How to Set Up a Glampground

In an earlier post, we introduced Glamping, a form of upscale vacationing that brings the amenities of a hotel to a campground. We wrote about the history of Glamping and the changing consumer landscape supporting this niche experience. What we didn’t explain was how an entrepreneur might go about starting a Glampground of their own. Though it’s far from all-encompassing, we hope you find today’s post enlightening.

Three elements should be at the top of your list to focus on to build a solid Glampground.

The first consideration is Location, Location, Location (duh?). More specifically, attention should be paid to a potential site’s physical attractiveness. There are two reasons for this.

 Now THAT, is one heck of a view. ECHOOOOOoooooo______!!!!!

Now THAT, is one heck of a view. ECHOOOOOoooooo______!!!!!

  • Economics - If your park is naturally breathtaking & scenic, your business will require significantly less capital to create attraction. A beautiful place is a destination in and of itself.

  • The Halo Effect - Observing one positive characteristic creates the impression of other positive characteristics. An example of this bias occurs in the courtroom. Jurists have been shown to give a good-looking defendant a higher-than-average score for likeability, eloquence, and self-control, even when there is no evidence to support these claims. The halo effect applies to all areas of your operation and amenities. If your site is situated amid a beautiful landscape, this can provide added allure to other aspects of your park. An ocean sunrise can be enough to make decent food taste great.

You should next consider your new park’s theme. The theme should be consistent with the park’s surroundings. Just like a good hotel has a predominating style that informs everything from its architecture to its napkin color, everything man-made at your Glampsite should reference an underlying tone. Choosing the right one is an important decision, but it’s a choice that shouldn’t consume an inordinate amount of your time. Just follow one simple rule.

 "Simple" can be very effective for blending the theme of the park with the furnishings.

"Simple" can be very effective for blending the theme of the park with the furnishings.

  • The guest should feel a seamless transition from your glampground into the surrounding scenery. Visualize a treehouse. If the treehouse is too large, if its wood is too polished, and if each room has satellite TV, your guests will feel like they’ve arrived at a hotel rather than a campground. Though your accommodations should be luxurious, they can’t be so extravagant as to dispel the guest’s idea that they’re “roughing it,” despite all foliage to the contrary.

  • Keep technology cleverly hidden.

  • Use building materials that could be called rustic, old-fashioned or timeless.

Finally, you’ll need furnishings. We recommend enlisting the help of an interior decorator, whether a friend or a paid service. For a few hundred dollars online, they can send you ideas and recommendations. This could be a small price to pay for creating the kind of stylish interiors that urbanites will pay up for in a Glamping experience. However, if you’re keen on going at it alone, you would do well to stick to the same basic principles outlined in building your lodgings. The furniture and decorations should follow your theme and style.

  • Aim for eclectic rather than uniform

  • Items should be made from natural materials, with a “rough” look that still show high-quality manufacturing

  • Fabrics should be in muted, earthy tones.

  • Avoid clutter but don’t be so minimalist as to give the impression that you ran out of money halfway through the decorating process

  • Googling images of “glamping” should generate plenty of ideas and a base to plan from

This growing trend has taken root in the camping industry and has carved out its own niche with subtle yet clear differences to the traditional camping experience. Let your personality, and that of your guest, shine through to this new age of outdoor luxury experiences.

Until next time and as always, Let’s Bonfire.

- JACK from THE BONFIRE TEAM