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