has been able to stick closely to the original plan when it comes to construction of the park.
“We have hired a chef, Maine native Dakota Hatton, who has helped us create a truly local dining experience,” Scott highlighted. “All beers on tap are New England-based, as well as many of the seasonal ingredients in the food. We’ve also added interactive Celestron telescopes to our lodge that allow our Terramor guests to not just enjoy the stars but explore them.”
The resort will have no sites available for RVers or tent campers, noted Scott, pointing out that Terramor is not a traditional campground.
“It’s meant to provide an elevated outside experience that is little more full-service orientated,” she explained. “For instance, Terramor guests would not expect to bring their own food to prepare for breakfast, lunch or dinner. While we have grilling areas with grill packs to buy, guests won’t be coming in with pre-packed coolers like at a campground.
More staff is needed because of added amenities, we have outfitters (concierge-like staff members), housekeeping for daily linens, restaurant and bar staff, as well as a full kitchen staff,” Scott added.
She told WCM that KOA is open to exploring opening more parks like Terramor once it opens and is off the ground.
“We are excited about what opportunities Terramor could bring,” she explained. “Those opportunities are all theoretical at this point though and nothing has been confirmed. We still have lots of exploring to do.”
Scott said that Terramor was an important move for KOA as it looks to continue being part of the glamping conversation.
“KOA has always been a part of that conversation,” she noted. “In our research, the North American Glamping Report, 64% of respondents found cabins best fit their definition of glamping. Deluxe Cabins and Camping Cabins make up the largest percentage of KOA lodging options on our campgrounds. Our campgrounds provide an opportunity to glamp in a more self-serve campground setting. There is a leisure traveler looking for a more elevated, more full-service purely glamping experience. We believe that Terramor allows us to reach that different market set. It’s a market that doesn’t compete with our KOA options, but could as an entry point or extension to camping experiences.”