Commercial real estate offers plenty of opportunities for investors. Distribution centers, downtown office towers and modern apartment buildings all offer investors a safe harbor for their dollars.

But, according to a report by REjournals.com,  some investors are getting more creative, sending their dollars into real estate that doesn’t quite fit into traditional sectors such as multifamily, hospitality, industrial or retail.

Consider what executives at Jellystone Camp-Resorts are seeing today.

Jim Westover, vice president of operations with Jellystone Park, said that a growing number of REITs are investing in the 80 campgrounds that Jellystone runs, including many in the Midwest.

They’re doing this because they consider the kind of campgrounds Jellystone runs, family-friendly and catering to campers who aren’t exactly hardcore outdoorsy types, to be safe investments, Westover said.

The REITs investing in such family campgrounds find that the revenue they earn from the short-term rentals in which these parks specialize is only one source of income.

“Spending with the park is what we get people to do,” Westover said. “We get more dollars per night. We benefit from the ancillary income generated inside the park.”
Westover said that each Jellystone park gets about 30 percent of its income from visitors buying souvenirs, food and t-shirts emblazoned with Yogi Bear and his cartoon friends.

Then there are the added attractions. Many Jellystone campground sites feature extensive water parks and laser tag arenas. Others come with high-end cabins with flat-screen TVs and comfortable bedding.

Thanks in part to these amenities, Jellystone’s parks average 1.4 million visitors a year, Westover said. That steady attendance, along with the in-park spending, have made Jellystone campgrounds a top draw for real estate investors, Westover said.

Click here to read the full report.