b"SUPPLIER INSIGHTS nBY BEN QUIGGLEBookOutdoors Focused on Being a Premier Booking DestinationPerhaps one of the worst kept secretsmerce,whichwasacquiredbySyn-in the outdoor hospitality industry, Book- chrony, along with Amir Harpaz, a long-Outdoors is ready to publicly announcetime resort developer who owns Torrey its launch, according to co-founder andTrails RV & Golf Resort, among other CEO Brian Nolan. parks.ThecompanyhasbeenslowlyNolan himself was the co-founder of fundraising and building over the last yearSellbrite, which was purchased by Go-as it prepared for its launch, including a $4Daddy.million funding round led by GreatPointIn the summer of 2021 we all came Ventures, with participation from Revolu- together and kicked it off and started tionsRiseoftheRestSeedfund,R- doing research firsttrying to under-SquaredVenturesandformerC-levelstand the user on both sides of the mar-executives from several of the largest travelketplace, Nolan explained. As well as the and hospitality companies, such as Amancampgroundowners/operatorsand Bhutani,formerpresidentofExpediawhat their needs are, and we used that to (and now CEO of GoDaddy), and Bren- form our thesis essentially in our pitch to dan Bank, former CTO of Booking.com.go raise the $4 million in seed funding. NolantoldWoodallsCampgroundHaving a track record of having built and Magazine (WCM) that the company wassold companies and having a good net-founded by others from the tech industrywork in the tech industry and the techNolan said that the companys goal is and outdoor hospitality space and thatworld, we talked to a lot of investors, andto become the premier destination for the company is technology focused. there was a lot of interest. Our originalbooking outdoor travel and that Book-Co-founders include Roy Rubin, for- target was $2 million, but there was soOutdoors is focused on all segments of merly founder of Magento, which was ac- much interest in this that we ended upthe industry. So far, the company has ex-quired by eBay, then Adobe, and Roytaking an additional $2 million, so $4 mil- panded to 12 states and is about to an-Erez, formerly co-founder of Loop Com- lion in total. That's how it got started.nounce six more.Other companies might just be fo-cusing on RV parks and campgrounds,sites also charge a booking fee or require Real Log Park Model Cabins but we are focused on any kind of out- youtosubscribetoamembership. door accommodations, so that could beThey're charging the user for the service glamping,cabins,resorts,vacationthey're providing. We think of ourselves rentals, and, of course, campgrounds, hemore like how you think of Expedia for explained. Our primary focus is to be ahotels. It's the destination to go where theReal Log Cabins on Wheelsdestination for people who want to findintention is to book, and it gives you thePreassembled & Turn-Keyand book travel. That differs from otherwidestbreadthofchoicestosearchRVIA Seal (Park Model RV)sites that have done a great job on con- through, and filters to apply to find theHigh Quality & Durability tent and user-generated reviews but areperfect spot for you.Amish Craftsmanshipmore of a destination to get informationIf BookOutdoors doesnt charge theAffordable Pricingabout a campground, not necessarily toconsumer, then it begs the question ofQuick Pay-Offbook a campgroundin kind of the samehow the company makes money. Nolan CALL TODAY way you think about Yelp.saidBookOutdoorsinsteadchargesa Located in Lancaster, PA You dont really think about going topark a commission fee at a tiered rate de-Yelp to book anything necessarily, you gopending on volume. The more volume a www.LancasterLogCabins.com717-445-5522 theretoseethereviewsandeducatepark has, the less commission it pays.yourself, Nolan added. Some of thoseWe are also the merchant on record, explained Nolan. That means that we take the payment from the consumer, so the park doesnt have to pay the 3% or so in credit card fees. You would subtract that from the commission since you are saving that money.That'sthestandardmodel,too, across all industries, he added. When you look at any kind of B2C marketplace, or any kind of marketplace really, it's something like 92% of the time it's the seller that pays the commission, not the buyer. Thebuyerpaysonlyifthere's nowhere else to book that supply. Then it makes sense to charge the consumer, which is how Airbnb got to that spot. BookOutdoors also offers other value adds for consumers, including weather protectiononeveryeligiblebooking, travel insurance options, a rewards pro-gram and a Cancel for Any Reason insur-ance option.Really, all the other benefits that the consumer has come to expect from on-line shopping, Nolan noted. We are also not a PMS (property management sys-tem); we are just a marketplace, which gives us a wider breadth.Nolan told WCM that park owners should look at it as a no-risk marketing expense.As a campground, you could go pay marketing costs to go run Google ads or Facebook ads or send emails or whatever, and that's all-upfront money that you Supplier Insightscontinued on page 3814 December 2022Woodalls Campground Magazine"