Top 11 Add-On Campground Amenities To Increase Revenue

This post was originally published on August 31, 2021. It has been updated to include recent data and insights. 

Campgrounds have evolved in recent decades from simple sites and a fire pit to offer other campground amenities galore like waterparks, glamping yurts, portable jacuzzis, and more. Incorporating add-on amenities that compliment your park will not only attract more campers but also increase your revenue.

Campspot campground owners earned over $33 million in add-on revenue in 2022, a 26% year-over-year increase.

So far, from January 1 to March 14, 2023, campground owners on Campspot have already made nearly $7 million from add-on revenue alone.

After camp store revenue, the top revenue stream for campground owners in 2022 was add-ons such as firewood and daily rentals. As far as what types of amenities and add-ons campgrounds are looking to add in 2023, dog parks topped the list (26%).

After that, campground owners wanted to add internet access (23%), bathrooms (19%), special events (15%), general stores (13%), and playgrounds (13%).

Free Download: The Latest Camping Insights for Campground Owners 

Luckily, there are more opportunities than ever to offer new and creative amenities and items that delight your guests. View our top list of park add-on amenities that have not only grown in popularity but have generated substantial park revenue.

Read Next: Campspot’s 2022 Year-End Reca(m)p

Top Add-On Campground Amenities

1. Golf Carts

With expansive parks and numerous attractions, golf cart rentals are a great option. Many campgrounds already feature golf cart rentals but with the ability to include them as an add-on option within Campspot’s reservation platform, many have seen an increase in golf cart rental on webpage

2. Bike Rentals

Similar to golf cart rentals, bikes have great revenue potential. Eliminating the hassle of transportation, bikes allow campers to arrive with minimal camping supplies while still having the ability to travel to neighboring attractions or adjacent bike trails. Some bike options are more recreational than others and include multi-person bikes or pedal carts. Understanding the amenities and location of your park will help understand add-on revenue potential and what bike style is the best investment for your park.

3. Linens

For cabins and rentable units, linens are a must. Including these as an add-on option acknowledges the value of the product as well as eliminates the hassle later. A family arriving may need an extra set of linens and adding this product when booking the site, eliminates possible confusion later.

young girl stretching on bed in cabin on website checkout page

4. Boat Rentals

Rental boats showcase your natural resources and eliminate the hassle of transporting boats for guests. Water frontage is a selling point for booking campground stays. Find ways to showcase the natural amenity through add-on options.

5. Hammocks

Hammocks are a trendy item that has grown in popularity over the recent years. The ability to have compact travel and storage has been increasingly convenient when camping. For parks that offer tree coverage, this add-on option is a great consideration. A camper may not be committed to personally purchasing a hammock but may find it a convenient amenity to have available.

young girl in blue hammock outside on website checkout page


6. Mini Golf

Catch guests before their vacation time is filled with other activities and highlight your mini-golf course. By allowing them to book their experiences with their stay, you can showcase your amenities and make sure they have a complete picture of everything they can do within the park.

7. Jacuzzis and Hot Tubs

With waterparks and larger campgrounds, finding site-based attractions has been an add-on revenue generator. Personal hot tubs delivered to sites have been a fun option that many guests would not be aware of without add-on attention. Jacuzzis have a great way to keep campers inside the park and entertained.

Children in hot tub at campground cabin on website checkout page

8. Firewood and Fire Pits

As the camping industry has grown in recent years, it is apparent that many guests want to camp with ease and convenience. Providing firewood or access to a fire pit is just a simple way to add to the ease of the stay. Not only does offering firewood as an add-on allow you to understand your supply and demand before campers arrive, but it offers convenience for your guests.

9. Cabanas

Do you have an expansive waterpark with cabana options? Highlight this feature when reserving sites! Most guests may be unaware that you offer private cabanas unless notified before the stay.

cabana pool pavilion with curtains and chairs on website page

10. Fun Pass

Do you offer many family fun amenities? Including a fun pass as an add-on may be just right for you. Combine several attractions into one pass and showcase what activities you offer. Include gem mining, crafts, jumping pillows, laser tag, and more! Even bundle a souvenir cup for more of an incentive.

11. RV Rentals

When it comes to campground amenities, RV rentals are another type you might consider making available at your park. It’s a great way to introduce curious campers to this type of camping. Set up and maintain a rig to allow campers an affordable but more upscale experience that allows them to be more hands off while still enjoying all of the incredible perks of the RV lifestyle.


Add-on campground amenities not only offer a differential advantage from other parks but create substantial revenue. You may already be offering many of these amenities, but highlighting them as add-on options will create further popularity and sales. With nearly 40% of campers saying they spend the entire time or most of the time at their campsite, there is more opportunity than ever to showcase all your park has to offer!

This post was originally published on August 31, 2021. It has been updated to include recent data and insights. 

Top Camping Weekend Predictions for 2023

As campgrounds gear up for the busy summer camping season ahead, it’s helpful to anticipate when you’ll be at your busiest. To help you prepare, we reviewed the top camping weekends (non-holiday) from 2022 and looked ahead to 2023. These top weekends have potential to drive revenue for your campground as some of the favorite non-holiday times for campers to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. But what about days that fall outside of holiday and these “top weekends?” What can your campground to do to drive reservations and revenue on less popular camping dates?

Gather round and explore the answers below!

Top Camping Weekend Predictions for 2023

6 Ways to Drive Revenue for Non-Holiday Weekends and Weekdays

1. Advertise Outdoor Activities in Your Area

In the first issue of the Campspot Outdoor Almanac,  81% of campers reported that the campground itself is an important part of their trip. Of course, that’s why you work so hard to ensure your campground is the best experience possible for your guests. However, we also saw that “family vacation time” and “proximity to state and national parks” were listed as the number two and three reasons for why campers go camping. Is your campground located near something that would enhance your campers’ stays? A winery? An amusement park? Cute shops and restaurants? Public lands? You never know what might entice a particular camper, so be sure to make it clear what you’re near in all of your marketing materials—including any listings you have on online marketplaces.

2. Pepper Your Calendar With Non-Holiday Events

Creative events are a great way to attract more guests during less typically busy times. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about the different types of gatherings you might host:

  • Pancake breakfasts
  • Concerts with local musicians
  • Craft activities for kiddos
  • Week-long summer camp curriculums
  • Classes with local artisans like painters or potters
  • Social meet ups for various groups like owners of a particular dog breed
  • Indoor or outdoor film screenings

3. Update Your Photography

Did you know that campgrounds on Campspot Marketplace that have complete marketplace listings make 20% more revenue on average? Whether its your listings on online marketplaces or the way you feature your campground on your website or social media accounts, high-quality photos can greatly impact a potential camper’s confidence in booking a stay. Investing in professional photography is a great way to set camper expectations and showcase what makes your corner for of the world so special.

4. Play Up Your Amenities

When campers have many choices of where to stay, available amenities help them make a purchase decision. Do your website pages and marketplace listing pages clearly articulate everything that’s available to your guests? Are you planning on adding any amenities soon for the upcoming season? Share that information far and wide to ensure your campers are in the know and excited to be there to enjoy them. Not sure what amenities to invest in? Consider surveying your past campers and community members to see what’s most important to them.

5. Take Advantage of Astrotourism

Campgrounds are often in spots that are incredible for stargazing. What better way to make a random Tuesday a REALLY EXCITING camping moment than to invite guests to come stay to observe a meteor shower? There are loads of way to leverage celestial events to gather a crowd at your park. Host a super-moon hike (there are a handful ever year!). Invite a local astronomy club or professor to come guide your camper’s observation of the night sky. Review the calendar for the upcoming months and choose a few moments to celebrate and then create special events to encourage guests to come stay.

6. Run a Promo

We can’t forget discounts! When times are especially hard for the larger economy, that can impact camper travel habits. Discounts or promotions have the power to help trips feel more realistic to a camper, especially when they’re booking a trip for a large group. Select a few promotions to run over the season and get creative about what they encourage campers to book. Want campers to book more weekdays? Longer trips? Offer deals that encourage the specific behavior you’re looking to drive.

To boost the number of campers that see your camping promos, be sure to opt in to our program to ensure your codes get featured on Campspot’s Marketplace Promo Page.

However you choose to drive reservations outside of top camping weekends, consistent messaging across all of your channels is the best way to ensure campers have all the information they need to make a purchase decision. We hope this list helps you think creatively about how you might entice even more campers to join your community.

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How to Get Your Campground Ready for the Summer Season

We know there’s always a laundry list of to-dos for campground operators when welcoming the change in seasons—no matter where you’re located. Let’s dust off the cobwebs and focus on the top tasks to get your campground ready for the summer and possibly opening day.

Do a Deep Clean

We were serious about the cobwebs, and it’s nothing personal! Dust has no doubt accumulated in your rental cabins, recreation hall, on bathhouse surfaces, and elsewhere. Developing a monthly or seasonal deep cleaning checklist—especially one ahead of the busy summer months—will help you stay sane by knowing exactly where to begin spring cleaning each new year.

Easy-to-forget tasks include:

  • Scrub grill grates
  • Clean leftover debris from fire pits
  • Replace paper products
  • Touch up faded or dirty signage
  • Restock cleaning supplies

In addition to deep cleaning, be sure to revisit any neglected maintenance orders from the prior year. Having multiple family or staff members walk the grounds and do a thorough visual inspection will go a long way in catching any overlooked areas. Don’t forget to inspect your maintenance equipment as well to avoid using a faulty ladder or dull tool.

Read Next: Creative Ideas for Marking Campsites

Begin Hiring Staff

Depending on your park’s capacity, amenities, and number of returning employees, your seasonal staff hiring timeline will vary. Generally, we recommend updating and posting summer positions between January and March. There are many different applicant sourcing options, from LinkedIn and Indeed to direct advertising in your area and referrals.

You might be familiar with Amazon’s CamperForce program, which gained notoriety from the 2021 Oscar’s Best Picture Nomadland. Since 2008, CamperForce has been a desirable option for full-time RVers to make extra money on the road and have their lodging compensated by the retail giant. As of December 2022, Amazon announced the end of CamperForce to streamline its seasonal hiring. This hiring void will likely cause former Amazon workers to look elsewhere for work camp postings, which is good news if you’re in the market for flexible help.

Here are a few websites where you can advertise help wanted and find work campers: Workamper News, Workamping Jobs, Workers on Wheels, Happy Vagabonds, and the public Facebook group Workampers.

Stock Your Camp Store

Camp stores are an ideal way to generate ancillary income at your property while providing convenient shopping for campers. After all, who hasn’t forgotten sunscreen, snacks, or been tempted by a souvenir while vacationing? Prior to the bustling summer season, you want to ensure you have enough of the right inventory in stock and a plan for periodic reordering.

Industry trends and consumer appetites change from year to year, which is something to consider when deciding what consumables, necessities, and novelties to sell. We suggest discounting limited, dated, or out-of-season inventory early on to clear the shelves for relevant products. The products you sell should cater to your main audience, such as families with young children or full-time RVers. If you run a dog-friendly park, don’t forget about pet treats and accessories.

While you’re providing TLC to your camp store, this is also a great time to ensure your point-of-sale (POS) system is up to date. Thankfully, online software providers like Campspot have fully integrated POS capabilities for ease of tracking and transacting.

Read Next: The Best Camp Store Merchandise to Sell

Focus on Landscaping

Another great way to get your campground ready for the summer is to focus on landscaping. Depending on your local climate and planned opening day, snow removal may be a persistent part of your reality even late into May. Make sure you are continuing to use salt or sand mixtures to prevent icy pavement and be prepared for late spring snowfalls. Once spring thaw has begun, however, you can take stock of necessary landscaping duties.

Common outdoor maintenance tasks include:

  • Rake remaining fall leaves
  • Adjust paver blocks and level walkways
  • Clear dead branches and plants
  • Address any trees at risk of falling

Aside from old trees, your docks, decks, and the other wooded parts of your property could be compromised. Check twice for any loose or rotten boards to avoid safety hazards.

Showcase New Campground Photos

While photos taken during the soggy winter-to-spring transition might not flatter your property, it’s possible you took great photos last year when the sun was shining and business was in full swing. If so, now is the perfect time to upload those photos across your business’s online presence: social media platforms, website, OTAs, and online booking interface if applicable.

If you’ve added a new amenity or changed your map, a brief video walking tour of the grounds would be a fantastic tool appreciated by prospective and returning guests alike.

Plus, did you know campgrounds with a complete listing on Campspot Marketplace make 20% more revenue on average? All the more reason to ensure your presence, in every place it lives, is crisp, clean, full of powerful imagery, and up to date.

We hope this list inspires you to tackle plans to get your campground ready for the summer. From staffing to cleaning and everything in between-ing, we wish you the best for another great year of camping!


Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

7 Tips for Campground Operators to Rock 2023

Each new year invites ample personal resolutions, but what about resolving to strengthen your business in 2023? As a campground operator, devoting some R&D and TLC time to your annual business plan is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. We know it can be daunting to consider reinventing your campground management plan year after year. That’s why we’ve curated the top seven tips for campground operators from our Campspot Outdoor Almanac to help you build upon your seasoned base of camping knowhow.

The following statistics come from our survey of Campspot campers and campground owners and the supplemental report we compiled just for campground managers and operators. Use these insights as inspiration to chart a fresh course for campground management in 2023.

Top Tips for Campground Operators

1. Understand Your Core Audience

At Campspot, you’ll hear us speak often about each Campspot customer’s unique brand of camping. That is, there’s something special that sets your campground apart: uncommon amenities, historical significance, proximity to a famous attraction, a year-round theme, or otherwise. We always recommend keenly understanding what your unique brand of camping is and who it resonates with most. This is your core audience of customers—even if it’s all dogs!

For example, in our Almanac survey of campers, we found that 23% camp for family vacation time, 19% camp for relaxation, and 17% camp to be closer to the outdoors. In each of these examples, a unique brand of camping and marketing tagline emerges: “family-first park welcoming young children,” “couples retreat with a bookable massage therapist every weekend,” and “get lost in over three miles of wooded mountain biking trails.”

Because millions of first-time campers are set to hit the road in 2023, consider how your business can uniquely cater to them.

2. Adjust Your Rates

For the majority of campers, their per-trip budget is under $500. Unsurprisingly, 51% of guests also look for deals when booking their next camping trip. The common denominator here is your rates. While we recommend regular rate assessments and use of Campspot’s dynamic pricing feature year-round, now is a great time to evaluate your reservation rates by campsite type, season, proximity to amenities, and more.

A good place to start for this exercise is calculating the average amount spent per visit at your campground. (This can be calculated by taking your total spend and dividing it by your number of guests). Aside from lodging, this logic also extends to the activities or camp store purchases guests make while at your property. Once you have this baseline number, you will be able to make more informed rate adjustments and offer appropriate discounts.

3. Invest in Google Ads and SEO

Formerly known as AdWords, Google Ads is a necessary tool in your advertising box. In fact, 65% of Almanac respondents said Google search is their favorite way to find camping information, and 85% of campers turn to online search to find a new place to camp. By running Google search ads, you can bid to ensure your campground’s name pops up near the top of the results page when a camper searches keywords relevant to your ad.

If digital advertising is still foreign territory or you’re not ready to invest money, consider investing time into search engine optimization (SEO). This simply means ensuring that your campground website is following all of Google’s best practices to drive search traffic, like incorporating relevant keywords throughout your site and designing it in the most user-friendly way. Fortunately, Campspot already implements SEO best practices for its software customers through each park’s online booking page, but we highly recommend you review your main website in the new year, too.

4. Upgrade Main Infrastructure

The majority of campers (54%) said that bathrooms are their #1 amenity when choosing a campground, while 40% said internet access is top of mind. Campers want to unwind in nature without completely disconnecting from the common comforts of home. If the winter is your off-season, January through March could be the best time to upgrade your bathhouses and internet infrastructure. Before adding flashy new amenities to your property, consider the basic ways you can update existing necessities, such as the following:

  • Install an electric hand dryer
  • Expand laundry facilities
  • Reglaze or re-tile showers
  • Offer lotion and special toiletries
  • Switch or upgrade your internet provider

These enhancements can make a significant impact on your guests’ experiences throughout their stay at your campground.

5. Take Property Photos and Videos

Did you know that campgrounds on Campspot with complete* Marketplace listings generate 20% more revenue than campgrounds with incomplete listings?

*A complete Campspot Marketplace Listing is defined as a park with 5 photos, an about description, and at least 1 photo per available campsite.

If you’ve made changes in the last year, early 2023 (depending on the local climate) may be an ideal time to capture fresh, high-quality photos of your property. If your region has already been graced by snow, mark a date on the calendar for late spring or early summer to photograph the grounds. If fall colors are in full bloom in your state, schedule a photo shoot in October and use these fall-themed images promotionally for advanced bookings the following year.

Documenting individual site types—a paved versus gravel RV site, or a standard versus waterfront tent site—provides crucial visual information to campers during the online booking process. Because most smartphones now have incredible cameras built in, you can also film a brief walking tour video so new guests can spatially experience the layout and feel of your park. Update these visuals in your Campspot booking platform and share them on social media to drum up excitement for the next camping season.

6. Include Furry Friends

If you’re a dog-friendly park, it might not surprise you that 26% of campground owners want to add a dog park to their property. Camping with pets is becoming an increasingly popular trend, and some RV owners even have live-in cat companions.

Now could be the best time to build or revamp a pooch-exclusive place at your property. If you don’t allow pets on property, consider if this policy still fits your brand of camping and the pros and cons of changing. Better to think through the new rules and revenue opportunities now if you do decide to convert later.

7. Plan Events in Advance

You can save considerable last-minute planning time and potential headaches by launching an annual events calendar ahead of your opening day. This gives both your staff and prospective guests plenty of notice for all the fun you’ll be offering throughout 2023. In fact, 52% of Almanac respondents said they like having the option to participate in campground activities and events during their stay, and 17% love these opportunities. Think through the best mix of events that your core camping audience would enjoy and the best event timing based on your seasonality.

Neither Rome nor (most) dog parks were built in a day. Take these tips as inspiration, but don’t feel the need to implement them all at once—you’re the expert of your campground. Most importantly, we wish you rest and refreshment as you recharge for another great year of camping. Happy planning and Happy New Year!

Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

Data and Reporting: How to Track the Health of Your Campground

We live in a data-driven world, which is why it’s more important than ever for campground operators to understand how to navigate it and what tools are available. To help provide the best perspective on data and reporting metrics for campgrounds, we interviewed Casey See, Campspot customer and co-owner of Piney River Resort in Tennessee.

Casey, tell us more about you and Piney River Resort.

I’m one of the owners of Piney River, and we’ve been in the campground industry for three years now. We’re definitely a family-first park. We are also big supporters of military families, first responders, and our overall community.

We offer a wide range of accommodations, including traditional RV sites, premium RV sites, tiny homes, and we’re now onboarding our first set of glamping units and premium tent camping. Our tiny homes are branded to each have their own unique story. For example, guests can stay in a tiny home where musical instruments and Grammys decorate the walls. We always hear people say how amazed they are at the attention to detail.

Source: Piney River Resort Facebook

What key business metrics do you track on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis?

As a business approach, we’re heavily into data, numbers, and forecasting.
Day-to-day, we look at all reservations that come in, whether it’s a large or small number. We study Google Analytics to see “who” made the reservation and where these reservations are coming from.

On a weekly and monthly basis, we care most about our revenue compared to the previous month and the same timeframe last year. We spend a lot of time comparing occupancy trends.

For 3 months now, we’ve been able to use Campspot Analytics’ pace reporting to project our future business growth compared to how full our park was last year, for example.

That’s great to hear you cross-reference Google Analytics. Can you elaborate?

We spend a lot of time looking at Google Analytics to know how guests got to our website and from which platforms. We want to know if they come from another website, social media, a third-party partner, or elsewhere.

Geographically, we like to see where the visitor came from, such as what part of the country and their average distance away from our park. We are also interested in their device usage, like mobile phone versus desktop, and other demographics. We overlay information from our Google Analytics and ad campaigns with Campspot Analytics’ various reports.

What metric is most important for managing your business?

The most important thing for us is the guest experience. Regarding the math side of our business, revenue is our main metric. The tip of the spear for revenue is occupancy. So, even as we’re managing daily rates, dynamic pricing, and all other revenue-related items, it all comes back to occupancy.

What healthy business indicators do you like to see?

We look for growing occupancy. This may vary if we’ve expanded sites and then expect to see a temporary dip in occupancy percentage, but overall occupancy is our guiding light.

Because RVing and camping are so seasonal, we always compare year over year—sometimes by a single month, or by lumping months into seasons as well. As mentioned earlier, the new Pace Report in Campspot Analytics allows us to track this exact past-to-present-year change, such as how many reservations we actually have compared to the same day in 2021. We make significant financial decisions based on our occupancy trends, like which new amenities to onboard and whether to expand.

Graph of Campspot Analytics data

What are red flags you keep an eye out for?

​​We watch out for trends, which are like a journey. They tell us the history of where we have been and the future of where we may be going. Whether it’s a change in the economy, travel patterns, gas prices, unseasonable weather, or occupancy, we need to know where we’ve been and where we are headed. Closely monitoring trends allows us to react and adjust with as much accuracy as possible. Some businesses might look at their numbers and say they are either good or bad. We try our best to look at data from the standpoint of, what exactly do we need to change?

How has your experience been using Campspot Analytics?

We have used Campspot Analytics since September 2022. It’s more comprehensive and user-friendly than traditional reporting and spreadsheets. We used to download a handful of reports to build our own custom spreadsheets. Now, it’s much less of a manual process.

Campspot seems to be very receptive and responsive to park owners’ needs. The creation of their analytics tool is one example. We’re still learning about analytics, too, but it has really helped us so far. The support and customer service we receive is also very good.

What is your favorite part about Campspot Analytics?

We really like its visual and graphical reporting. The embedded charts are helpful to view at a glance and see a snapshot of performance. Additionally, what backs them up are csv files that one can look at day by day and make important comparisons. You can see exactly in detail what your park’s occupancy is and where the trends are headed.

What sort of business adjustments have you made so far based on insights from Campspot Analytics?

In general, we make necessary adjustment decisions on a weekly and monthly basis.
With the economy taking a bit of a downturn lately, we have seen this reflected slightly in our occupancy or Pace Report numbers. We have used this cue to make more specific and aggressive marketing adjustments to compensate for the soft market.

Once we have the chance to use analytics for longer, it may help inform other strategic decisions, such as which amenities we add, when we choose to market heavier, and what specials we offer.

Campspot Analytics and Reporting Metrics for Campgrounds


Campspot Analytics allows campgrounds to access their data in visualized dashboards that help users track performance and quickly gain answers without the need to download a massive spreadsheet. Here are the seven Campspot Analytics dashboards that help campground operators access key reporting metrics for campgrounds and make impactful business decisions:

  • Portfolio Overview
  • Operations Summary
  • Occupancy Pace Report
  • Park Overview
  • YoY Metric Comparison
  • Campspot Value
  • Cancellation Insights
  • Coming Soon: POS Dashboard

It’s clear that the ubiquity of data in our technologically-advancing world will only grow. Becoming a data-oriented park operator now means learning to access reporting metrics for campgrounds at your fingertips to stay ahead of the curve later. Your campers and your bottom line will thank you. To learn more about how current campground owners are leveraging the power of data through Campspot Analytics, click here!

Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

Don’t Leave Money on the Table [Webinar]

One of the reasons more campgrounds choose Campspot over other software providers is that we deliver the most revenue to campgrounds. From features like Reservation Add-ons and Lock Site that directly drive revenue, to features like Campspot Analytics that help you see where there are opportunities to unlock even more revenue, Campspot is built to serve your business and help you optimize campground revenue.

In this webinar, Campspot COO Josh Traxler dives deep into the places you might be leaving money on the table. In this session he talks about how to optimize existing revenue, what to consider when you start to build ancillary revenue, and how to reach more campers. He also breaks down the importance of having a strong property management system and why the user interface is so important, as well as having a system that is smart enough to mimic an actual reservationist but at faster speeds.

Josh first presented this information at the ARVC Outdoor Hospitality Conference and Expo, then he hosted this webinar on Campspot, and now we are opening it up so that you can digest the information at your convenience and learn how to best optimize campground revenue at your own pace.

Watch now below or bookmark this post for later!

Optimize Campground Revenue—Don’t Leave Money on the Table [Webinar]

Want to learn more about all of the ways you can make more money with Campspot? Check out Campspot Software Value Calculator below.


Top Email Marketing Strategies for Campgrounds

Electronic mail has come a long way since the first electronic message was sent in the early 1970s. Known today as email, 92% of America’s digital population now communicates through this medium. This usage rate among Americans is even higher than social media, which is estimated at 83% as of January 2022. Whether it’s Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or otherwise, I’ll bet a free night’s stay you have your email inbox tab open in the background of your device right now! All this to say, campground owners and operators need to leverage email as a marketing tool. This post highlights the most important elements of email marketing to jumpstart your strategy. If you’re already an avid email marketer, you can use the following advice as new inspiration to fine-tune your approach. Let’s embark! Read up on top email marketing strategies for campgrounds below.

Manage Your Lists

Who, who, who—that is the question. You should view each email you intend to send as having a unique audience with a unique goal for engagement. This doesn’t mean you are constantly reinventing your list of recipients, but it does mean strategically thinking about how to segment your audience based on their interests, customer type, frequency of contact, and more.

For example, your camp hosts, a first-time camper, and your maintenance staff are all different audiences whom you may need or want to email. While some active management is necessary to ensure your target lists are consistently formatted and updated as time goes on, email CRMs or customer relationship management systems make audience list management a breeze. These automated platforms help you securely build, separate, label, and store different audience segments much better than any offline spreadsheet—although spreadsheets can often be the first stage in list-building.  HubSpot, Mailchimp, and Constant Contact are a few well-known email marketing platforms.

Campspot integrates with Mailchimp in an effort to simplify email marketing efforts for campground owners and operators. The integration allows customer data to be imported into Mailchimp by syncing with your Campspot customer/reservation data. No spreadsheet or uploading required!

Once you upload an audience list, you can categorize recipients based on how you plan to engage with them. You can build a newsletter list of all former and current campers to keep them updated on events, upgrades, and promotions. You can build an internal list to only contact your employees regarding company updates, scheduling, or maintenance overhauls. While data quality—accuracy, completeness, consistency, and reliability—is an understated factor in this process, the baseline process of conceptualizing all the people you could possibly and legally email into segments is invaluable to ensure your email energy isn’t wasted and that your recipients stay subscribed.

Write Compelling Subject Lines

Your email subject line is not just the recipient’s first introduction to your content, it’s also the make-or-break factor in whether they’ll open the email. In fact, 69% of recipients mark an email as spam based on the subject line alone. To avoid this, an easy rule of subject lines is to be honest when writing them. Avoid clickbait-type zingers: their sole goal is to get you to click on deceptive content. Though it can be tempting, this also means avoiding things like “$$$” or gimmicks that spammers often employ—you don’t want to be mistaken for one of them.

Don’t be afraid to be personal and test the unexpected. Politics aside, the emails sent by former President Barack Obama’s campaign fundraising team drew national attention—and garnered considerable donations—from their simple subject lines such as “Hey” and “I will be outspent.” This suggests that personability and not overthinking your message can go a long way. Think about what fellow campers, such as yourself, want and what would convince you to open an email.

Create Calls to Action

Every email you send should be purposeful to avoid exhausting or annoying your audience. Beyond having a clear purpose to your email, there should also be a clear call to action, or CTA. As defined by Campaign Monitor, a CTA “is a button or hyperlinked line of text that directs a user to a website of a brand’s choosing.”

When your email captures a recipient’s attention, you want to make the most of it by encouraging them to take the desired next step. For this reason, a CTA should be highly visible (which is why we like buttons), brief and clear (such as “Book Your Stay”), and potentially featured at multiple points within the body of the email. For example, consider hyperlinking your CTA in the body of a short opening paragraph and including a large button in the middle or footer of the email.

One caveat to this strategy is that sometimes your desired call to action is simply to get your audience to read and remember a stand-alone message. Examples can include a major campground announcement such as a change in ownership, a thank-you letter, holiday well wishes, or a maintenance alert. In these instances, the goal might not be to direct the recipient to take action outside of the email; therefore, you wouldn’t necessarily want to distract the reader with additional hyperlinks or buttons. In the spirit of always promoting brand awareness, though, we do recommend always hyperlinking your website and main social media profiles in the email footer. This type of templating is standard through most email managers, such as Mailchimp.

Appearance and Branding

Because it’s important to use a consistent logo and company messaging in all public communications, reflect this branding consistency through your email marketing, too. Make sure that your logo is always part of your email design, whether it’s placed in the header or footer. This not only looks nice but is also a clear signal to the recipient that they are receiving a legitimate email from your business. You don’t want anyone mistaking an unbranded or unfamiliar email for spam.

Different designs and layouts signal to the recipient that they are internalizing different content. This means that a booking confirmation email should look different from a “come back soon” email. If you send a weekly e-newsletter to your campers during peak season, consider the value in using the same template throughout the season for ease of content editing and to reinforce your brand. Even when crafting multiple designs, make sure to still stick with colors that are a part of your brand suite and complement your logo.

Though email was first used as an online vehicle for sharing the written word, most people don’t want to read an entire novel in one email. In general, think less text and more visualization. Try to convey the most important aspects of your message in as few sentences as possible while strategically varying font size and style to emphasize certain words. Photographs of your campground and other relevant graphics are also a great tool to break up blocks of text and keep readers’ interest.

Above All, Be Authentic

From your email’s audience and branding, to its subject line and calls to action, there should always be one common denominator: authenticity. As a marketer, you can think of authenticity as “creating a dialogue between your brand and your audience that’s natural and genuine.”

As a campground operator, you don’t pretend to offer non-existent amenities, mislead others about your brand of camping, or falsify anything else related to the camper experience. Your emails shouldn’t either, simple as that. Write emails purposefully, honestly, and authentically.

One endearing way to be authentic is to let the campground dog or cat speak for you. That’s right: politicians and business marketers alike have found great success in leveraging their pets as email “authors”. One woman even wrote a cover letter from her dog’s point of view to land a job. Perhaps your pet wants to let campers know about a month-long BOGO promotion or the launch of your new dog park. Who better to share the good news via email than the pet themself. Even if you aren’t a pet-friendly property, the recipient will still enjoy the change of pace in their inbox. Among other creative ideas, Americans’ affinity for their furry friendsis just one strategy that can and should be leveraged authentically through your email messaging.

We hope you now have a set of new email marketing strategies for campgrounds and creative insights to begin emailing your campers with confidence. Remember to try, test, and have fun with it!

Learn more about how to simplify your email marketing efforts using Campspot’s Integration with Mailchimp. 

Read Next: New Feature Announcement: Mailchimp Integration

Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

How to Make OTAs a Part of Your Business Strategy

In a world flooded with arguably useless acronyms, such as BOGSAT (“bunch of guys sitting around talking”) or ICBINB (“I can’t believe it’s not butter”), we’re excited to share an acronym that is worth learning about because of how it can positively impact your business: OTA. While this may sound familiar, you may not realize the vast opportunities OTAs (especially camping OTAs) provide for campground owners and operators. Let’s dive in!

What is an OTA?

An online travel agency (OTA) is an internet-hosted marketplace where customers can find, explore, and purchase travel-related services. Traditionally, OTAs such as Travelocity and have originated from and dominated the hotel, rental car, and excursion industries. As the original private lodging OTA, Airbnb has become synonymous with and shorthand in conversation for OTA—you’ve probably heard someone say, “it’s the Airbnb of ____.” Today, however, OTAs are permeating just about every industry one can imagine, including finding rentable swimming pools. Camping is no exception; as a result, there is immense value in featuring your bookable camping inventory on OTAs, especially those designed exclusively for camping.

On Campspot’s camping-centric OTA, 92% of customers booked at a property they had never stayed at before.

The Value of OTAs

The biggest value an OTA provides is access. There were 62% more U.S. RV owners in 2021 than there were in 2001 with growth trends accelerating today. Undoubtedly, hundreds of new campers would love to stay at your property, but oftentimes they aren’t aware of your offerings due to living out of state, being new to the area, or being new to camping. Listing your property on an OTA allows you to effortlessly make connections with thousands of campers who can learn more about your campground and later book their stay. In fact, on Campspot’s camping-centric OTA,92% of customers booked at a property they had never stayed at before. If this seems intuitive to you, that’s because it should!—an OTA isn’t providing value if it’s only attracting your repeat customers.

Fingertip access is also a value-driver for OTAs that have a mobile application, such as Campspot, because mobile phones account for 55% of web traffic over laptops, tablets, and desktop computers. Furthermore, “46% of travelers with smartphones say they make their decision on mobile, but then book on another device” according to Phocus Wire. Even if a camper waits to book, having your business appear on an OTA app means instantaneous inspiration that generates lasting brand recognition. Knowing that 70% of travelers have turned to an online travel agency before for inspiration, don’t you want to be their source of inspiration?

The second main area of value an OTA provides is a new, low-maintenance revenue stream. The revenue is low-maintenance due to all of the ways an OTA goes to work for you behind the scenes. Through an OTA’s marketing dollars, your individual business or suite of resorts receives amplified advertising attention across the digital platforms where your customers are spending most of their time: Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to name a few. An OTA can also drive earned media coverage through top publications such as Travel+Leisure, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, and Bloomberg where Campspot campgrounds have been featured. Your bottom line benefits from the fact that those dollars aren’t being spent from your own marketing budget.

While there is usually a 10 to 15% commission on reservations that come through an OTA, there is no cost to acquire them, unlike a traditional pay per click marketing channel which can have high costs of entry and acquisition.

Not only does an OTA offer a far superior and efficient return, on top of that, Campspot has found that 30% of customers who discover a campground on leave the site and then book directly with the campground, bypassing that commission fee altogether. As mentioned above, an OTA should integrate easily into your existing marketing strategy without interfering with what’s already working well for your business.

How to Make OTAs Part of Your Marketing Strategy

Firstly, you should not rely on any single marketing channel to drive the majority of your business. While OTAs increase brand exposure for campgrounds, they are just one piece of the marketing pie. With this in mind, let’s explore how to incorporate OTA exposure into your broader marketing strategy.

It’s important to strike the right balance of traffic you receive from different OTAs if listing your inventory on more than one. You actually don’t want an OTA to drive too much of your overall online traffic. Roughly speaking, up to 20% of your marketing traffic should come from all OTAs on which you list your property, and no more than about 10% of traffic should come from a single OTA. For example, has enough volume to represent 3 to 5% of your campground’s online bookings. This ratio is both well-balanced and expands your overall customer base by sourcing from new campers. If you are seeking to broaden your customer base even more or build into a new sub-industry, such as by adding glamping accommodations to your park, consider listing on multiple OTAs to reach these goals. As mentioned above, the key is to let OTA marketing dollars go to work for you so then you can later capitalize on the right traffic they send your way.

Relevancy is extremely important when assessing the worthwhileness of listing your property on an OTA. One of our previous blogs cautioned against spreading your social media presence too thick because trying to be everywhere online without having the time or resources to maintain your ongoing presence can backfire. The same goes for choosing the right OTA. You should be integrating with OTAs that closely match your industry and business goals. While certain camping or glamping brands will find value in listing their inventory on an OTA built firstly for the hotel industry, listing through a predominantly camping-based OTA is an equally wise avenue for two reasons. One, a camping-based OTA’s backend and booking process better aligns with the structure of most campgrounds, such as sites and RV amperage instead of rooms and bed sizes. It’s even better if an OTA delineates between different site types and their unique rules—RV sites vs. tent sites vs. cabins. Second, a camping OTA is specifically branded and constructed to target niche camper segments in the same way you either do or aspire to do as a marketer.

In summary, compare both an OTA’s volume of inventory and the relevant traffic it can drive when choosing which OTAs are right for your business. Integrate an OTA into your marketing strategy without letting it overtake your strategy. Lastly, keep relevancy to your overall marketing goals in mind at all times.

What to Expect From OTAs

Expectations for an effective OTA fall into four main categories: user experience, growth, content, and control. 

User Experience

As any driver who has been forced to wait in a long DMV line without having the option to renew their license plate online knows (oh no, another acronym?!), user experience is everything. An OTA should display an uncluttered and attractive web interface that allows visitors to easily search, filter options, and book. Digital user experience and what makes it good or bad is an actual science. At the same time, it’s easy to recognize an OTA that’s doing user experience right and one that’s doing it wrong. The more time and difficulty it takes for someone to click around to find the next step in their search query, the more likely one is to lose their attention…and business. The less imagery an OTA presents, the harder it is for a camper to imagine themselves vacationing at the property. And the worse a visitor’s online experience is, the more likely they are to associate this negativity with both the OTA and whatever brands they interact with while on the site. You expect nothing but the best when it comes to providing for your guests, so make sure your guests’ OTA experience is also the best.


If the last two years of camping have taught us anything, it’s that adaptation is key for success and that our industry is poised for continued growth. Any vendor or business partner that isn’t motivated to innovate and adapt with youisn’t the best choice long term. You should view your OTA—a partner in your success—in the same way. Those that are continually growing their bookable inventory, continually fine-tuning their platform, and continually creating opportunities for you are those to watch. For example, seek to work with an OTA that incorporates behavioral economics into its booking algorithm, or one that partners with leading outdoor brands to create an outdoor almanac for prospective campers (cough, cough, that one’s us!). These few ideas suggest innovative thinking, marketing advantages for you, and value-added for our industry at large. You may be quick to think that more booking inventory means more competition, but remember our discussion of the right volume and proportion of traffic earlier? If it’s the right fit, each OTA should be viewed as another online opportunity where you can showcase your unique brand of camping—not viewed as the sole source of your business. That’s why a growing OTA is an encouraging sign because it really means expanded exposure for you. Therefore, do partner with an established and expanding OTA to share in the growth opportunities without being overly reliant on any one.

Did you know Inc. 5000 ranked Campspot #4 in its 2022 List of Fastest-Growing Travel and Hospitality Companies? Read more here.


Cash may still be king, but increasingly content is king, too. In the same way that you may engage in content marketing, your chosen OTA should also entice audiences by providing meaningful content. This helpful information should relate both to the camping experience in general and the presentation of your property. Consistent presentation of your park is key across all marketing channels, and your OTA should accurately match your business’s unique brand, including your logo, photos, and amenities. Listings are not just about showcasing the inventory though; they should also reflect your backend operating rules, including minimums, maximums, add-ons, and more. These are necessary points of information campers are craving during booking, and you don’t want them to be lost on an online travel agency. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of your park’s brand and offering meaningful content while streamlining the end-to-end booking process is essential.


Last but certainly not least, you want to have control over your content and business, which extends to your OTA listings. An OTA should ensure the following: you own the customer data, you have control over the content you share, and you are able to showcase your unique value. Seamlessly mirroring all the ins and outs of your business rules is a crucial but sometimes lacking OTA function. This is especially important when one OTA integrates with another, such as and Campspot. You should be able to manage multiple listings across multiple platforms from within one intelligent, real-time interface. Furthermore, any OTA you work with should act as a supportive but not overbearing partner by helping you make pricing decisions, stay ahead of industry trends, and operate according to your best interest: all integral factors in maintaining control. If you are the driver of your campground, an OTA is there to maintain the smoothest, autonomous roadway for your success.

Campspot Marketplace: A Camping OTA in Action is the largest camping-specific OTA by bookable inventory with nearly 200,000 listings and serving over 500,000 campers across North America. In Q1 of 2022, total revenue of parks on Campspot grew by 467% over Q1 2021; in the same time frame, traffic to the online marketplace increased by 232%.

The listings that appear on the Marketplace are a direct reflection of the campground listing, ensuring ownership, fluidity, and synchronicity in branding.

Campgrounds on the marketplace are amplified through larger marketing efforts paid for by Campspot including email and social media, seasonal promotions, special reports such as the Outdoor Almanac, the Campspot Awards, and more.

In an effort to ensure campgrounds have options available to them, Campspot also offers integrations with third party OTAs in which campgrounds can sync up their lodging inventory on travel-focused marketplaces. To learn more about how Campspot Marketplace can supplement your campground business strategy and drive results, schedule a demo today.

Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

Attract Campers Year-Round With Original Campground Events

From New Year’s Day to New Year’s Eve, there are 11 U.S. federal holidays that take place annually. Those are great opportunities for campers to vacation at your park, but they only make up about 3% of the total days in a year. That means you have to get creative to attract guests during off-weekends and off-seasons.

Below, we dive into how you can build unique campground events that don’t have to be centered around busy holiday weekends. Instead, you can use these six simple tips to pioneer your own holiday-worthy events for campers. Ready to charter a new annual tradition at your park and entice visitors year-round? Read on!

1. Create Original Annual Holidays

There are hundreds of non-traditional and unofficial U.S. holidays one can find online. While many might be difficult to capitalize on, there are surely many more that could suit your campground.

National Pizza Day is February 9, which offers a great pre-Valentine’s Day opportunity for couples or families in warm weather states to get away. Consider having a 50/50 raffle drawing (half of the proceeds go to your business and half go to a local charity) where campers have a chance to win a private pizza party at the campground for a group of eight over a future weekend. Or, you could offer free slices of pizza—one per camper, while supplies last—for everyone in the park that evening.

Because it’s not bound by a specific date, Christmas in July is another popular fictional holiday that you can host during whichever July weekend is most convenient for your campground. Invite Santa Claus for photos with kids and pets, show a classic holiday movie on an outside projector, and put an artificial tree in the recreation room adorned with complimentary candy canes.

Aside from these two ideas, you can use just about any topic or excuse that would be popular with your brand of camping to create an original recurring event. And if you can make use of odd occasions like National Clean Your Desk Day, Jump Over Things Day, or National Name Your Car Day, then more power to you!

2. Celebrate Your Campground’s Anniversary

If you’re coming up on a major milestone at your park—such as five, 10, or 50 years in operation—then make it a major event. Even if you’re approaching an odd number of years in business, that’s still a great opportunity to host an inaugural anniversary party.

Lifelong or multi-generational campers at your property can look forward to the annual reunion, while reliving old memories and admiring how the campground has grown. Attract new guests by offering a special week-long booking promotion in honor of your campground anniversary. This milestone is guaranteed to happen every year, so make the most of it and invite your community to take part.

Read Next: Marketing Opportunities Within Campspot Software’s Consumer Booking Platform

3. Target Shoulder Seasons and Off-Seasons

If you’re struggling to get creative with event planning, don’t add stress by trying to compete with every other New Year’s Eve, Halloween, or Independence Day party. That will make the comparison game and challenge of differentiating your park all the more difficult. Instead, target the most available period of time you have for planning and capturing the attention of prospective visitors: the off-season.

Give campers a reason to be excited and travel when they normally wouldn’t. Depending on where you’re located in North America to define your off-season, April 10, September 20, January 27, and many more dates are eagerly waiting to be picked for new traditions to be made.

4. Collaborate With Community Groups

If you’re struggling to advertise your special upcoming weekend, look local. Consider what community ties, such as churches, PTA groups, Rotary clubs, and VFW chapters you might be able to leverage to get the word out.

If your park caters to families with young children, collaborating with your local PTA group is excellent exposure to be the host for their future fifth grade camping trips. Supporting this annual grade school weekend getaway becomes an event unto itself. Boy scout and girl scout groups are another naturally aligned group to the camping industry. Dedicate a certain week out of the year to their troops with special cabin blocks and activities reserved just for them.

When partnering with the Rotary, Knights of Columbus, or other nonprofits, suggest that a portion of each site booked for a weekend goes towards the charity. You can also offer them an information table at your camphost’s site or office to share their mission. It’s mutually beneficial to collaborate within your community, and your neighbors could become your next most loyal customers for their future staycations.

Read Next: The Best Camp Store Merchandise to Sell

5. Feature Local Vendors

On the topic of local engagement, consider integrating local businesses into your campground event to draw in their customer bases as well.

If you don’t sell food, hosting one or two food trucks per weekend can become popular among hungry patrons who don’t want to leave the property. Local artists and live musicians would certainly liven up any themed event. Partnerships with each of these vendors can even be spun into entire events themselves: food truck rally, hometown artist sale, battle of the bands, and more. Consider inviting and hosting artists or musicians from farther out of town or out of state, too. As campers begin to associate your brand with their other favorite businesses, you’ll be twice as likely to come to mind for their next vacation destination.

While offering an avenue for vendors to do business at your property, allow them to do the same for you in return. Ask artists with brick and mortar shops to display your event fliers. To amplify your message online, follow one another on social media and have the vendors cross-post your events with their networks.

6. Offer Games, Prizes, and Incentives

Games or sporting competitions are always popular themes for an entire weekend of fun.

For example, consider hosting a volleyball tournament. If you have an arcade or recreation room, create a weekend gaming competition. Recreate elementary school field days and involve the whole family in potato sack races, water balloon fights, three-legged races, and more. Make sure to include mini prizes for the winner of each competition to incentivize participation. By tapping into specific interests for each event, you broaden your base of customers who relate to your brand of camping and think of you in the future.

Whether you’re capitalizing on classic holiday weekends or inventing your own annual tradition, we hope these tips inspire new avenues for connecting your events to broader communities and for attracting campers to your property year round!

Haley Dalian is a lifelong Michigander who takes advantage of recreation throughout the state’s changing seasons, such as skiing up north in the winter and scuba diving the Great Lakes in the summer. A former Campspot marketing employee, Haley is pursuing a Master of Science degree at the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability. She is passionate about solving the world’s sustainability challenges, enjoys performing improvisational comedy, and has never met a potato she didn’t like.

Image credit: Adobe Stock

Set Your Campground Business Up for Growth [Free E-Book]

Regardless of why you got into the campground business, the opportunity to grow is ripe. Even before the boom in outdoor activity related to the pandemic, camping experienced steady growth—a 77% increase since 2015. Popularity continued throughout the pandemic and despite a tumultuous economy, it continues to be a place people turn for peace and inspiration.

The question is, are you poised and primed to grow with it?

At Campspot, we love helping campgrounds grow, especially when it comes to revenue. But there are more ways to increase your earnings beyond our revenue-driving features. It starts with building the right foundation—one that helps you streamline your business and market your park efficiently. This solid ground allows you to open yourself up to new revenue opportunities.

To get a snapshot of growth strategies at different campground businesses, we interviewed two parks—one single-family owned campground with 51 sites and, on the other end of the spectrum, a multi-park group that is growing rapidly. With their input, we created a free e-book where all campground owners and operators could turn to find insights and ideas. Spoiler alert: it’s chock full of advice, experience, and tips and it all starts with what we call “establishing your north star.”

Download Your Free Copy of Growth Strategies for Your Campground Business for:

  • Insider tips
  • Tried and true practices for marketing your campground
  • Specific ideas you can implement today to help drive more revenue
  • A worksheet to help you move forward 

From streamlining your operations to broadcasting what makes your park unique, to reaching more campers, this guide is packed with insights and ideas for your campground to apply.

Find out what other parks do to set a steady course and ensure their own growth, and get clear on your own path for the coming year. Ready? Set? Let’s grow!

Download the guide today.