Among RV enthusiasts, Kampgrounds of America (KOA) has been a well-known budget option for over half a century. Now, KOA is expanding into the luxury camping business.
Luxury camping, which combines the beauty of nature and the glamour of high-end resorts, is commonly called glamping.
KOA transitioned one of its regular campgrounds into a glamping site in 2019 as part of its new subsidiary brand, Terramor.
The pandemic delayed the flagship location’s opening until August 2020, but the glamping site was in high demand once it could open. Adventurers were tired of travel restrictions and stay-at-home orders, so a glamorous twist on the great outdoors was uniquely appealing.
The flagship property outside Acadia National Park saw occupancy rates as high as 77% in its first year.
Toby O’Rourke, KOA’s executive, said that camping demographics are changing. Campers are now much more likely to be young, and they’re also more diverse than ever.
Surprisingly, O’Rourke also reported that Gen Z campers are eager to go on technology detoxes. Though KOA parks include wifi hookups, older campers use them more than younger campers, who see camping as a way to appreciate a slower pace while connecting with loved ones.
But what does glamping look like? O’Rourke described a variety of unusual offerings, ranging from elegant yurts to fancy treehouses.
She stated that she doesn’t use the word glamping herself, nor does she think of these luxury sites as campsites. Instead, O’Rourke calls the sites outdoor resorts.
The resorts offer real beds with linens and pillows, private bathrooms, food services, and more.