Camping is one of America’s favorite pastimes, and its popularity keeps growing! The latest estimates show 77 million households have at least one person who camps, a number that increased by 7 million in just the past five years. With thousands of campgrounds to choose from, there’s stiff competition when it comes to attracting campers to your piece of the great outdoors. So get creative and see how many vacationers you can attract.
Clean Restrooms and Showers
It may not be glamorous or fun, but well-maintained and sparkling clean restrooms and showers top the list of perks campers look for. That’s another tidbit to come from the camping survey mentioned above. Check any online reviews, and you’ll find people talking about the cleanliness, or lack of, at the last campground they visited. So, while it may not seem like a perk, keeping those toilets and showers bright and shiny will pay off.
Folks go camping to connect with nature and relax, among other reasons. So, it seems counterproductive to stay attached to your phone or laptop. Still, free Wi-Fi is something the majority of campers want. In this day of instant gratification on social media, they want to tell everyone RIGHT NOW where they are and what they’re doing. In fact, some campers avoid national parks, where only some sites have internet access and head to private campgrounds for the Wi-Fi.
Activities for the kids and family are next on the list of what brings campers to your campground. A bright and colorful, massive playground is a great draw. What child doesn’t want to swing, slide, or climb? Making sure the area is accessible and has soft ground cover is crucial. There should also be plenty of shade, green space, and benches for parents to sit on.
Speaking of green space, consider adding some next to the playground so mom and dad can relax while the kids play. A community garden increases camper’s access to fresh vegetables. It gives parents something to do while their kids play nearby. It also serves as a social space where campers can interact with others. Or add a Japanese Zen garden as a space for peaceful thoughts and meditation. The design should include large rocks, plants and trees, pathways, and a water element. This unique space will surely guarantee repeat customers.
While many people love the social aspect of a campground, others spend days living next to nature for quiet and privacy. Larger campsites put a little more distance between visitors. And sites that are a bit bigger and separated by trees or shrubs give the feeling of solitude.
Campers who don’t want to leave Rover behind are looking for pet-friendly campgrounds. Be sure to clearly state the rules regarding dogs when accepting reservations, so there aren’t any misunderstandings when guests arrive. Offer dog walk and play areas and provide waste disposal bags and plenty of garbage cans. And space out the campers with dogs, so they aren’t all barking at the same time! If you fertilize the grass areas, be sure to choose one that’s pet friendly. You can find a list of fertilizers here.
Activities for All
Offer activities everyone loves. Ice cream socials are tasty and allow campers to get to know others in the campground. Screen outdoor movies after dark, but be sure to stay away from films that aren’t appropriate for youngsters. Speaking of youngsters and those young at heart, an on-site game room, with some pool tables and shuffleboard for good measure, will keep your guests coming back for more.
Work with businesses in the community and provide coupons for your campers. Provide a printed bulletin with a list of the best restaurants and attractions in town, so they don’t have to resort to Google.
There are different reasons people like to get away from it all and “rough it” in tents or camp in their RVs. Whether they’re looking for social gatherings, family time, or privacy and nature, these perks will leave you with happy campers!