By Erin and Dan Thiem, Inn Town Campground
The fifth annual Glamping Show in Aurora, Colorado happened earlier this month. It was a great to opportunity to welcome professionals, vendors, dreamers, and everyone in between in as we all talked about the Glamping industry and its future. The California Outdoor Hospitality Associate was on-hand to represent California campgrounds, RV park owners and everyone else interested in Glamping in the state. This fast-growing segment of outdoor hospitality is burgeoning in California and beyond and we’re happy to welcome them to our association and all of the benefits membership provides.
What were some of the key takeaways from the show? Here are our top 8!
8 Take Aways:
-Glamping isn’t just “up-and-coming“, it’s here and it’s growing fast.
While some of our members have been in the glamping space for a while, the show highlighted that Glamping can provide some great opportunities and unique additions to your campground.
-Glamping is an evolving segment.
Ask any two campers what glamping is, and you’ll likely get two different answers. That means operators need to be clear about defining what their unique glamping experience is. It may not be like other place’s your campers have stayed, but it can still be cool and unique to your park.
-Know your audience.
Following on from the previous takeaway, knowing who your market is and how they want to experience your area and campground is very important. Many of the attendees at the show were doing unique things in the glamping space. Some are renting bell tents for parties, while others have pop-up accommodations for festivals. Some spots were very upscale, and some had only basic amenities. Whatever direction you want to go, as with all business decisions, make sure it fits your customer profile.
-Get to know the tech options.
This is a similar insight to many other shows and conferences in outdoor hospitality. There are a lot of technology solutions to make your operations easier and your customer experience better. There are custom apps, virtual tours, property management systems and a lot else to help you be a better operator.
Sometimes we all just need to meet people who do what we do. The show was a great place to do that. Not only do you get new ideas on how to run your business, but you get energized by all the creative energy that new ideas provide. The California Outdoor Hospitality Association wasn’t the only association represented; there were also other state associations present, plus the Glamping Association. These state-level organizations help people connect to others in their own backyard. The glamping industry is a friendly space, so get to know the folks who are putting their own spin on it, whether it’s across the country or one county over.
-One size doesn’t fit all.
The diversity and range of different types of glamping tents, bell tents, safari tents, covered wagons or state of the art tiny houses was astounding. It was a great reminder that the industry is unique and the experiences you create can be very curated to your particular geography, preferences and interests. Maybe your customers would love a dome, or maybe a yurt is a better fit for your terrain?
-Pay attention to the details.
It’s important to consistently recognize that the details mater. It can come down to the outdoor furniture, the pedestal engraving, the personalized mugs, but all of these small details make a difference to stand out in the market. A little extra time, thought, (and yes, money) will pay dividends later as customers appreciate the uniqueness of their experience at your property.
-Marketing, marketing, marketing.
The conference really conveyed the need for a commitment to the long view of marketing and public relations. Investing the time to build and maintain your social media presence will pay dividends over time, not just immediately. Remember, consistency is king in your marketing. Set clear, attainable goals for yourself and follow through on meeting them. Ask for help when you need it and admit (even if reluctantly) that sometimes we’re not experts at everything.
Keep an eye out for more content from this years Glamping Show in the next issue of the Spotlight Newsletter!
During the final stretch of days leading up to the September 30 deadline, CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several labor and employment bills into law. Two of those were concerning the expansion of Leave of Absence regulations in businesses with five or more employees.
AB 1041 expands the definition of who an employee can take a leave of absence to care for to include a “designated person”. The term “designated person” is defined though the bills as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship”. The change pertains to both the California Family Rights Act, and California’s paid sick leave law. The bill allows employers to identify the designated person at the time of the request and limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.
AB 1949 also amends the California Family Rights Act to include bereavement leave as a protected leave of absence. Under the bill, employees may take up to five days of bereavement leave following the death of a family members. Family members that are covered by AB 1949 include a spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild. The leave of absence must take place within three months of the family members passing and employers may require documentation of the death to support the leave approval. Bereavement leave may be unpaid, but employees can elect to use their available existing leave such as PTO, vacation, or sick leave accruals.
Both of these newly signed bills go into effect January 1, 2023.
California has initiated the process of transitioning towards a future of Electric Vehicles. By 2035, all new vehicles being introduced to California’s marketplace will need to be zero-emission. What does this mean for our industry, and how can our parks prepare for the adaptation of consumer needs?
CalOHA has teamed up with Livingston Energy Group to bring our members an informative webinar designed to get you up to speed on the world of Electric Vehicles.
Learn all you need to know about EV 101, charging station types, funding opportunities, best practices for utilization and more!
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