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The original story can be found at https://rvdailyreport.com/industry/rvx-inaugural-event-generates-mixed-reaction/
By Andy Zipser
I wish you had been as skeptical of the KOA fantasy as you were of the Reveal.
If you take a careful look at what KOA displayed, you’ll quickly realize two things:
a) whoever worked up these fantasies doesn’t do much camping; and
b) the target audience for all this is millennials.
On the first point, Airstreams parked backwards in back-in spots, no water or sewer hook-ups anywhere in evidence, tent platforms in the urban setting that are barely big enough for a backpacking tent and accessible only via a ladder.
On the second point, virtually every RV is a small trailer, conversion van or Class C, with nary a fifth wheel or Class A anywhere in sight.
None of the campers strolling through these scenarios looks to be over 40 (and I’m being generous), and an emphasis throughout on eliminating as much human interaction as possible.
Drones and bots delivering goods, electronic kiosks for registration — What does KOA think all this is going to cost the camping consumer?
The one visible price point is in the coastal mock-up, where the registration screen shows a nightly site rate of $60. And yet these are all enormous engineering projects that require many millions in development costs, from construction of a massive causeway in the coastal area to cantilevered RV pads in the mountain setting to many, many acre feet of water for the pool and water park plopped into the middle of the desert concept.
All of which reminds me yet again why we left KOA, which clearly has too much money to throw around (thanks to the 10% franchise fee it extracts) by a headquarters staff living in a bubble of its own making.
Yes, it’s all well and good to push the envelope and imagine what the future might look like, but that exercise should be grounded in something approaching reality.
This exercise is more Walt Disney than John Muir, which is to say, it has essentially nothing to do with nature.
Please grind those rose-colored glasses under the heel of a hiking boot.