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Virtual campground tours now lead straight to bookings. This changes everything

A new online service might help you find just the elusive campground site you’re looking for.

Mark Koep, CEO of CampgroundViews.com.

The team behind CampgroundViews.com has expanded their services to now provide virtual campground tours with an augmented booking experience. So, you’ll not only be able to see the roads, sites and amenities, but you’ll also be able to click on the site to book.

“We have started with the 1,200 family-style Recreation.gov campgrounds and have already captured video for 400 of them,” said Mark Koep, founder and CEO of CampgroundViews.com. “We are bringing those online right now and already have 200 parks available.”

A new membership model

The new service operates on a paid membership model. Koep said he chose memberships over other forms of generating revenue because it removes the need for advertising on the site and better aligns the company with delivering for campers.

Memberships include a one-time, lifetime membership for $250. There is also a 3-year membership available for $100; a 1-year membership for $50; a 1-month membership for $20; and a 1-week membership for $8.

“We launched our service on June 6, and had absolutely no issues,” Koep said. “This is really advanced proprietary technology all designed to help people adventure in the outdoors.”

How does it work?

CampgroundViews.com has been providing 360-degree video tours of campgrounds for years. The videos go well beyond what’s available on services such as Google Street View. CampgroundViews.com’s 360-degree videos take you on a tour of all campground roads. You’ll also see map “markers” that you can click to receive specific information on amenities at each campsite.

Koep’s new membership service takes things a few steps further. Members will also see red or green site markers to indicate whether the site they are interested in is currently available for rent and, if so, they’ll be able to link directly to a calendar icon and go to the campground’s reservation site to book.

“We aren’t a reservation company,” Koep said. “This is a value addition for campers, the campgrounds, and the reservation companies. We aren’t in competition with the campgrounds. We are bringing them guests who are ready to book.”

For the camper, Koep’s service could make all the difference between finding an available site or staying home.

Campers can see how nice the sites are before booking

Koep said campgrounds that have participated with CampgroundViews.com in the past have seen remarkable increases in business because campers can virtually tour their parks before deciding where to stay.

“Campers are able to see just how nice the sites are on a campground, and it sells itself,” he said. “The campground virtual tours will help offset overwhelming demand at popular spots by empowering campers to discover, see and book lesser-known locations with confidence.”

He said it’s also a great way for campers to get a “heads up” when last-minute cancellations open sites on parks that they are interested in visiting.

Koep said once all 1,200 Recreation.gov campgrounds are on the newly expanded service, he plans to approach other campgrounds and campground systems to add their parks.

You can take a tour of the new service at www.CampgroundViews.com.

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bwodom
2 months ago

I can see the advantage for busy folks who don’t have time to use the many other informational sites for campers (Earth, Trip Advisor, et al.). I like the all-in-one-place information that includes booking calendar. It appears to have built in a lot of good resources.

For those of us who enjoy the research and have the time, I suspect the free access sites will still be the choice. At most, I may use the one month access if I am planning a big trip on short notice. Otherwise, I would prefer to use the fees for a membership in a discount camping program.

BTW, info says they charge campers in lieu of advertising. I would imagine they also charge the campgrounds or at least get a kickback for bookings linked to their site? if so, that may limit mom-and-pop and smaller campgrounds where many of us choose to camp away from the madding crowds.

John Olson
3 months ago

Title says “This changes everything”? Hardly!… You can get some of the same information with pictures of your actual site from other sites already… Some have pictures & some have video of your actual site and then you book that site. If you are savvy at all on U-tube you can find all kinds of free information including pictures, videos & even drone shots. Journalists always write headlines to get your attention and hope you read… got me this time.. haha… I expected to read about some revolutionary idea that would change the world we live in but in the end just another source to find a campsite and in the big picture hardly revolutionary and “changes nothing”.

chris
3 months ago

Nothing on that site about the CG I’m in right now. Just a brief description and an ‘Add photos’ button. I’ve been using campsitephotos.com

Mark Koep
3 months ago
Reply to  chris

Photos are submitted by guests and you are welcome to share yours.

Bob M
3 months ago

While this may seem like a good idea. It is highway robbery on the price. Seems like anymore for every dollar you make some one is trying to steal $100.

Mark Koep
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob M

$8 for a week of access?

Susan Banks
3 months ago

I think this is a great idea, I am kind of shocked at the price, in that it is not that much money. Not quite sure at this time I would use it, as I camp to keep my life simple and my finger off the iPad. I will watch and see how this unfolds, because This gentleman has done his homework and is onto something.

Mark Koep
3 months ago
Reply to  Susan Banks

Thanks Susan. Been a fulltime RVer for 12 years and built a tool that we will (and have now) used ourselves. We will keep making it better every day.