b'From tents to tipis and yurts, campers are looking for unique experiences thatwill help create memories. In turn, unique accommodation suppliers seeing or-ders pour in as park owners expand and create new opportunities for campers.Photo credit: Colorado Yurt CompanyUnique Accommodation Providers NoteIncreasing Backlogs; Warn Owners toOrder Units Early, Plan for Busy YearBY BEN QUIGGLEF ormostuniqueaccommodation going to keep expanding and we are set to be here forproviders in the RV park and camp- the long haul. ground segment, 2020 was a busy year, 307-277-0525www.conestogawagonco.comwith perhaps an even busier one ex-pected in 2021. While most accommodation suppli-ers saw a slight dip in sales at the onset of theCOVID crisis, that was quickly replaced by a stronginflux of orders as the burgeoning glamping move-ment continues to drive sales of unique accom-modations such as tipis, canvas tents, wagons andothers.The COVID crisis even served to help boostcampers interest in unique accommodations as Conestoga Wagon Co.they look for ways to enjoy the outdoors in a safe Olson told WCM that the company was having aenvironment.record year in the spring before the COVID crisis hit. All of this interest in unique accommodations Everybody was canceling orders, he said. Butis also serving notice to campground owners that since then, we have had a record fall and winter. Werethey must consider acting now to secure timely staying as busy as we can be.delivery of new units. The company is famous for its Conestoga wagon Park owners need to be ordering their units units, but also sells a turnkey canvas shower house unitnow if they want them by next spring, noted and luxury glamping tent with an attached bathroom. Jason Olson, president of the Conestoga Wagon Longevity really matters to us and the shower houseCompany, based out of Bloom- has been a homerun for us, Olson noted. It is meant Colorado Yurt Companyington, Idaho. Right now, orders to be something that you can quickly drop in. It is pre- John Gibson has been owner of the Colorado Yurtcoming in will be delivered at the built, so all you have to do is connect it when it arrives. Company, based in Montrose, Colo., since last January,end of March.The companys glamping tents are also turnkey.after taking over the company fromAtBend,Ore.-basedPacific You set up the deck, erect the beams, the canvas its founders. Beside yurts, the com-Yurts, a boost in manufacturing shell and the fly, and it is ready to start renting, Olson panyalsosellstipisandcanvascapacityhashelpedthecom- said. The tents and the wagons are money makers, and tents. pany push out its product a little our shower house is a problem solver.We closed on the business notquicker, but they expect more or- The company does have a large backlog of orders, long before the COVID crisis started,Jason Olson ders to come in at the beginning according to Olson, partially due to the fact that the so you can imagine that I woke up inof 2021.company cant consistently get all of the materials it the middle of the night worried that Our sense is that it is going to take a full eight needs from suppliers.it might go bankrupt, he explained.weeks to get something, explained Alan Bair, Material costs have gone way up and some of it is John Gibson April and May were really tough onfounder of the company. If you harder to get, he explained. We are getting faster at us, but by June things started turning around.wait until April it might be more producing units, but it is getting harder to keep enough The company had initially pivoted its production atlike 12 to 16 weeks.materials to build the products too. It is a good quality the beginning of the COVID crisis to produce faceWoodalls Campground Man- product and we have been doing well so far though.shields, safety curtains and other PPE equipment. agement (WCM) caught up with Olson said the company is not content with just of- Gibson said that things started to turn around inseveral unique accommodation fering one product.June and that the company actually saw sales jump 45%providersasthecalendarwas We want to be a one-stop shop for RV parks, camp- over 2019. preparing to turn to 2021 to get grounds and glamping resorts, he noted. I can help There was definitely an interest in glamping beforean update on how business was somebody that just has a small glamping park or a the crisis and this has done nothing more but throw gasAlan Bair going. campground owner that is well established. We are Unique Accommodations continued on page 2018 -February 2021 Woodalls Campground Management'