WOODALLSCM.com February 2018 - 21 when you consider that the wagons can be sold at $170 to $200 per night on average.” Conestoga Wagon was founded two years ago after the founders, a group of friends, built a wagon for their own glamping resortandreceivedalotofpositivefeedback. Each wagon is custom built with wide timber beams, metal brackets, a king size bed and electricwiringthatcansupportACunits,LED lighting and charging stations. “We also have built custom axles that allow the units to move easily if an owner wants to relocate the unit,” said Olson. “The units can be hooked to a tractor or a truck, or ifitisonflatgroundtwoorthreepeoplecould roll it.” Olson said that the canvas wrapping on thetopofthewagonmayneedtobereplaced afterfourtoeightyearsdependingonclimate and the wood’s decking stain may need touching up from time to time, but that the rest of the wagon will last generations. Olson said that so far the company has seen a great response and, in 2017, sold 50 units. “We are finding that campgrounds who buy multiple units are having the most success, because people want neighbors,” he said. “It is a social experience and they want someone there to share it with.” Anotheralternativetoaparkmodelorcabin is the yurt. The beauty of a yurt is the ability to glam it up or down. Gary Fout, owner and operatoroftheWilliamsburgKOAinWilliams- burg,Va.,decidedtotryoutyurtstwoyearsago and has been pleased with the results. “We have 50 regular camping cabins and 17 camping lodges, so we thought we’d give itatryandthey’vebeensuccessful,”hesaid. “Ours have a simple heating and air condi- tioning unit in them. They have a queen-size bed and a fold-out futon bed. There’s no plumbing in them, but they are right next to the restrooms and showers. The round walls are eight feet high and above that it’s conical —andhasalargeskylightatthetopofthat,” said Fout. In Fout’s case the yurts fit nicely in the glamping niche. “The word ‘glamping’ has been thrown around a lot in the past couple of years and these yurts would fall in that category,” he said.“Thereviewsfromthemhavebeenvery positive, just as good as something with restrooms in them, like a camping lodge or even better. It just fits a little niche that you can’t find anywhere else.” “I would say that the current trend with yurts is toward larger, more luxurious mod- els,” said Alan Bair, owner of Oregon-based Pacific Yurts. The company has been selling yurts for more than 40 years. “We have six different sizes but the 24- and 30-foot models have been most popular this year. It’s been a greatyearforsalestotheresortcampground market.” He said those are sometimes the things thatcustomersdooncetheygettheiryurt,but in this market he is providing these services. “Upgrades are also very popular which, for us, means thermal glass windows and complete insulation,” said Bair. “These yurts are typically used year- round, with the insulation and interior amenities. But the trend is toward building facilities inside the yurt. A small partition for a bathroom and even a bedroom or sleeping loft and then little kitchenettes inside, so it’s a self-contained unit.” Bair said they even add flat-screen TVs to some models. “With all these interior fea- tures, utilities and amenities, I think that is why we are selling larger models with all of the upgrades and full insulation,” he said. Eco Structures Australia, founded 17 yearsago,hashadsimilarsuccessmarketing another unique tent structure known as the EcoTent.Bell,whoalongwithrunningtheSt. Louis KOA is also the U.S.-based sales representative for Eco Structures, said that the company started expanding beyond Australia in the last six or seven years. With more than 700 structures standing world- wide, Bell said that the Eco Tents are built to stand the test of time. “Theyfeaturegalvanizedsteelframesthat aredesignedtowithstandhurricanesandthe canvas shell is designed to last 10 years,” he said, adding that the tents are designed to offer a great return on investment for campground operators. Of course, for many camp operators there’s still no substitute for more traditional — and immensely popular — park models and cabins. At Phoenix-based Cavco Industries Inc. Tim Gage, vice president of park models and cabins, said the hospitality market is going “gangbusters.” “We are seeing our products being very well received,” he said. “Sales are strong, especially on the west coast.” Gage said that Cavco works hard to remain ahead of the competition and that the company is prepping to release a brand-new series of park models in 2018. Currently named the Magnolia Series (although Gage said the name may change), the series will feature a contemporary farmhouselookwith10-15 different floorplans. “We have a floorplan that will feature a mar- garita deck and the units will feature front and rear porches,” he said. “It really is something that has not been seen in the park model industry.” Park models, cabins and deluxe cabins also provide varying degrees of the glamping experi- ence. Lancaster Log Cab- ins has witnessed this growing trend since its inception in 1990. “The whole glamping thing is trending now,” said Dan Smucker, Lancaster Log Cabins’ owner and general manager. “It seemslikeMillennialsarereallytakingastart to camping. That’s helped the industry a lot, especially the glamping trend. They want their amenities and nicer cabins, so a lot of the campgrounds are pushing that, which is where we’re coming in. “Campgrounds are our biggest market; probablyabout90%to95%ofourbusinessis campgrounds,” he continued. “We have about 30 to 40 campground customers who order from us on a regular basis. Our older customersarebuyingmoreandwe’regetting some new customers who hadn’t gotten many cabins in the past but are getting them now. It’s definitely a growing market.” Business is also good for Pinnacle Park, according to Terri Stewart, co-owner of the Georgia-based firm that plans on building 80-plus units this year, adding that the firm has continually set sales records for the past 10 years. “Our campground business has really picked up,” said Stewart, “We are off to a good start this year, too.” She reported that her firm is adding more cabin models because campground owners are reinvesting in upgrades to their facilities with new rental units. “Rentals are a lot of the income of camp- grounds these days,” said Stewart. “Usually, owners want the highest amount of rental income at the lowest amount of dollars invested. But this year our higher-end cabins are showing a sales increase. They want all the extras like solid-surface countertops and real hardwood floors.” Shesaidthatcottagesaresellingwelltoo. “We do mostly cedar siding and metal roofs but our fiber cement siding, which we canpaintinanycoloryouchoose,hasshown a big increase, too,” said Stewart. “We still suggest metal roofs for everyone. They last longer and are about the same price as a shingle roof these days. “Basically, we are seeing the camp- groundsgoingbacktothefull-sizeunitthatis just under 400 square feet with a loft, and some have porches,” she continued. Elkhart-based Skyline Corp. builds more than 500 park models a year and, according toKatherineAmick,amarketingspecialistat the company, 2017 was a very good year for business. “People have been very enthused about our cabin line for Shore Park and our Florida- built retirement models,” she said. “We have a floorplan for about every need,” she said. “What’s selling really well are king-bed bedroom models and lofts that look over the living space are popular with families.” She added that models with larger, residential baths are also popular. Middlebury, Ind.-based Woodland Park Homes specializes in park models that have all the amenities of modular housing. John Soard, sales representative for Woodland Park, explained that these park models are built in an almost semi-custom manner for individual retail buyers. “We do build units for rental on occasion, but being at the upper end of the scale, we cater more to customization of our floorplans for individual needs,” he said. Soard said that Woodland Park units, with their high levels of fit and finish, are especially popular in resort communities where park models are owned and treated as condominiums. “Most of the business we have with these resorts are with individual buyers that Yurts created by Pacific Yurts offer campground owners the chance to put top-of-the-line creature comforts under a unique canvas structure. Eco Structures Australia’s Eco Tent offers a durable, raised canvas tent that can be customized. Bathroom in Forest River’s Quailridge. Glamping Pods offer the comforts of home.