b'tents without RVs, and KOA President and the ground, and the prospect of renting an RV the units and saw an opportunity to upgrade that.CEO Toby ORourkeagrees with Martinez on proved mechanically challenging for many of their Airstreams and list them on Airbnb. Yet, even with the current growth in inter-glampings elusive definition. At the same them. They want the outdoor experience, but AutoCamp has expanded to two U.S. loca- est, Bambei doesnt see many traditionaltime, she points to the full complement of not, in their view, at the expense of sacrificing tions, with a third that was set to open on campgroundownersgoingallinwithglamping-styleunitsat the comforts of home. So glamping was the Cape Cod in Massachusetts in April, provid- glamping accommodations.KOAs 525-park system of answer in many cases. ing luxury stays in 31-foot Airstreams that are We are seeing a lot of expansion rightfranchisee-andcom- Ourcustomersdefinitelycomewith now custom-made to AutoCamps specifica- now,addedBambei.Accordingtoourpany-ownedparks,in- hotel-likeexpectationswhichweaimto tions by Airstream Inc. in Jackson Center, ARVC Trends & Insights Surveyof the camp-cluding3,000Deluxe meet, said Sarah Dusek, who created a se- Ohio. AutoCamp also provides several glamp- ground owners who say they have recentlyCabin park model RVs, ries of Under Canvasglamping parks in 2009 ing tents and cabins at its locations. added sites or are planning to add sites, 82%3,500 Camping Cabins with her husband, Jacob. Given the variety of accommodations we of the expansion is for full-hookup RV sites.andmorethanathou- She had previously spent offerfromluxurytentstoourcustom About 6% of that expansion is for glamping,sandotheruniqueac- adecadeworkingfor Airstreams, AutoCamp provides an excep- and the rest are for rustic tent sites or partial-Toby ORourke commodations as proof non-profitagencies tional balance between hookup RV sites. Thats still a factor of 4-to-1that KOA is the largest provider of overnight throughout the world be- modern comfort and out- that the RV industry should feel pretty com-glamping in North America. fore she found herself liv- door experiential travel, fortable with.Weve been doing glamping on our KOA ing on a small family farm said Chief Brand Officer To What Extent Are Todays campgrounds for a long time, ORourke said. in Montana. The Duseks Ryan Miller. While Auto- Glampers Tomorrows RVers?Glamping is simply delivering ways to en- wanted to create a sus- Campscustomerbase The potential market for RV manufacturersgage in the outdoors in comfort. tainablebusinessthat Sarah Dusek today includes any type and dealers within the glamping sectorwhat-To put things into perspective from a park didnt include traditional farming. What they ofguestlookingfora ever that amounts toapparently depends onowners point of view, stationing a typical developed instead was Under Canvas, one of unique adventure, it holds who you ask. But not everyone considers themglamping-style canvas accommodation at a the first breakout stars in a recent wave of astrongappealfor Ryan Miller a central part of the glamping picture.KOA park runs about $12,000 and can net glamping businesses. younger generations. Although given that Under Canvas provides$6,700 in revenue in its first season. That We think of ourselves as an outdoor hotel Paul Bambei, president of the National many of the amenities and facilities guestsmeans the tent pays for itself in less than two experience, said Dusek. People love the ex- Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds might find in a hotel, including a fresh and deli-years. The Internal Revenue Service also al- perience of having a comfortable outdoor ex- (ARVC), said the Millennial and GenX gener- cious culinary experience, complimentary on-lows businesses to deduct the full purchase perience and the amenities of a hotel whilst ations are driving much of the interest in site programming, a premium coffee selection,price of glamping units from gross income, being much more connected to nature. glamping these days, and U.S. parks, in gen- accommodations with en suite bathrooms andfurther accelerating the return on investment. Under Canvas concentrates on building its eral, are responding with more, said Dusek, guests can now travel toSo, Who are the New Glamping Guests facilities in popular yet diverse locations, more glamping units at and from and between camp locations withand How Do They Impact the Market? often near national parks. We are at nine traditional campgrounds. their passenger vehicle. And I think RVs are noThe strange and surreal pandemic year of and counting, said Dusek, whos planning to Our research shows longer required for an upscale, yet adventur-2020, from all appearances, actually kicked soon open two more locationsUnder Can- about 8% of the sites at ous, outdoor experience.glamping into overdrive. Propelled by pro- vas-Lake Powell/Grand Staircase in Utah U.S.campgroundsare By the same token, KOAs ORourke sees atracted lockdowns, a renewed desire to get and Under Canvas-Acadiain Maine. dedicatedtoglamping future for RVs in the glamping space. Its aoutside brought more first-time RV, tent and Another glamping success story is Auto- right now, and that climbs pipeline builder for customers for the RV indus-cabin campers to traditional campgrounds Camp, a different sort of facility that started to 11% in the Northeast, try, she said. People who try glamping eitherand provided a fresh option for thousands of in 2013 in Santa Barbara, Calif., as an experi- Paul Bambei saidBambei.Camp- in a canvas tent at a campground or at a Ter-families turning away from hotel stays and ment to provide low-income housing in ren- ground owners have become very creative in ramor-style resort and enjoy the experienceseeking new experiences in the outdoors. ovated Airstream RVs at a long-term rental finding ways to provide a glamping experi- may want to continue the activity. Part of theBut the newbies whove stepped into the RV park. However, the company before long ence. The market desires glamping, and the solution for them may be buying an RV.industry arent so interested in sleeping on was getting requests for overnight stays in trend is growing. Youd be crazy to ignore Glampingcontinued on page 24WOODALLSCM.com May 2021-17'