How to Start a Glamping, or Glamorous Camping, Business From Scratch

  • Kenny Young based Pitched Glamping out of a ardour for tenting and his group.
  • His enterprise delivers at-home tenting experiences to folks’s backyards in Arizona and Minnesota.
  • In 2020, Pitched Glamping made greater than $125,000 in income.

At 21, the Minneapolis youth pastor Kenny Young led 250 college students and 50 volunteers. He was overworked and lacked boundaries, main him to develop into burned out and depressed. He acquired counseling, however the church let him go. 

“That changed my whole demeanor, and it affected my job,” he mentioned. “I had never been through that kind of depression before.” His spouse additionally give up her job on the church, in order that they purchased an RV, drove to California, and lived on a campground till they ran out of cash. 

That sparked an thought to begin a glamorous tenting, or “glamping,” enterprise to ship outside exercise to folks’s backyards, full with the facilities needed for a household film night time or candlelit anniversary dinner. 

“Some of the greatest memories I have were camping growing up,” he mentioned. “I wanted to also do something that connected me to my community.” 

In 2020, Young’s firm, Pitched Glamping, made greater than $125,000 in income, in accordance to paperwork reviewed by Insider. It operates in Minnesota and Arizona and employs seven folks, together with Young’s spouse. 

a white tent with a bed inside sits on a lawn with a palm tree in the background

An instance of Pitched Glamping’s at-home tent arrange.

Courtesy of Kenny Young

‘We did not have a grasp plan’

Young launched within the midst of 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns. He took out credit score to get the $20,000 he wanted in startup prices. To promote the enterprise, he arrange a tent in a nationwide park with some rugs and pillows, took photographs, and positioned a $100 Instagram advert and a $50 Facebook advert. He anticipated Instagram to be one of the best place to attain his goal clientele — suburban girls ages 30 to 45 — however the Facebook advert delivered his first prospects.  

At first most occasions had been birthdays, however currently he is booked extra anniversaries, sleepovers, and bigger events. Prices vary from $250 to $425 per night time, relying on the day, location, and facilities. Bookings in Phoenix, the place he and his household now reside, require extra driving, so costs mirror the additional price.  

a bed sits in the center of a large tent with a sign in front that reads happy glamping

The inside setup of a Pitched Glamping tent.

Courtesy of Kenny Young

Tents, decor, and linens should be cute and purposeful 

Young mentioned he and his spouse spent tens of hundreds of determining what linens and furnishings resist stains and each day cleansing. They’d began with what seemed “cute” however realized the rustic-chic decor additionally wanted to stand up to excessive Minnesota climate, bouncing youngsters, chocolate fingerprints, and three a.m. sprinkler techniques. 

He’d moderately pay the price than prohibit how households eat and play in his tents. “That would take a lot of the fun away from the whole experience,” he mentioned. “We have to just adapt and deliver the product that our customers will not destroy.” 

Most vital was discovering a tent that tolerates rain, humidity, and mildew. He makes use of the identical $1,100 canvas tent he began with. There are solely two producers he trusts for high quality and sturdiness, however backorders are holding up Young’s plans to increase to extra areas. 

a tent sits on a lawn, and a low table is set up with pillows as seats, plates, candles, and balloons

Pitched Glamping books events, anniversaries, birthdays, and sleepovers.

Courtesy of Pitched Glamping

Lean into your strengths and rent out your weaknesses

Young’s prime recommendation for founders is to rent folks, or purchase know-how, to deal with your weaknesses.

He realized this after spending too many hours on administrative and accounting duties that drained his focus from the elements of his enterprise he enjoys, like social media and being the face of the corporate. “Just a five-minute task can cost me hours of productive time creatively,” he mentioned. 

Now he builds his enterprise across the instruments that make his job simpler. His spouse does most administrative duties, and he makes use of QuickBooks and an accountant for bookkeeping. 

Young’s firm grew rapidly, however it’s been a yr of arduous work. “The glamorous-camping business is not glamorous,” he mentioned. “It’s hot and sweaty, and you’re in the rain, cold, and snow. So though it is fun and there’s a huge opportunity right now, it’s not as glamorous as the images look and appear to be.”

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