Glamping Business Americas | July/August 2022

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Glamping Business Americas is published by The Glamping Show USA and Upgrade Publishing Address: 1129 Maricopa Hwy B150 Ojai, CA 93023 USA Publishers: Upgrade Publishing Steph Curtis-Raleigh e: Editor: Will Rusbridge e: Reporter/social media: Annie Hilton e: Advertising sales: David Korse t: 1-805-258-2836 e: Design: Melissa Douglass i for detail Instagram @thisisglamping Facebook @thisisglamping Events: The Glamping Show USA w: e: The Glamping Show UK w: e: © Upgrade Publishing Ltd. Glamping Business Americas is published four times a year. No reproduction of any part of the magazine is permitted, nor storage in a retrieval system without prior consent of the publisher. No commercial exploitation is permitted. No warranty is implied in respect of any product or trader mentioned herewith. Prizes offered in competitions might be substituted with ones of similar value.

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elcome to our July/August issue of Glamping Business Americas. With just a couple of months to go before The Glamping Show USA (October 4-5) we bring you an update on what’s new at the event, the conference program and pre-show events. In addition, we look at the Wellness trend from the guests’ perspective – the Honeytrekkers bring us their unique perspective on the experiences that resonated with them during their travels. Todd WynneParry looks at the ‘Glampforce’ – the people you employ who ensure that guests have a fabulous time – how to recruit them and essentially – how to retain them. We also have features from Denise Páne about grants available for developing Web Accessiblity and Mike Gast looks at some of the emerging and growing glamping brands making their mark. Finally, we visit the magical, mystical world of Good Knights in Alberta, Canada, an award-winning glamping business,

as well as following the journey of a new business, Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary and its successful bid for investment. Don’t forget to register for The Glamping Show USA here!

David Korse Director


Industry news and products


Letter from Ruben Martinez -


AGA co-founder 11

News from Modern Campground


News from Woodall’s Campground Magazine 38

547 Days: The search for investment


The Glamping Show USA preview



The Glamping Show USA conferences


Growing names in glamping


Making your website accessible


Glampforce - the essential ingredient


A two-story tent story


Good Knights: The stuff of legend


The guest experience by HoneyTrek:

Cover: Good Knights, Alberta g l a m p i n g s h o w. u s | G l a m p i n g B u s i n e s s A m e r i c a s | 0 3

NEWS & PRODUCTS UNDER CANVAS PIONEER LAUNCHES INDUSTRY’S BIGGEST INVESTMENT FUND Industry pioneer and co-Founder of Under Canvas, the leading US glamping brand, Sarah Dusek, is returning to the sector with a $600 million investment fund. The Quiver Tree Collection (named after an indigenous species from South Africa, where she is now based with her family) will acquire, launch and develop glamping/eco resorts around the world, driving impact in environmental and social responsibility. Sarah and her husband Jacob sold Under Canvas in 2018 and Sarah then focused on Enygma Ventures the Venture Capital Fund, which invests in female founders and entrepreneurs in Southern Africa. Sarah chose the recent Eco Resort Network event in Slovenia to announce the new Quiver Tree Collection and she is now actively looking for projects to invest in around the world. “Our vision is to empower the glamping industry to protect wild spaces by launching the largest

fund of its kind,” she told delegates over a live link from Africa. “Our fund – the Quiver Tree Collection should be live later this summer – we are hoping to deploy over US$600m over the next three years with the vision to increase that capital to a billion dollars by the end of next year. I really believe the capital markets need to see that we can drive significant financial return as well as environmental and social impact in this space and that we can act with a long-term vision in mind. One other frustrating thing for me has been this idea of short-termism and thinking of the glamping industry as if we build something – who buys it and what happens to it – what’s the longevity of what we are doing and how do we use what we are doing to create bigger impacts and bigger platforms?” “Quiver Tree will be the biggest fund of its kind and will invest in, acquire and develop outdoor hospitality concepts around the world with the

MARKET STUDY LAUNCHED BY SAGE OUTDOOR ADVISORY Sage Outdoor Advisory announces they are underway with the first glamping quantitative report and market map for U.S. glamping businesses. The Sage Report US, which will be completed in early 2023, will include details on the glamping market such as unit types, quantities, seasonal rates, ADR, estimated occupancy, private vs communal bathroom rates as well as updates on growth of market and analysis of market leaders.

“We already track much of this data for our clients,” said Shari Heilala, MAI, President of Sage “but we realized that expanding on that research would be valuable to the glamping industry particularly in helping secure investment.” This report seeks to validate markets across the country by citing examples of successfully operating glamping businesses by geographic areas. It will highlight the rates and occupancies that are currently being earned in the market by established businesses, allowing expanding and launching businesses to accurately project their pro formas that are substantiated by current market data. Currently Sage has about 25% of the market mapped as of press time. The first release of their summary report is targeted for release in Fall 2022. Glamping operators who would like to participate in the research will receive a report on the results of their findings. Email for more information on participation. Sage Outdoor Advisory works with glamping owners/operators at various stages of launch and growth to validate business models and create feasibility studies or appraisals.

focus on utilising that investment to really impact biodiversity, conservation, protecting wild spaces, rewilding spaces to increase habitat green spaces,” added Sarah.

SUCCESSFUL FIRST ECO RESORT NETWORK EVENT A group of around 50 people working in experiential, sustainable hospitality gathered in Slovenia for a two-day networking event last month, sponsored by YALA and the Slovenian Tourist Board. Among the attendees was Todd Wynne-Parry, our regular contributor, David Leventhal from Playa Viva, Mexico and operators from Africa, Asia, UAE and Europe. As part of the event, the group were given a tour of the award-winning Garden Village Glampsite at Lake Bled. “I was not sure what to expect, but I was really impressed with Slovenia, Bled and the convivial esprit de corps of the delegation. I cannot remember an event quite like this. Such a diverse and eclectic global group of entrepreneurs and driven but warm business people,” said Todd. Next year’s event is due to take place on June 7-9 in Croatia and Montenegro and more details will be revealed at A video of highlights of the event can be seen here.

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NEWS & PRODUCTS TOP 10 GLAMPING SITES IN THE US In need of some inspiration for your glamping business? These ten sites across America have been picked by a panel of experts at USA Today’s 10Best, and then determined winners by popular vote. Coming in at #1 Best Glamping Spot 2022 is Conestoga Ranch, Utah. Here, glampers stay in luxury tents or pioneer wagons, all outfitted with electricity, heaters, private patios and Adirondack chairs. Guests enjoy campfire valet service, complimentary access to cruiser bikes, BBQ tents with charcoal grills and dishwashing stations, resort-wide wifi and a host of outdoor activities. Now that’s glamorous camping! Runner ups are Kimberly Creek Retreat, Nebraska, and Little Arrow Outdoor Resort, Tennessee, in second and third place respectively. Kimberly Creek offers 22 acres of glamping accommodation with a variety of cabins, pods, and geodomes. Little Arrow Outdoor Resort targets the “luxury wanderlust” side, tucked in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and offering RVs, cabins and safari tents. In fourth and fifth place is Sandy Pines Campground, Maine, and Beaver Island Retreat, Michigan. Elevated camping takes several forms at Sandy Pines Campground. Guests can stay in vintage trailers, Conestoga wagons, domes, huts and glamping tents and take advantage of a heated saltwater pool, playground, lawn games, and water sports equipment. Beaver Island is accessible only by boat or plane, making this the ultimate getaway in the heart of unspoilt nature. Stay in a safari tent fit with all the bells and whistles for unprecedented comfort.






Honourable mentions include: 6. The Destination, Alabama 7. Black Tree Resort, Colorado 8. Flamingo Eco Tents, Florida 9. Terramor, Maine 10. Inn Town Campground, California






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he climate for raising capital in the Glamping space has changed significantly since the industry’s pandemic boom, but across the board glamping operators are still facing unique challenges in finding adequate funding for their projects. This was the inspiration for the Glamping Investment Connection 2022, which we are excited to announce will be taking place at The Glamping Show USA in October. We wanted to create a space specifically for glamping operators and active capital providers to connect directly with each other and to eliminate some of the mystery that comes with raising capital in the industry. Oftentimes, the challenges operators face in launching their business - like permitting, finding off-grid solutions, and legal classifications - can be confusing to capital providers who are newer to the industry and are use to other traditional operational norms and timelines. The amount of perceived risk is a hurdle most glamping operators must overcome in their quest to raise capital - which is why connecting with investors familiar with the industry is so crucial at this particular stage.

“Over the past several years the number of investment vehicles, banks, family offices, real estate groups and inventory financing programs across the glamping space have increased at unprecedented levels.” Over the past several years the number of investment vehicles, banks, family offices, real estate groups and inventory financing programs across the glamping space have increased at unprecedented levels. These providers understand the unique challenges that come with launching or expanding a glamping operation, and have the foresight and industry knowledge to invest confidently. The Investment Connection will take place on October 3rd at The Glamping Show USA and will give AGA members an opportunity to present their business to a room full of active capital

providers. As a whole the event will serve as a space for connection, community, and support for those that are actively raising capital and those that are looking for a path forward with their business. Six applicants will be chosen to pitch their idea in front of a panel and a room of capital providers. We know the challenges that come with raising capital for a glamping project, and even though these unique challenges will never disappear, the goal of this event is to make those challenges easier to navigate. For more information on the event please visit the Glamping Show or the AGA website to learn more. For more info please contact:

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These stories first appeared in Modern Campground,

A NATURE LOVER’S DREAM: CHECK OUT PEIS NEWEST GLAMPING RETREAT By Rein Tarinay coffee maker, electric kettle, table, four chairs, an electric fireplace, and two queen-sized beds. Outside each cabin, campers are provided with their own picnic table, privacy benches, chiminea, and firewood. Near the property is a pool, miniature golf course, beach volleyball court, hiking trails, and Belfast Highland Greens golf course. Wild Pines Cabins is a thirty-minute drive east from Charlottetown and ten minutes from the Northumberland Ferry. This month, outdoor enthusiasts can book any two nights for CA$100 a night. Campers can book weekend (ThursdaySaturday nights), weekday (Sunday-Wednesday nights), and weeklong packages.

Photos courtesy of Wild Pines Cabins

Glamping, camping, and other forms of outdoor recreation are booming now more than ever. As the travel and tourism industry slowly bounces back, Prince Edward Island (Canada) welcomes a new addition to its growing glamping industry. Nestled on three acres of forest next to Belfast Highland Greens Golf Course and Lord Selkirk Park in beautiful Belfast PEI, Wild Pines Cabins offers luxurious camping cabins just steps away from a central amenities building with private shower rooms, a state of the art commercial kitchen, central BBQ area, and a campfire pit. According to its Facebook page, Wild Pines offers fully insulated four-season cabins equipped with electricity. Each cabin features a mini-fridge,


Photos courtesy of AutoCamp Catskills

AutoCamp Catskills opened its doors today, providing a serene yet modern hideaway within the forests of Upstate New York. The campground is AutoCamp’s second East Coast location and brings stylish glamping offerings to the scene with luxury tents, cabins, X suites, and Airstreams. Each with a memory foam king-sized bed to lead glampers into a deep slumber, Autocamp Catskill’s luxury tents are spacious, custom-made canvas tents. The outdoor accommodation option can sleep up to two adults and two children. Another offering is the Vista Cabin Suites which can sleep up to five guests. Each restored pine cabin has a porch with a swing where guests can enjoy the crisp morning air. There is also a queen bed, two bunk beds, and a sofa bed. Ideal for

vacationers seeking a home away from home, the Vista Cabin Suites come with a full kitchen, small dining area, and private bathroom. The suites are a holidaymaker’s holiday-maker. Available as premium or vista suites, these offerings are set in the middle of teeming trees. The chic accommodations each have a private bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living area. A queen memory foam mattress, wardrobe, and picture window over the bed to take in the views are found in the bedroom. The living room comes complete with flat-screen TV and sofa, which folds out into a soft double bed, while the spa-inspired bathroom features a walk-in shower. A timeless classic, Airstreams are available to book at AutoCamp Catskills. Guests can choose

from Classic, Premium, or Vista Airstreams according to their needs. Inside each 31-foot rig, vacationers are greeted by the bright and airy interior, a queen bed, kitchenette, and a private bathroom with a rain shower. Glamping is not glamping without some elements of camping—AutoCamp did not forget to provide fire pits and grills for s’mores and stories by the fireside. Furthermore, a modish Hudson Valley barnstyle clubhouse can be found sitting on the property, where guests can pass some time during their stay. There is also a hammock grove where glampers can unwind as well as gathering spaces among the trees for truly plugging into nature. Nearby, visitors can immerse themselves in the area’s culture by visiting the historic towns of Woodstock or Saugerties. With so much of the great outdoors to offer, outdoor recreation is abundant, and campers can choose from a dozen trails to hike on throughout the Catskill Mountains. Once a white blanket of snow covers the region, they can ski or snowshoe on Hunter Mountain. AutoCamp Catskills opened today, and in a LinkedIn post, the company’s COO Anjali Agarwal invited campers to stay. “So proud of the entire AutoCamp team for opening Autocamp Catskills today! NYC, come adventure with us!” Agarwal said.

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Our mission is to drive growth opportunities for new and existing glamping businesses by leveraging our strong network, providing tools and resources and presenting custom solutions to your one of a kind business. The association serves those that are thinking of starting their first glamping business all the way up to the industry leaders. We provide access to a strong network that becomes the key foundational element to all organizations. Built by industry leaders to help elevate each and every new business to reach their full potential. Membership takes two minutes to complete and become a member today to gain access to member benefits such as: F Weekly member meet up calls with industry leading guest speakers F Industry discounts and exclusive events F Members only internal communication channel F Industry advisors F Networking F Advocacy F Consulting




These stories first appeared in Modern Campground,


Photos courtesy of Borealis Basecamp

A cool vacation experience awaits at Borealis Basecamp—literally! Found within a hundred acres of boreal forest in Fairbanks, Alaska, glampers can witness the majestic aurora borealis from a modern geodesic igloo. A place to dream while awake, the accommodations at the property offer a modern respite while still being tucked away in the Alaskan wilderness. Take, for example, the fiberglass igloos at Borealis Basecamp. Each dome structure features a transparent concave roof, expansive enough to illuminate the interior with the beautiful northern lights. Getting cozy in bed has never been better in the company of nature, and the comfortable mattresses and luxurious linens in each igloo make snuggling a treat.

Despite being off-grid, Borealis Basecamp’s igloos are far from being primitive, with full baths featuring a shower, vanity sink, and more modern comforts. Meanwhile, an accommodation for the family to share, the Cubes at the property each come appointed with a king-sized bed, kitchenette, and en suite bath with a heated towel rack, a rainfall shower, flushing toilet, and vanity sink. Floor-to-ceiling windows highlight breathtaking views of both the trees and the stunning night sky. A heated deck is perfect for early morning coffee moments in the presence of the great Alaskan naturescape. Even the kids get a little slice of nature with a “treehouse” bed. Each Cube unit with this space has a secure window, so kids can enjoy the view while playing or sleeping. According to its website, the Cubes can be found in the East Village of Borealis Basecamp and lets guests immerse themselves in the serene forest surrounding the property.

Not only can glampers enjoy staying at Borealis, but even adventurers will also find something to do. The property offers exclusive packages for the summer, winter, and fall. Experiences include touring around the White Mountains with a UTV, an Arctic Circle tour where participants can earn an Arctic Circle Traveler Certificate, and a reindeer walking experience. During the winter, mushing and snowmobiling always provide the thrills to the chills. After a day of adventure, visitors can chomp down on Alaskan seafood, meticulously prepared by a chef. Each heartwarming meal feeds the stomach before the Aurora Borealis viewing feeds the soul. When unwinding, glampers may find the sauna a perfect way to cap the day off, but ultimately, nothing beats witnessing the northern lights in motion in the comfort of an igloo.

Petite Retreats has launched its sixth tiny house village which is a first in Tennessee, according to a press release. The houses at Natchez Trace Tiny House Village are part of Natchez Trace RV Campground, located about an hour southwest of Nashville in Hohenwald, TN, which offers plenty of familyfriendly amenities and activities. Each of the six tiny houses at Natchez Trace measures 30 feet in length, sleeps two to six guests, and comes fully equipped with a kitchen, bathroom, satellite TV, and its own unique personality reflected in its design and décor. “We are thrilled to open our newest tiny house village,” said Petite Retreats’ spokeswoman Pat Zamora. “Natchez Trace Tiny House Village represents the type of unique vacation rentals Petite Retreats offers and this open house

provides a glimpse into the tiny experience available when guests visit,” Zamora added. All tiny homes were built by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company and are certified green by TRA Certification. The homes meet the criteria for efficiency in resources utilized, indoor air quality, water, and energy. In fact, their tiny houses exceed the highest category of efficiency under TRA Certification standards, Emerald, for energy, water, and indoor air quality. Tumbleweed uses low-VOC products in all builds, mineral wool insulation, low flow plumbing fixtures, and air exchangers are installed in every unit. The tiny houses also have products and fixtures from IKEA incorporated throughout, while being built under Tumbleweed’s current TRA Certification standards. IKEA is a leader in sustainability, aiming to use only renewable or

Photo courtesy of Petite Retreats


recycled materials by 2030. Petite Retreats offers tiny houses among its variety of vacation rentals like yurts, cabins, cottages, tents, and teepees, across more than 180 RV resorts and campgrounds nationwide. The five other tiny house villages include Mt. Hood Tiny House Village outside Portland (Oregon), Leavenworth Tiny House Village east of Seattle, Tuxbury Tiny House Village north of Boston, Sunshine Key Tiny House Village in the Florida Keys, and two tiny houses near Sedona (Arizona) at Verde Valley RV Resort.

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These stories were provided by Woodall’s Campground Magazine,

CALIFORNIA FIRM LAUNCHES TREEHOUSE GLAMPING VENTURE This isn’t the tree fort of yesteryear. A newly relocated Petaluma company is betting that professionals yearning for respite in the outdoors but with the comforts of home will be eager to spend big on modern treehouses for themselves or as a rental business for glamorous camping — better known as glamping. O2Treehouse has been on quite the trek since owner and designer Dustin Reiter built his first

geodesic dome in a Wisconsin poplar tree in 2005. He launched the company the following year in Minnesota, custom designing children’s playhouses. That took the business to Los Angeles, where the jobs morphed into more significant structures, and demand for detached offices and bedrooms grew. The company then relocated to Oakland in 2011, and within a few years, it started getting national media attention for its designs. When the San Francisco East Bay design and production center lease expired, Reiter turned his focus to the north. “The North Bay has always been on my radar because it has the giant trees, is a corridor to the north and has a lot of money and interest in these structures,” Reiter said. “Quite a bit of business has been done already in North Bay.” Historically, the company has been making 8 to 10 custom treehouses annually. The average cost is on par with that of a high-end home — $800 to $1,400 a square foot. At the average size of 120 square feet, that works out to be $96,000 to $168,000.

COMPANY OFFERING GLAMPING IN KENTUCKY NATIONAL FOREST Though classic-style camping is still popular throughout Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest, Izaac Rains and his father Kevin are offering an alternative: stays at one of five glamping tents set in the middle of 50 acres of forest, according to the Courier-Journal.

And if [people] wanted to rent in blocks … [they’re] close enough for community… [There’s also] forest in between almost all of them, so you don’t have a view of somebody else’s tent. Each of the five tents — with the exception of The Cardinal Nest — are named after birds that are native to the Bluegrass State. The other four

are The Oriole’s Nest, The Goldfinch’s Nest, The Green Heron’s Nest and The Blue Jay’s Nest. The interior décor of each one differs slightly, but they all offer a similar vibe and the same amenities, including queen beds, sitting areas, a small clothing rack, a water hydrant, an outdoor charcoal grill and a covered porch.

A space to share The Rains owned 50 acres in Daniel Boone National Forest for about 17 years before they figured out a way to give others access to the property. “It was kind of a place that we just went to as a family and with friends and that type of thing,” Izaac told The Courier-Journal. “[But] we decided to open it up and share it with everybody. We didn’t want to hold it for ourselves anymore; it felt kind of wrong to keep it enclosed.” Izaac and his father founded Dappled Light Adventures; and since this past April, they have been renting out 320-square-foot glamping tents. There are five tents total, each one placed about 50 to 100 feet away from the next. “We designed the layout very intentionally,” Izaac said. “There [is] enough room for privacy, but [the tents are] close enough for people to feel safe. g l a m p i n g s h o w. u s | G l a m p i n g B u s i n e s s A m e r i c a s | 1 5


These stories were provided by Woodall’s Campground Magazine,

‘JELLYSTONE PARK’ ADDS SEVEN NEW LOCATIONS IN 2022 Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts has added seven new locations in time for the peak summer vacation season, according to a press release. The newest Jellystone Parks include: Jellystone Park South Jersey — Located in Monroe, the former Hospitality Creek Campground and Swim Club became a Jellystone Park earlier this month. The location boasts a 30-acre lake with rope swing, obstacle course and diving docks, along with a pool, playgrounds and sports courts. Daily activities and themed events accompany the water fun. Wichita Falls, Texas — This award-winning family camp-resort has returned to the Jellystone Park brand. Kids can enjoy three swimming pools, an interactive splash pad, mini golf and more. Lodging options include a variety of glamping cabins and a farmhouse that sleeps up to 14. The park was previously known as Coyote Ranch. “We are excited to welcome these new locations,” said Trent Hershenson, vice president of marketing for franchisor Camp Jellystone. “Record numbers of families have stayed at Jellystone Park the past several years, and we are very pleased that even more families will be able to enjoy the Jellystone Park experience this summer.”

Jellystone Park South Jersey

Earlier this year Jellystone Park also began welcoming families at these five new locations: • Augusta, Maine — The former Beaver Brook Campground has been transformed into a Jellystone Park with wooded sites, a tranquil brook and a half-mile of frontage on beautiful Androscoggin Lake. A heated Water Zone, 18-hole mini golf course, sports courts and playgrounds complement a full schedule of activities and character interactions. • Chincoteague Island, Va. — This campground is being expanded and updated. Planned improvements include new playground equipment, basketball and pickleball courts, new enclosures for the park’s pavilion, as well as new landscaping and road improvements. New rental cabins, furnished glamping tents and RV rentals also are planned. • New Douglas, Ill. — Located an hour from

St. Louis and Springfield, Ill., Rustic Acres Jellystone Park features two lakes for fishing, a swimming pool, jumping pillow, laser tag, gaga ball pit, hayrides, two playgrounds and themed weekends. • Petoskey, Mich. — This campground is adding 67 RV sites and 20 vacation rentals this year. Along with Yogi Bear costumed characters, this location features a heated swimming pool, a hot tub, sand volleyball, basketball, a gaga ball pit, a children’s playground and a pet playground. • Stark County, Ohio — The award-winning Clay’s Park Resort south of Cleveland is now a Jellystone Park. The 500-acre camp resort boasts a lake, water slides, dueling ziplines and canoes and kayaks. A new pool and water play area are under construction. Clay’s Park Resort was awarded Park of the Year in 2021 by the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds.

CAMPSPOT ANNOUNCES INTEGRATION WITH BOOKING.COM Campspot is excited to announce that parks can now list lodging inventory on, one of the largest and most popular marketplaces in the travel industry, according to a press release. “, which ‘enables properties around the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses,’ is a natural fit for Campspot,” stated the release. “Powering more than 1,800 private parks across the U.S. and Canada, Campspot consistently delivers features, integrations and products that help campgrounds reach more campers, manage their inventory and campground efficiently and grow revenue.” “This is the most requested item from customers,” said CEO Michael Scheinman, “ and we’re excited to deliver a solution that gives Campspot users a new channel for driving awareness and exposure.”

By enabling campground lodging inventory on, Campspot ensures that important campground inventory will be seen by frequent travelers who more often use sites like Booking. com, to search, discover and book their travel plans. This increases visibility for campgrounds and exposes parks to new customers, bringing new inventory to the places where consumers are already looking, explained the release. Unique lodging sites at campgrounds will appear among the more traditional OTA listings and catch the eye of customers who might not necessarily be looking for campgrounds but may be happy to stay at one. Technology integration between the two companies is facilitated through DerbySoft. “This integration creates a seamless experience for both the guest and the Campground, allowing

rates and availability of rooms to be reflected in real-time,” noted the release. “It provides a fluid experience for the guest, while the campgrounds can continue to manage all their inventory, no matter where the listings appear, directly on the Campspot platform.”

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very committed to having a unique décor in all the tents, that they remained true to the medieval theme, “We have antique chairs, tables, trunks, and some really spectacular beds – a couple of which are real rope beds with canopies. There are wall hangings and tapestries, and curtains as well. We are sticklers for detail. For example, we hide the electrical outlets inside little treasure chests. Obviously, there are some concessions for modern luxuries – such as toilets and comfy beds (no straw mattresses here).” Medieval feast

The Camp

More than just a place to stay, Good Knights offer a range of medieval style activities to guests, “Every Saturday night we put on a multi-course medieval feast for all the on-site guests served at the tables in our Great Hall and we have free classes in long-bow archery, crafting (leather and embroidery), as well as a sword and chivalry class (taught by our resident knight – Sir Daniel). There are also several yard games – such as bocci ball, croquette, and Kube or Viking chess.” And, as if this wasn’t enough, “we have a mid-sized trebuchet that we use to launch water balloons for the kids to ‘catch’ on a hot day.” Daniel says that the trick to providing an immersive experience is to hire great people who love to interact with guests, and train them well, “Our team works very hard to put on an immersive experience – starting with meeting guests in our own costumes at our massive wooden gates and twin towers (palisades). Once inside the gates there are wooden wheelbarrows for guest to bring their gear to their tents. We are constantly interacting with our guests throughout their stay to ensure that they have a great time and that their needs are met (and exceeded). Getting guests into costumes as soon as they arrive helps set the mood and it carries on from there into the activities. Everything we do is designed to enhance the immersive guest experience.” On top of the myriad of activities available, Good Knights also hold multiple events, “We host monthly public medieval feasts, one Sunday a month throughout the season (June – September), with up to 65 guests (all in costumes) sitting at long tables and feasting off wooden trenchers and bowls, with drinks served in silver goblets and clay mugs (no plastic or cans allowed). We serve traditional mead and locally produced beer, as well as wine. The meal lasts for 3 hours, has at least 6 courses plus there is entertainment, music, story-telling, and medieval dancing. We also do a few medieval murder mystery dinners each year – for up to 25 people, including costumes and prizes. Every year we do one or two medieval weddings,

plus family re-unions, birthday parties, and church and youth camps. These require a bit more work to prepare for, but we are well equipped for and well experienced in hosting these types of events.” And as for the future? Daniel and Linda are currently in the final stages of building a new section to the Good Knights themed park – the Wanderer’s Hideaway, “The first part of this new area will be “the Burrow”. This will be a deluxe underground dwelling (650 sq foot) with a sod roof and round door, a private fenced garden, and a hot tub. We have been working on this project for several years and we are committed to getting it open later this summer or early fall. This will be a year-round unique accommodation unit that will take us from a seasonal development to a year-round destination,” says Daniel. “To tie into this theme will be building 3 Romani-inspired Vardos / caravans for guests to stay in. These will be insulated and heated so we can rent these out 7-8 months a year (opening spring of 2023). We do plan to winterize our traditional Mongolian yurt this fall so that it can be rented out in the fall and early spring – to extend our season. We have lots of other dreams and plans beyond that, but we will have to see how this next phase goes before we commit to another new development.” If you’d like to find out more about Good Knights, you can find their website at

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Sou’wester Garden Spa, courtesy of Comfortably Wild

SOAKING At Isla Chiquita in Costa Rica, they built a simple treatment room high on a cliff and added a hot tub for spa-goers to extend their relaxation time gazing over the Gulf of Nicoya. Guests could also just book the secluded hot tub for sunset with a bottle of champagne. Jacuzzis plopped next to the pool are expected, but what about a wood-burning hot tub in the forest? They don’t require electricity for the heat or pump, just wood, water, and a match. Designed to be off-grid and in a beautiful cedar construction, they work seamlessly in a natural environment. For the simplest and most affordable soaking experience, offer sunset or bedtime foot baths. We saw this done in the high desert of Oregon where the hosts infused the water with wild sage and Epsom salt in pretty copper basins and brought them right to our porch. The cost to them was virtually zero but after a day of hiking, it felt like a million bucks to us.

(ideally with a shade structure) in a peaceful part of the property. Add a sign that says “yoga deck,” a storage chest of mats, blocks, and outdoor blankets so anyone familiar with yoga (or even stretching) can take it from there. Help set the intention with a bookshelf of yoga guides, chill music or meditation podcasts, incense, and a Tibetan singing bowl. Build out your yoga offerings by partnering with a local instructor for classes 1-3 days a week. Even if all the fees go to the

Wood-fired sauna, photo by

YOGA & MEDITATION Yoga has become so popular and synonymous with wellness that many glampers expect yoga to be offered in some way, shape, or form. Even if you don’t have the staff for it, create a space that allows for self-practice and the potential for classes down the road. Build a raised platform


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instructor, having yoga classes as a part of your offerings could just be the reason your next guest presses “Book Now.”

FOREST BATHING Have you heard of the Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku (aka forest bathing)? There is an art and fascinating science to it, but basically it’s a mindful walk in the woods, where the slow pace, ambient sounds, and intake of nutrientrich air help relieve stress and improve overall health. You’d think Shinrin-yoku was an ancient practice but it officially started in the 1980s as a government program to counter the negative effects of the population’s hectic modern lives. Add this to your wellness services by creating a short trail in a heavily wooded area with a sign that says “Forest Bathing” and its guiding principles… walk slowly, engage your senses, notice your surroundings, and how you feel when you are in tune with nature. Mid-trail, put in a bench and perhaps a poetic prompt like Albert Einstein’s “Look deep into nature and you will understand everything better,” to encourage people to extend their experience and its benefits.

Forest Bathing, photo by HoneyTrek

REFRESHMENTS Spas offer fruit-infused water or tea because its a thoughtful and affordable way to set the stage for wellness. In your check-in area or common space, add a decorative water dispenser with fresh mint and berries to refresh your road-weary travelers and returning hikers. (FYI water refilling stations (fruit or not) should be throughout the property to do your part in reducing single-use plastics. See our last article on sustainability). A complimentary tea station is also a lovely gesture and doubles as decor when you line up artful jars

Yoga at Verana, photo by HoneyTrek

Mendocino Grove courtesy of Comfortably Wild

with floral teas. We have to give another nod to Sou’wester, who has dedicated one of their vintage Airstreams to be a “Tea Trailer,” stocked with all the accoutrements for a private tea party or moment of calm. A few mornings a week, they also offer Ayurvedic “golden milk” (an easy turmeric drink recipe that any staff member can whip up) and other days bring in a local juicery to sell their fresh concoctions.

OUTSIDE SPECIALISTS What’s the secret to running a small glamping camp with a robust wellness program? Outside specialists. Research your surrounding area for wellness experts and see what comes up. You’ll definitely find a yoga instructor and a masseuse, but you might find the unexpected offering that sets your camp a part, like someone who performs ancient cacao ceremonies or dance therapy. A smart strategy that many of the leading glamping camps use is to host retreats, where they tap beloved yoga instructors to invite their devotees to your camp to partake in their wellness getaway. The instructors plan the weekend, help secure the bookings, and legitimize you as a wellness destination. (More on using influencers to help grow your business in our next article and talk at The Glamping Show on October 5th, 2022 in Aurora, CO!)

About Mike & Anne Howard Traveling for the last 10 years across 63 countries, Mike & Anne are travel experts with a glamping speciality. They launched to chronicle their journey, and have since written National Geographic’s bestselling book Ultimate Journeys for Two and the first guide to glamping in North America, Comfortably Wild. Earning a Lowell Thomas Journalism Award for their book and a seat on the American Glamping Association Board of Advisors, they are committed to the success of the glamping industry. Businesses from budding glampgrounds to established tent manufacturers have partnered with the Howards for their skills as photographers, writers, influencers, and consultants to improve their guest experience and share it with the world. Visit

Remember, wellness in glamping is largely about creating spaces that foster tranquility and show guests you care about their well-being. Namaste. g l a m p i n g s h o w. u s | G l a m p i n g B u s i n e s s A m e r i c a s | 2 9


GROWING NAMES IN GLAMPING BY MIKE GAST North Americans’ love affair with glamping has more established companies looking at expanding their branded glamping footprint across the U.S. and Canada.


ntil now, much of the growth in glamping facilities came one “glampground” at a time. Existing campground owners carefully added glamping facilities to their parks, existing businesses such as wineries and farms added a few sites, and new entrepreneurs entered the market with larger, glamping-specific upscale locations in poplar markets. While glamping brands with multiple locations are out there (think Under Canvas, Collective Retreats, and Tentrr, to name a few) the rapid maturation of the glamping industry now has more industry players thinking about wide-ranging expansion.

KOA’S TERRAMOR RESORT BRAND SET TO EXPAND “From our perspective, we’ve always known the value of a brand,” said Kampgrounds of America


Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Whitney Scott (pictured). Scott oversees the marketing and operations of KOA’s Terramor Outdoor Resort location near Bar Harbor, Maine. After two summer seasons of operation at its Bar Harbor location Kampgrounds of America Inc. (KOA) is set to announce at least two more

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Terramor Outdoor Resort locations somewhere in the U.S. later this month. The expansion will be a major benchmark in KOA’s 60-year history in camping. “We wanted to test it all first,” Scott said. “But we always knew the plan was that if it all works, we wanted to expand it.” KOA’s slow-and-steady approach to growing the Terramor brand is both by design and necessity. “We want to make sure that the new resorts we announce are actually going to happen,” she said. “You don’t want to announce that it’s coming and then not be able to build it.” Unlike traditional campgrounds, there aren’t many existing glamping parks operating and available for purchase and consolidation. That forces brands to build new glamping parks from scratch. During those first two years of operation, Terramor was able to push its Net Promoter Score (NPS) to a world-class level of 90.3. “We’ve done all of the market research and are doing what we need to do to make sure we are meeting the expectations of our guests,” Scott said. “That is so important. We know we are setting ourselves up for a large brand presence across the nation.” Scott said Kampgrounds of America’s six decades of experience operating and franchising more than 500 traditional campground locations gives it the upper hand in expanding its Terramor Resort glamping brand. “A lot of people who have come into the glamping market don’t understand the intricacies of growing a brand, or how to facilitate market expansion in very diverse places,” Scott said. Although Scott said KOA has “nailed” the tent structure facility in Bar Harbor, the same structure might not work at either cold weather, hot weather, or “wilder” locations. “We may need a better insulated tent to hold air conditioning in the Deep South, and we may need hard-sided structures in bear country,” she said.

of inventory happens.” Scott said she suspects more than a few glamping locations are already in the testing phase of adding more parks and adding brand marketing to their mix.



The traditional, recreational vehicle-driven campground business has seen a fair share of consolidation in the past few years as owners purchased additional properties to capitalize on camping’s burgeoning popularity. Scott said that consolidation of ownership is starting to occur in glamping, too, but it takes more than a collection of parks to start a brand. “Of course, you do have to have the inventory first before you can expand into a marketable brand,” she said. “Just like hotel chains and bookstores that consolidate to grow, more glamping brands will emerge as the consolidation

While there are glamping brands in Eastern Canada, the less-populated Western provinces were a bit underserved for glamping locations until Glamping Resorts Ltd arrived in 2018. Glamping Resorts Ltd General Manager Melissa (Mel) Zoller says the privately owned company is set to open its third glamping resort (Glamping Resorts Ltd at Castle Rock Provincial Park, Alberta) in 2022. The group’s other two locations are Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park Resort north of Swift Current; and the North Shore Resort on Buffalo Pound Lake just north of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.

Glamping at Northshore Resort on Buffalo Pound Lake

Glamping at Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park

“We’ve got an assertive growth plan over the next three years,” Zoller said. “We’re expecting to have up to seven more resorts throughout Western and Central Canada offering glamping. It was always the plan to have multiple branded locations. It allows us control and consistency.” While Zoller said each Glamping Resorts Ltd location will continue to have its own unique set of amenities and local attractions, the plan was always to market the parks under a single brand, capitalizing on market research that said potential guests highly value consistency in the facilities they select, as well as consistent delivery of service. “We have many families coming back to our parks or giving our second park in Saskatchewan a try because they know they will experience the same quality and level of service,” she said. “A brand makes it easier for us to control all of those variables across multiple properties.”

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brand also need to focus on the “sleep factor.” “What people sleep on is very important,” Scott said. “They are paying so that they don’t have to feel uncomfortable. They don’t want to sleep on the ground, and it shouldn’t come close to feeling like that.” Being able to consistently brand the fine-tuned food, bathroom, and sleeping experiences will be a huge plus for Terramor Resorts as the brand expands, she said.

FRANCHISING IN THE FUTURE? Both Scott and Zoller said their companies have no immediate plans to bring in franchisees as their Terramor and Glamping Resorts Ltd expand their footprints. But both also said it could be a possibility down the road. “I don’t know the vision beyond what we have in the pipeline now,” Scott said. “But I wouldn’t say no. Right now, we just want to build the template with the right bones so that we can efficiently expand. If we can do that right, I don’t know why it couldn’t be a franchise. We certainly know how to do that from the KOA side.” Zoller echoed those thoughts. “There have been discussions (regarding franchising) for well in the future,” she said. “But it’s important that we prove our model before we go to market in that way. It’s not outside the realm of possibility, but we must have a good foundation so we can offer solid and backed-up opportunities for potential franchisees.”

Dome interior, Northshore Resort on Buffalo Pound Lake

TARGETING INEXPERIENCED GUESTS Both Zoller and Scott said the target market for their glamping brands isn’t necessarily experienced campers. “We might see an older generation that camped while growing up, but now they like the idea of sleeping in a nice bed and having a hot shower at the end of the day,” Zoller said. “The younger generations may not have much exposure to the outdoors at all. They want to explore nature, but they are really looking for a hotel in the forest.” Zoller said her glamping company does see boutique hotels as competition for new customers but said there is more than enough potential guests to go around. “We are priced more like a boutique hotel so yes, we are in competition,” she said. “But we like to be friendly with the hotels and Air B&Bs in our markets. At the end of the day, the goal needs to be to drive overall tourism. There are more than enough customers to go around for glamping parks. I’m just excited to see the industry growing.”

SIZE MATTERS KOA’s Scott said glamping consumers will likely see brands announcing expansions at larger properties. “We’ll continue to see existing campgrounds add 5-15 glamping units to their inventories, but small glamping operations like that don’t make sense under a unique nationwide glamping brand,” she said. “With a small inventory, you just don’t

Melissa Zoller

have those big profits to create a brand expansion.” Unlike existing glamping brands such as Under Canvas that often focus on regions around national parks, Scott said Terramor is seeking unique, natural features around the country not necessarily adjacent to a national park that can be brought life with a Terramor Resort nearby. “That’s how we are looking at our market penetration,” she said. “Where are there really interesting, beautiful places that we can highlight from a Terramor perspective?”

LEARNING KEY LESSONS BEFORE EXPANDING Scott said the Terramor team at Bar Harbor quickly learned what was most important to guests, including food service. “We’ve put a lot of effort into curating that menu at Terramor,” she said. “And just like in camping, the bathroom facilities are so important. We get many comments as to how wonderful the bathrooms are.” She said glamping providers looking to expand a

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WHY BRANDS WORK Consumers have always been attracted to brands. Brand loyalty leads to repeated purchases, often regardless of pricing or convenience. Guests who have a great experience at one branded glamping facility are likely to give the same brand another try at another location regardless of the quality of other non-branded local competition. Brand loyalty works in every industry, and glamping will be no different than consumer behaviors regarding cell phones, laundry soap or hamburger chains. With the glamping market in the U.S. valued at nearly half a billion dollars* Brand loyalty will be the name of the game in glamping, too, as more companies take their brands across the continent. *Grand View Research Report 2022-2030 Mike Gast was the Vice President of Communications for Kampgrounds of America, Inc. for the past 20 years. Now, he’s on to new adventures, helping others tell their stories through his freelance company, ‘Imi Ola Group. You can reach Mike at




hile the similarities between traditional lodging and outdoor hospitality are many, there are several distinct and challenging differences. Remote locations with sensitive natural environments, forest fires, floods, storms, and small detached accommodation units constructed with a variety of materials are a few examples. However, the most costly and challenging difference in a glamping business

is a remotely located seasonal workforce – or its “Glampforce”. So why is the Glampforce so essential in outdoor hospitality? Whether you listen to Stephen Covey, Richard Branson, Simon Sinek or Bill Marriott, they will all tell you generally the same thing: business starts with your employees. That is, if your employees are treated well, they will treat your customers well and business will be good. This, however, is challenging for even the best of leaders in the hospitality industry. I have been amazed at how many leaders give lip

service to these values, but then oversee toxic corporate cultures. Given the intimate size and soft adventure situation that outdoor hospitality presents, there is no room or time for anything less than a great work culture. A glamping business provides precious guest/employee interactions that can happen anytime, anywhere on the property with any of the staff members. There are no corridors to hide down, back rooms to duck into or elevators to escape guest’s inquiries. Therefore, it is a fundamental key to have an effective and inspired Glampforce.

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“The demographics of the Glampforce in the remote/ seasonal environment is currently dominated by Gen Z’s 20-somethings. These younger employees both at the line and managerial level are highly motivated to be working outdoors and sharing their outdoorsy enthusiasm with every new guest.” Who are today’s Glampforce participants? For the purposes of this article, I focus on remote locations with seasonal operations. These two situations, provide the most challenging workforce environments for business owners. If an outdoor hospitality operation is within commuting distance from a medium to large city, it will have less problem both recruiting and retaining staff as well as limited to no workforce housing issues. Additionally, year-round operations will avoid the challenges of post-season layoffs and pre-season hiring. These easier situations will still share many of the challenges, opportunities and demographics as presented in this article.

The demographics of the Glampforce in the remote/seasonal environment is currently dominated by Gen Z’s 20-somethings. These younger employees both at the line and managerial level are highly motivated to be working outdoors and sharing their outdoorsy enthusiasm with every new guest. However, these team members need to be comfortable with the day-to-day work environment as well as who they will be working with and reporting to. This suggests the lure of working outdoors is not strong enough to reduce the importance of a strong company culture. The next clear demographic group that fills out the Glampforce are the Gen X 50-somethings. These employees are experiencing a new chapter in their lives and share the younger generation’s appreciation for working outdoors. They tend to thrive on the flexibility and lifestyle seasonal work provides. Many glamping operators remain pleasantly surprised at both the life experience these older staff members bring to the team, but also their fealty to the business by coming back for several seasons. The only challenge with this demographic can be the occasional conflict between the experienced mind and less experienced. For this issue I highly recommend Chip Conley’s book Wisdom @ Work: The making of a Modern Elder for both employers and Gen X employees. There are a few other burgeoning sub-sets of the above larger demographic groups. Leading

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Jenna Celmer, Co-Founder and President, Basecamp Outdoor

recruitment firm Basecamp: Outdoor Jobs’ Co-Founder Jenna Celmer is seeing growth in certain employee groups that are relatively new to outdoor hospitality. These groups see this sector as having “value alignment” and/or fitting their more nomadic lifestyle. In particular, she identified up and coming groups such as single 55+ mothers re-entering the workforce, younger mothers looking for part-time work and recently discharged or retired military personnel. Celmer confirms that across all these major and minor demographic or psychographic groups, company culture and the treatment of employees is the

most important employee concern. Jenna points to membership in her Basecamp and websites such as, and as popular sites for recruiting. Recruiting during the pandemic and throughout 2021 was quite challenging as outdoor hospitality demand reached record levels, while employees were reluctant to return to the workforce for a variety of reasons. This has corrected a bit in 2022 as employees return to the workforce. Operators’ initial response to the difficulty in finding remote workers was to enhance the offering. As Noah Ellis of Yonder Hospitality confirmed, “we had to adjust our approach from being a ‘buyer’ of staff, to a ‘seller’ of positions”. Accordingly, remote operators had to offer higher hourly wages and sign-on bonuses or retention bonuses for employees who stayed more than 90 days. In addition, for some operators subsidized or free housing, meals, healthcare, and other benefits are rolled into offers. The issue of workforce housing remains a challenge for many nature-based remote businesses not just the outdoor hospitality sector. To address the issue, some local authorities are now requiring workforce housing to be constructed as a condition for approval of new accommodation developments or expansions. In response to the market operators are designating pads for remote workers to park their own van or trailer or just providing trailers for workers. This is particularly true where the destination has a contingent of J1 visa workers, which are now returning to the USA. Other operators will lease a house locally and provide rooms complimentary or at a subsidized below market rent. This approach has been negatively affected

by many of these houses now being sold on VRBO or AirBnB. Obviously, workers are more attracted to positions where the housing issue is well thought out, safe and affordable. As the trend for remote or nomadic workers continues apace, this consideration will remain a key selling factor for attracting your Glampforce. While hiring for personality and attitude will greatly help the overall esprit de corps of the Glampforce, it is also important to curate their overall experience. Firelight Camps’ Co-founder and CEO, Bobby Frisch has a full season of company culture enhancing programming to keep their employees engaged and motivated. Pre-season they have an employee party that includes employee’s families where everyone stays in a Firelight Camp tent. Bobby notes “it is really important that every employee knows what it’s like to be a guest here and how it feels to stay in the tents”. He also has events through the season, such as local wine or beverage tastings for his bar staff and a post-season party when the breakdown of the tents and equipment is completed. These efforts have proven successful as Firelight Camps have maintained a strong 50+% retention factor on their seasonal employees. Glamping’s goal to make nature more approachable and expose more and more people to the wonder of the great outdoors is truly noble. Providing this transformative experience rests on the shoulders of the entire staff. This obligation and honor seem more genuine and weightier when delivered to guests outside and more importantly outside their comfort zone. In summary, of all the issues inherent in providing a great glamping experience to your guest, none will be more critical than establishing a formidable Glampforce.

Yonder Escalante, photos by Amy Sibert

About Todd G. Wynne-Parry A seasoned leader in the hospitality industry, Todd has over 30 years of hotel development experience, having held senior leadership positions at several major hotel brands and most recently AutoCamp and Two Roads Hospitality. A dual-citizen of the US and Australia, Wynne-Parry has lived and worked in the U.S., Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom. He was instrumental in the development efforts for IHG, Starwood and Marriott in the Asia Pacific region and for Two Roads Hospitality globally. He began his career as a hotel consultant in the San Diego office of Laventhol & Horwath, the predecessor to Horwath HTL. He is now Managing Director of Horwath HTL and leads the Outdoor Hospitality practice for North America. Horwath HTL is the largest independent hospitality consultancy with 52 offices worldwide. Todd earned an MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management and sits on the advisory council of the American Glamping Association. In his spare time, Todd enjoys fly fishing and exploring the western US in his 1953 Airstream.

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he Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary is an incredibly ambitious project to create a unique, food-focused eco-glamping experience on roughly 500 acres of wild forest in the mountains of western Maine. In February of this year Karen Bolduc, who co-owns The Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary alongside her husband John Bolduc, finally finished her search for funding, a search that took 547 days. Securing funding is often the most difficult and exhausting part of a project. Will Rusbridge, Editor of Glamping Business Americas, caught up with Karen to hear about her journey and the lessons that she has learnt along the way.

“We knew we wanted a place to showcase and share the beauty and bounty of our gorgeous home state of Maine. We know that there is profound healing to be had in nature, and in food.”

Karen Bolduc

John Bolduc

“When my husband John and I first began our site search 3 years ago, it was a very intentional and deliberate process for us with a clear idea that we wanted to launch a glamping business together,” says Karen. “We knew we wanted a place to showcase and share the beauty and bounty of our gorgeous home state of Maine. We know that there is profound healing to be had in nature, and in food. Simultaneously, we also saw a large underserved market of travelers burnt out with so-called “experiential” vacations, that were really just repackaged goods and services for consumption.” Looking for the perfect location, Karen and John, “bushwacked, hiked, snowshoed and snowmobiled our way through nearly 50 properties.” During this search they saw places that were promising on paper, but in person the land just fell flat. Eventually, they came across some land in Greenwood that, “had everything we

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wanted, plus the magic, a feeling you had in your gut that the land was particularly special, tapped on the shoulder by destiny to be great. It was the unicorn that we had been searching for and we couldn’t pass it up.” Using their own money, they purchased the land and the search for funding to create their glamping sanctuary began. Karen originally thought that they would have to sell equity to fund the project, “We had been told repeatedly that traditional lenders wouldn’t touch a “speculative” deal like ours with a 100-foot pole, so we just accepted that debt-financing wasn’t an option and thus aggressively and diligently went about looking for equity.” Being a self-confessed introvert, who loathes persuasion and selling, Karen found this to be “exhausting and miserable work,” but, “I went through the motions - developed a business plan and pitch deck, had a feasibility study done, and grew our network of high-net-worth individuals. Some reached out to us after we received a little press, some we met attending glamping industry summits around the US, some were friends of family or friends of friends of family, some were active investors met at competitions I pitched in; and each one would lead to another. We met several dozen potential investors this way, and after a year of often discouraging but generally enlightening conversations to try to attract investment on the project one thing became clear: investors won’t invest until you’ve proven your concept on your own nickel first - at least not if your concept is brand new, as ours was.” This was among the biggest problem that Karen and The Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary went through. Investors like to bet on proven quantities, if it’s been done before, then there is information on what went right and what went wrong; ideas to adopt and pitfalls to avoid. But something new and innovative, no matter how good the idea, comes with risk. “Investors had heard of high-end glamping where butlers serve you in your safari tent and chandeliers light your “rustic” sleeping quarters,

but not of one where guests paying $1000+ per night would be expected to get their hands dirty. Some of them called it “high-end DIY” but whatever you want to call it, we couldn’t find anything like it to use as a comparison. So, we felt defeated and wondered where on earth we were going to find $4M for the first phase.” All hope was not lost however, and out of the blue, Karen received a call from her small business advisor at Maine SBDC, who’d helped hone all the financial projections in the business plan, “I gave him the discouraging update. He noted that it was important that we’d already used our own money to acquire the site, build roads, establish our owner’s cabin there, and have architectural drawings, civil engineering and permitting done. He asked what precisely the $4M we were seeking would be going toward. When I told him nearly all of it was physical construction, as we’d already covered most of the other soft costs, he said, why don’t you just approach it as a commercial construction loan collateralized by the future value of the structures? Then we could also potentially pledge the land to make up any collateral gap.” This advice changed everything for Karen, who started to look at the search for funding in an entirely new way, “It was still a tough sell to banks who nearly all indeed called it speculative as

soon as they heard the word ‘treehouse.’ But once *I* became convinced this was just a straight-up collateralized commercial construction loan, and pitched it that way to banks, focusing on the more traditional cabins we also have planned, it was only a matter of time before one local bank saw it that way, too.” While the advice Karen received from her small business advisor helped immensely, the newfound approach would not work on its own. The decision was made to pair the advice, “with the additional strategy of minimizing risk for the lender by only having them fund the minimum viable product (MVP). Originally, we had planned two major phases - we knew we eventually wanted about 2 dozen units, so I originally thought to do 12 in one phase and 12 in another. But once I really understood the concept of MVP, I took a very hard critical look at what was the absolute minimum number of units we could possibly build and still operate in the black and prove that our idea works. I ran a billion scenarios and got it down to 6 units and $2M needed. This turned out to be the magic number and what the bank was able to stomach as tolerable risk once fully collateralized.” This new plan consisted of three separate phases: Phase 1: Bootstrapping soft costs to get traction (achieved by selling off the farm, John’s general contracting business, and some mutual real estate investments) Phase 2: Proof of concept using only the MVP (this was done by debt-financing construction w/a traditional commercial construction loan) Phase 3: Taking the project to scale (In the future, likely to be achieved by a combination of debt-financing and equity funding to expand once a few years of historical financials and good occupancy rates under their belt have been attained) With phase one behind them and funding secured, the time has finally come for construction to begin, this includes, “1.5 miles of new road, 6 units, one welcome center, one maintenance building, a day-care building, 2 sheds, and 5 amenities.” “After construction is finished, we’ll likely have a soft opening in which we invite the local community to come stay at highly discounted prices in exchange for feedback on the experience. After working out the kinks we’ll officially open for business, and at that point, my sole focus will be on doing everything necessary to meet customer

expectations such that we can achieve the rate and occupancy assumptions we made in our business plans. We plan to open by late summer or early fall 2023 if all goes well.” What advice would Karen give to people who are in a similar situation, searching for funding? “I would say, ignore all the small-minded naysayers who will nit-pick every bit of your vision every step of the way, and learn instead to trust your vision - it is your unique vision that will be attractive to fund, not some glossed over version of it that everyone else is doing,” she also adds that if you are currently searching, “read articles like this and glean as much as you can from others’ mistakes! That will take you half the way right there. If you read five articles about how people found funds, I promise you’d glean patterns and start to figure out what to do. Lean on examples of what worked.” If you’d like to find out more about The Coal Burned Spoon Sanctuary, you can find their website at

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THE GLAMPING SHOW USA 2022 This year’s event is promising to be the most exciting yet. We spoke to organizer David Korse about how things are shaping up ahead of the October event.


he great news is that exhibition is already more than 25% larger than last year’s event,” Korse said, adding that as of the date of publication, there are 72 confirmed exhibitors and counting. “We have exhibitors from the US, Canada, Mexico, Netherlands, South Africa, Australia, UK and Belgium.” Visitor registration is also running well ahead of last year’s pace and the variety of products and services offered at this year’s expo has also expanded.

NEW EXHIBITORS (AS OF PRESS TIME) INCLUDE: • Access Parks • Ameris Bank • App My Community • Arizona ARVC • Book Outdoors • Boutique Camping • Byer of Maine • Century Chemical Corporation • Cloud Beds • • Glampitect • Hotel Emporium • Jamestown Advanced Products • Loll Designs • Orenco • Price Labs • Red Awning

ON-SITE GLAMPING AVAILABLE This year, for the first time, visitors to the show can experience glamping firsthand. In partnership with The Glamping Show, Stout Tent is offering fully-furnished luxury bell tents. “There were many requests last year for on-site glamping,” said Korse, “and we were fortunate that Stout Tent was willing to provide this service.” Stout is a major festival-pop up glamping organizer and has made a limited number of tents available to those who prefer to stay on-site. For more information and reservations: html#onsite

• Sky Web Network • It’s All About Satellites • Thomas USAF • World of Tents • Zip Modular • Zip Paneling • Zoeller Pump

“We are always trying to evolve the show and the conference program to meet the needs of the audience and this year is no exception,”

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NEW GLAMPING INVESTMENT CONNECTION WORKSHOP “We are always trying to evolve the show and the conference program to meet the needs of the audience and this year is no exception,” Korse said. With that in mind, the show is introducing a second half-day, pre-show workshop Glamping Investment Connection, which takes place on Monday morning, October 3rd, the day before the show opens. The program, co-sponsored with and produced by the American Glamping Association, is all about the process of accessing investment capital (loans and/or investors). Attendees will hear actual pitches from different glamping operators, which will then be critiqued by investment professionals. “The focus is to help prepare those looking for capital to start or grow their business learn how to craft their pitch so it best positions their company and grabs the attention of the investor or loan institution. “Our hope is that not only will it be useful to glamping businesses, but that the financial


community – which we expect will be represented in the audience – will learn more about the glamping business, and have a chance to meet those in the market,” Korse said. For more information and to register:

GLAMPING BUSINESS BASICS Once again this year, also on Monday, October 3rd, but in the afternoon, the organizers have created a pre-show workshop specifically for those who are in the planning stages or have just launched a new glamping business. Glamping Business Basics was hugely popular in 2021 and offered an overview of what a glamping business operator needs to know and plan for, according to Korse. Attendees will hear from other operators who have “been there, done that” and will take away a checklist as well as ideas and information on topics such as finance options, land purchase versus lease and much more. This workshop topic is a repeat of 2021, however, it offers new content and new speakers. For more information and registration:

daily. A highlight of the program will be the first presentation of the results of the 2022 KOA Glamping Report on trends and expectations of the glamping market. This research will be presented by KOA’s CMO and COO of Terramor Outdoor Resort, Whitney Scott. Sessions on new technologies for the glamping market, how to use influencer marketing to grow your business, why and how to grow your brand and the scoop on FDA and USDA loans are just some of the programs on tap for this year. Please see the following pages for details of the B2B conference program.

TWO-DAY CONFERENCE PROGRAM Tuesday and Wednesday during the exhibition, an eight-session business-to-business conference program will be featured with new content from 2021. “The topics and speakers are selected directly from the feedback we receive from previous year’s attendees,” Korse said. These need-to-know topics address business issues that existing and growing businesses face g l a m p i n g s h o w. u s | G l a m p i n g B u s i n e s s A m e r i c a s | 4 1

GLAMPING BUSINESS CONFERENCE DELIVERS EXPERT STRATEGIES AND BEST PRACTICES The cream of the glamping crop—trailblazers in this flourishing industry—will be at The Glamping Show USA to teach you how to do what they do best.


ur exciting lineup of robust sessions cover everything your new or established outdoor hospitality business needs to thrive. Learn about funding, elevating your outreach efforts, creating a more attractive offering to keep your guests coming back, leveraging new tech and so much more from a team of experts who have been there, done that. There’s even an info-packed pre-conference Glamping Business Basics workshop geared for individuals who are embarking on a new glamping adventure. Come with questions!

SCHEDULE-AT-A-GLANCE MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022 PRE-SHOW WORKSHOPS 7:30 am – 4:30 pm Registration 8:00 am – 8:30 am Continental Breakfast 8:30 am – 11:30 am Glamping Investment Connection 11:30 am – 1:00 pm Workshop Attendee Lunch 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Glamping Business Basics

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022 7:30 am – 5:00 pm Registration 8:30 am – 9:00 am Conference Continental Breakfast 9:00 am – 10:00 am Glamping: From Niche to Mainstream 10:00 am – 5:00 pm EXPO OPEN 11:00 am – 12 noon Investigating Off-Grid Solutions 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Conference Attendee Lunch 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Growing Your Business Through Growing Your Brand 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm The “Scoop” on SBA and USDA Loans 5:00pm – 6:00pm Networking Reception


MONDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2022 Pre-show Workshop: BRAND NEW FOR 2022!


8:30 am – 11:30 am

8:00 am – 4:00 pm Registration 8:30 am – 9:00 am Conference Continental Breakfast 9:00 am – 10:00 am How to Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing 10:00 am – 4:00 pm EXPO OPEN 11:00 am – 12 noon New Technologies 12:00 noon – 1:00 pm Conference Attendee Lunch 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Retreats, Events and Remote Workers 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm How to Increase Online Bookings

Glamping Investment Connection

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Find the information and capital to propel your dream forward. The Investment Connection is an in-person event designed specifically to assist businesses in the glamping industry hone their pitches to obtain access to capital and resources for new and existing glamping projects. We have arranged for active investors in the glamping and outdoor hospitality space to listen to a selected number of pitches from qualified businesses and give valuable feedback to help them refine their quest for capital. Even if you’re not ready to pitch your idea, but would like to learn how others prepare their plans for funding, this half-day program can serve as a tutorial.


Financing Options From bank loans, to equity investment, inventory financing to friends and family. Learn where and how to tap the various potential sources of capital. Property Purchase or Land Lease? The ins and outs of site selection is covered here as well as how to weigh the options of purchasing or leasing land for your business.

evolution, trends, perceived expectations and experiences that define the world of glamping. Showcasing Terramor’s Glamping Research for the first time, COO Whitney Scott will blend new glamping specific data with recent and historical real-life findings from both Terramor and KOA in this can’t miss keynote presentation. Speakers: Whitney Scott, Chief Operation Officer of Terramor Outdoor Resort and Chief Marketing Officer of Kampgrounds of America, Inc.

Founders Stories: Hear how two operations began with small steps to achieve their glamping vision.

Pre-Show Workshop 1:00 pm – 4:30 pm Glamping Business Basics From Concept to Launch and Beyond: What you need to know to start a glamping business. Launching and running a glamping business is more than setting up tents and a website. Whether you are in the planning stages or ready to launch, make sure you have your important business basics covered. This session is designed as an overview of those business areas that you will encounter in your journey. Find out about those “check list” items that every glamping business must complete before opening for business to site selection and finance options and more. You’ll also hear from experts and those who have been in your shoes - who will share information and personal stories that will make your glamping business adventure easier and more successful. This session, organized by the American Glamping Association, is a must for everyone thinking about or ready to launch their glamping vision. Don’t miss this chance to learn from others who have been on your journey. The program includes: “State of the Industry” Report Presented by Ruben Martinez of The American Glamping Association. An update on the growth of the glamping industry and where it’s headed. Start-Up Checklist What you need to do and know before jumping into your new venture. Topics include risk mitigation, ADA, disaster management, insurance, permitting and more.

Speakers: Ruben Martinez, American Glamping Association; Blake Smith, Walden Retreats; Irene Wood, The Fields of Michigan; David Smith, Outside Capital; and more.


11:00 am – 12 noon Investigating Off-Grid Solutions

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2022 Special Keynote Presentation 9:00 am –10:00 am Glamping: From Niche to Mainstream For a word that was just introduced in the dictionary 5 years ago, glamping has taken the hospitality world by storm. Learn about the

Whether your glamping site is in a remote location or not, off-grid options for power, and even water and wastewater, might be on your radar as a consideration to be more eco-conscious or fiscally prudent. This session will bring together operators who have come up with solutions to taking some elements of their businesses off-grid. Find out the advantages they’ve experienced and gather info on what your options may be in tackling the challenge of moving toward a partial or total offgrid business. Come hear what they’ve done and discovered with regard to battery and solar technology, costs and permitting, water, wastewater and more. Moderator: Ben Quiggle, Editor, Woodall’s Campground Magazine; Panel: Antonio Gonzalez, Co-Founder and COO, Jupe and Lauren Roth Venu, Principal, Roth Ecological Design International

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1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Growing Your Business Through Growing Your Brand: Lessons Learned from AutoCamp

Retreats, Events and Remote Workers

If you’ve wondered what “branding” is, why brand development is important to your business and how to start, this session for you. Even if you have already started on your “branding journey,” pick up tips from a company who has been successful in building their brand. This session will cover some of the basics and more: • Brand equity and value alignment • Brand design, touchpoints, and consistency • Long-term growth of brands and how to take yours to the next level Come with questions and prepare to learn something new. Speaker: Taylor Davis, VP Marketing, Autocamp

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2022 9:00 am – 10:00 am How to Grow Your Business with Influencer Marketing Get the inside track on influencer marketing and discover how niche content creators can elevate your glamping operation. In this talk led by Mike & Anne Howard, the travel influencers behind HoneyTrek and authors of the glamping book Comfortably Wild, find out how to connect with the right influencers, work with them on the ground, and make the most of the content they create. No matter your marketing budget (even $0), there is an influencer out there to improve your photography assets, grow your social media presence, and level up your glamping business.

What are the opportunities offered by different types of group bookings? Following lockdowns, groups are looking to reconnect in nature including ex-office workers who now work from home who wish to reconnect, or digital nomads for whom the world is now their office. Then there are weddings and other celebrations that were cancelled that are being rescheduled in the open air. Steph Curtis-Raleigh and panel explore the opportunities and drawbacks of these types of bookings and what special requirements these guests may have. Moderator: Steph Curtis-Raleigh, Editor and Publisher, Glamping Business Americas. Panel: To be announced

Speakers: Anne and Mike Howard, Honeytrek

11:00 am – 12 noon 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

New Technologies for The Outdoor Space

Find out if an SBA or USDA loan is a fit for your new or existing business. You’ll learn what the loans are available for and the criteria to qualify for this type of funding---from loan amounts to what makes you the ideal candidate and how to pre-qualify. Whether you’re in the market for capital now or will be in the future, grab this chance to learn about a possible funding option for your glamping business.

Technology can not only streamline your operations, but it can also save payroll dollars, predict demand, and assist in targeting your marketing to the markets that matter. Join Kathleen Walsh, CEO of Advanced Outdoor Solutions as she explains how the industry has “Grown Up,” and now offers technology and integrations that are light years above what it had just a few years ago. Reservation systems and OTA (Online Travel Agent) will be addressed and there will be ample time for Q&A.

Speaker: Bruce Hurta, VP Government Guaranteed Lending, Ameris Bank

Speaker: Kathleen Walsh, Advanced Outdoor Solutions

The “Scoop” on SBA and USDA Loans

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3:00 pm – 4:00 pm How to Increase Online Bookings Even the perfect camping spot needs effective marketing to maximize bookings and a healthy return on your investment. With so many methods to attract campers, you need to focus on what’s most effective, from building your own website, to partnering with OTAs, to managing online reviews. What is the best use of your limited time to drive your business? We’ll talk with different operators to find out what they have learned works best. Moderator: John Hayden, President, The Dyrt Panel: Vinny Cuneo, Autocamp; and more



eb accessibility has been a hot topic in the hospitality industry lately. You may have heard the term because of the surge in disability lawsuits among small businesses without an ADA compliant website. Or maybe it’s because of the well-known benefits it brings to a business’ bottom line. No matter how it came onto your radar, web accessibility has become an essential investment for glamping businesses and the entire travel industry. Having an accessible website will dramatically increase bookings, enhance the guest experience and shield your organization from ADA lawsuits (as well as the hefty legal fees and PR nightmare that come with them). If all that wasn’t enough incentive already, the IRS now offers a special tax credit of up to $5,000 for small businesses that make their website accessible.

WHAT IS WEB ACCESSIBILITY? Web accessibility is the inclusive practice of making sure your site is usable for people with disabilities. There are over 1 billion people worldwide who have a condition that affects their ability to navigate the internet. These generally fall into visual (blindness), auditory (partial deafness), physical (trembling hands) and cognitive (autism) impairments, however, it also includes people with changing abilities due to aging and those who need assistive technology devices, such as a screen reader. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to protect the rights of people with such conditions and guarantee they can participate in all parts of society. It’s the reason why brick-and-mortar locations are required to have wheelchair ramps and accessible restrooms. However, many business owners are surprised to learn that today these same regulations also extend online. Web accessibility removes the barriers to interaction faced by people with disabilities.

To achieve ADA compliance, sites need to be either designed or modified according to official standards. Otherwise, businesses without an accessible website are excluding those with disabilities (and a huge portion of their potential customer pool) from their services and open themselves up to expensive ADA lawsuits. Glamping businesses already understand the importance of catering to their guests and are constantly looking for ways to better serve their clientele. Just as your staff makes physical accommodations for guests on-site, web accessibility is a way to make sure their needs are met online. Having an accessible website enhances the customer experience by ensuring that all potential guests are comfortable interacting with your brand from the moment they Google your name.

THE IRS WILL PAY UP TO $5,000 FOR WEB ACCESSIBILITY WITH A SPECIAL TAX CREDIT Improving your website’s accessibility is an investment in your business. In the same way that a business incurs costs when installing a wheelchair ramp at the entrance of the building, there are also expenses associated with making your website accessible. That’s why the IRS introduced a special tax credit that will reimburse qualifying businesses up to $5,000 for increasing their level of accessibility. Under IRS Code Section 44, Disabled Access Credit, you can write off up to 50% of eligible expenses for improving website accessibility and other accommodations that make your business more usable for people with disabilities. The tax credit is a great way to offset some of the costs associated with alterations to improve accessibility. The requirements for the tax credit are simple: • The expense needs to be between $250 and $10,000 for the taxable year for a maximum benefit of $5,000.

• Businesses qualify if they have annual revenues of less than $1 million or less than 30 full-time employees in the previous tax year. The cherry on top? This tax credit can be used every year by businesses who continually invest in their accessibility! Get the tax credit with Form 8826, Disabled Access Credit.

LET’S MAKE YOUR WEBSITE ACCESSIBLE TOGETHER! Web accessibility can seem like a daunting task. That’s why our team at Access Design Studio offers a 3-tiered Fix, Build and Solve approach. Whether you’re creating a brand new site or modifying an existing one, we offer several simple solutions to overcome the current barriers to interaction and achieve full ADA compliance. Our team is composed of accredited technicians and accessibility experts who work according to official requirements. Not only will this ensure you’re granted this special tax credit by the IRS, but it will also shield your business from potential ADA lawsuits. Get in touch for a complimentary website scan and video consultation today.

Denise Páne is the Founder and CEO of Access Design Studio, the leading expert in ADA compliant, accessible websites for the hospitality industry. A lifelong advocate of people with disabilities (starting with her own Special Olympian brother), Denise boasts over 20 years of hospitality-business design expertise, with a special focus on making websites compelling and inviting for people of all abilities. Denise is an Accredited Accessibility Expert and a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and the World Wide Web Consortium. Learn more about Denise at

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P R O D U C T FO C U S The Cedar Bound founders

A TWO-STORY Photos: copyright © Bailey Aro Photography


Hutch and Bailey are a Minnesota-based husband-wife team who met at summer camp. A few years ago, Hutch was laid up following knee surgery, and thought: What if we built a two-story tent?


ure, sure,” said Bailey, assuming it was the post-surgical haze talking. But then: a few napkin sketches later, the concept began to take shape…and that’s how Cedar Bound was born. Cedar Bound designs and builds innovative year-round tented cabins for resorts, glampgrounds, and outdoor retreats. Their unique structures bridge the gap between modern cabin and luxury tent, offering creature comforts while still providing connection to nature and design-driven indoor-outdoor living space. Engineered insulation panels & durable materials allow for all-weather use, including snow and cold!

Start with one of our buildable cabin kits, and finish the interior to suit your vision. Cabin kit assembly typically takes 7-12 days with a crew of 2-3 people, based on kit selections. Before assembling your kit, you’ll need to prep your site and platform. Upon ordering, the company will provide all the necessary construction documents to help you prep your build site. For orders of 1-2 units, they offer full service Cabin Kit Assembly, and for orders of 3+ units, they offer complimentary On-Site Build Consultation to assist your build crew with assembling the first structure.

The main features: • Classic timber framing using chunky Douglas Fir timbers • A thick, durable vinyl canopy “roof” protecting the canvas beneath • On the cabin itself: treated canvas roof and side walls (fire rated, waterproof, and mildew-resistant) • Traditionally-framed end walls, allowing for simplified utility installation, increased security, and protection from the elements • Customizable exterior finishings: opt for our signature configuration, or get creative with your own siding, windows, and doors. 4 6 | G l a m p i n g B u s i n e s s A m e r i c a s | g l a m p i n g s h o w. u s

Looking for something proprietary? For orders of 20+ units, we now offer custom design. Work with our co-founder and lead designer Hutch to create something truly unique for your property! Cedar Bound tented cabins have a projected lifespan of multiple decades, compared to 1-3 years for traditional glamping tents. Maintenance is straightforward: the company recommends restretching your vinyl canopy one year after install, and then as needed every 2-3 years. As a certified 1% For the Planet Member, Cedar Bound is committed to donating at least 1% of our annual revenue to organizations that support the health of the planet. Learn more at and explore our catalog for complete details. See Cedar Bound at The Glamping Show USA in Aurora, CO this October 4-5.

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