Glamping into summer

We live faster and work harder so ultimately we want everything easier, ultra-convenient and NOW — even while vacationing. With summer underway, it’s no wonder this part-nature, part-camping, part-hotel trend known as “glamping” has me sensing a corporate-hybrid could soon be on the horizon.

Let’s face it. It requires a lot of work to camp, and with longer workweeks, setting up the tent, packing, bringing all of the necessities and preparing a foiled meal cooked over coals the prospect of camping exhausts many just thinking about it. This is the exact reason glamping is back in the spotlight, only this time, my sixth sense tells me “glamorous camping” could very well find its way into the corporate world.

For those not aware of this trend, allow me to share the Bentley of all U.S. glamping spots to give you an idea of the trend. The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Montana, issues each camper a personal chef and butler in addition to offering hiking, fly-fishing, river rafting and other outdoor attractions including breathtaking views. Expensive? Yes. Niche? Yes. Potential for growth? An absolute yes!

Recently, an unexpected one-off spiraled out of the 5-star camping concept when the Indianapolis Motor Speedway offered glamping in its infield — Glamptown, a village of 10-ft-by-15-ft (3-m-by-4.6-m) canvas tents available with either a queen bed or military-style cots. At the center of Glamptown, an outdoor lobby housed an enormous TV showing sports and car movies surrounded by comfy sofas, hammocks and heaters, fairground-style food trailers and upgraded portable bathrooms and showers.

In the midst of my research, I envisioned a hotel company borrowing the concept at a music festival such as Coachella or the festivities surrounding the Rose Parade, Super Bowl, World Cup or any of the massive New Year’s Eve celebrations. Imagine Wyntown or Hiltontown comprised of a variety of pop-up rooms, encased within tents, representing each brand under its respected chain umbrella. The “Hoteltown” could act as an excellent launch vehicle featuring new room setups and amenities.

What are your thoughts on a hotel company going glamp? Any lightbulb moments, visions or creative tie-ins you’d like to share?