Beyond Camping: Outdoor and Camping Company Tentrr Caters To Cityscapers Looking for Getaways In Driving Distance Of Major Cities

September 21, 2020 |

With warmer weather comes the desire to be outdoors for many travellers – and amidst COVID-19, this is no exception. Enter Tentrr, a US-based outdoor and camping company that provides adventurers with a private camping experience, connecting them with landowners so they can experience the great outdoors comfortably. 

Founder Michael D’Agostino boasts a Wall Street finance background and has always enjoyed the great outdoors. After a group of rowdy streakers ran through the campsite he and his family were staying in as they were turning in for the night, he was determined to launch the company. Tentrr was eventually born in 2015 with its first location in his own backyard in the Catskills, conceptualized as a way to get out of the city and unplug from the hustle and bustle in a unique, outdoor setting.

In 2019, under the new leadership of CEO Anand Subramanian, the company grew 100% and has continued to grow in 2020 at an accelerated pace. “Implementing Guesty’s software into our daily operations was a strategic decision for us due to its direct integrations with key booking channels such as Airbnb, Booking.com, and many others. Working with the company has enabled us to save time and focus on expansion,” says Subramanian.

Today the company has 800+ campsites across 40 states in the US, and is growing. There are 220 Signature sites within a couple of hours drive from Manhattan, providing travellers with easily accessible destinations optimal for two to three day stays. Examples of these New York locations include Saugerties, Woodstock and Callicoon, with many others dotted all over the Catskills, New York’s Hudson Valley and the Poconos.

Tents That Step It Up A Notch

Tentrr’s business model is made up of four types of camping experiences: Tentrr Signature enables guests to camp in style with no equipment required, while Tentrr Backcountry offers a classic camping experience if travellers prefer to pitch their own tent (great for those who own large properties and want to explore renting their undeveloped land). In addition, Tentrr Partners offer curated glamping sites and the company’s State Park sites (a newer extension of their offering) provides the Signature setup on state land.

Tent listings, controlled by each host/owner, come equipped with tents and furniture as well as experiential activities that hosts can upsell – whether that be a gourmet BBQ, fishing trip, guided kayaking trip and more. High-performing listings include those on farms and orchards, such as those in Maine and in upstate New York. 

COVID-19: Offering Getaways To Those That Need It Most

Tentrr is one of the lucky short-term rental property management companies less impacted by COVID-19 considering the harshest restrictions were in place in March and April, and the company’s high season is summer and early fall. In fact, they are experiencing 3X the occupancy rates compared to last year, with increased inquiries coming from city-dwellers and families cooped up in apartments desperate for some time in the great outdoors. In addition, June saw 4X more bookings this year than in 2019. This isn’t surprising as travellers are increasingly looking for properties that include keywords such as “remote” and “secluded” – something that Tentrr’s listing descriptions already featured pre-virus.

The company has addressed the pandemic head-on on their site and in their communication with guests, sharing their policies with hosts, expectations and enforcing stringent cleaning procedures such as sanitizing tents in between stays or even implementing a one day break in between stays. Not to mention, most campsites are on pieces of land that are 10 acres or more, providing cityscapers with secluded environments so they can “camp with confidence” and be at ease.

Unique to the company is the fact that its CampKeepers (Tentrr campsite hosts) have been providing free stays to essential workers who are looking to escape the city after working for several days straight. Tentrr fully supports this initiative and the notion that frontline and healthcare workers are in need of a getaway to relax and recharge safely in secluded areas. Tentrr is happy to continue this initiative. 

Tech That Breeds Growth

In an effort to grow and scale, Tentrr realized they needed tech tools that saved the team time on menial, repetitive tasks. They turned to Guesty to automate their guest communication (like check-in/out instructions) and centralize it in one unified inbox. The company also uses Guesty because it enables automatic distribution across key booking channels, such as Airbnb and others. In fact, the company garners over 20% of its business from booking channels, which is why having a platform where they can edit their listings in one place – as well as see all bookings in one calendar – is key to smooth, daily operations. 

What’s Next

With continued, year over year success, Tentrr is continuing to look towards expansion. 

“Tentrr is committed to investing $10M+ over the next 5 years in working with various State Parks across the country,” says Subramanian. In the last year alone, the company opened in State Parks in 3 states including Michigan, Utah, Maine and is adding 3 more states this year. Though Tentrr’s roots began in the Northeast, the business is excited to continue identifying more sites in the western and mountain states, such as Oregon and Washington, as well as in the Southwest, and any rural areas that are in proximity of large metropolitan cities.

In addition, the company is keen to continue making it easy for people to get outdoors and is continuously exploring new and unique ways of making it even more effortless for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors safely and comfortably.

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