In 2018, officials at Memphis, Tenn.-based RVC Outdoor Destinations said they hope to continue adding amenities and improving the customer experience at the 10 resorts RVC owns throughout the United States.
Alex Embry, RVC’s vice president of marketing, told Woodall’s Campground Management (WCM) that all of their resorts have opened for the 2018 season and that a number of them have improvements.
“We have expanded Catherine’s Landing in Hot Springs, Ark.,” he said. “RVC has doubled the size of the property, adding 94 RV sites, more cottages and we just finished installing a splash pad for the kids.”
Reese noted that RVC has also added more hiking trails and a new ropes course that their property partner Adventure Works is operating.
The Yosemite RV Resort in Coarsegold, Calif., has added 13 “upscale tents” from America’s Tent Lodges, a company that is based in the Netherlands and creates safari tents, according to Embry.
“We already have them up on our website and they are booking really well,” he told WCM. “They have a good product and a good reputation, and it was something that we wanted to align ourselves with.”
Embry said that RVC is also launching its “Expect More, Explore More” campaign in 2018, something Embry said will raise the expectations of American campers.
“Because we’re outdoor enthusiasts, essentially we want to invite our guests, and all of America, to expect more out of their vacation experience, instead of just a traditional camping experience,” he explained. “When you go camping you should do things like swim in one of the largest, deepest freshwater springs, the Wakulla Springs by our Carrabelle Beach property in Carrabelle, Fla. Head up to Pike’s Peak by our Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colo., property or watch horse races at Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas, by Catherine’s Landing.
“We’re kind of encouraging people to not just go somewhere and just stay, it’s really get out and expect more out of your vacation experience,” Embry continued.
With Millenials driving the campground arenas growth over the past few years, Embry said that campers are looking for an experience and that by giving them that experience it can create brand loyalty and further stays down the road.
“People will be more brand loyal to that and more loyal to these memories that they’ve created,” he noted. “Essentially inspired and want to do that again and again. The campaign, it’s not really just for us, it’s for the whole camper market to essentially expect more out of their vacations.”
Embry said that a lot of the improvements RVC has been making are based off of customer feedback, something he said the company takes seriously.
“Every guest that stays with us we ask them, ‘What could we do to improve your stay?’ And then we also ask them for any additional comments they may have,” he said. “We are asking them how do we improve, instead of what they loved about our facilities. We want to know how to do better in the future and how we can improve upon the things that are already in place.”
Embry said that unique accommodations, like safari tents, are becoming more popular at their resorts as more campers are coming into the market without an RV and still looking for an experience that does not include a tent.
“It seems like it’s a great way to reach a new market that may not be ready to buy an RV or to sleep on the ground,” he said. “If the demand is there we will continue to add more accommodations down the road.
“Guests, especially unique accommodation guests, are looking for more of an experiential vacation,” Embry continued. “Instead of just going and staying at a Holiday Inn down the street from a great national park or something like that, they really want to have something that’s unique. That they’ll remember forever.”
Moving into the future Embry said that RVC is looking to continue to grow, potentially adding new resorts, but is also committed to holding a high standard for the resorts it currently operates.
“It’s kind of a parallel path of we want to improve upon our own experiences, as well as look at places that could use an RVC resort,” he explained. “We have standards for our brand that we want to uphold, but we’re always looking to expand and that’s part of our growth plan over the next five years.”