Nathan D. Vongunten Director, GRS | Title 330.267.4405

Nathan D. Vongunten
Director, GRS | Title

Since the summer is near closing time, GRS Group thought it would be good to focus on the needed rest and recreation that those in the commercial real estate industry need before they hit the busy fall conference and networking season.

But there is still some time left before that to relax. One of the great options that hospitality consumers who want to be close to nature, yet not go through the extra work of pitching a tent and the other aspects involved with traditional camping, is called glamping. The concept is to have tent-like pods with beds and nearby bathroom and recreational access.

Companies involved in commercial real estate have realized a desire for this type of property.

For example, REI, the Seattle-based outdoor retailer has embraced this trend. The retailer has set schedules for such great natural spots as the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion National Park, in Utah.

It seems like a safe bet for the costs that hospitality companies take on as opposed to building a mega hotel.

In most of these cases, it’s a fragmented sector of commercial real estate, but just like the medical office space, larger firms have taken notice.

For example, the annual Coachella music festival, in the desert of California near Palm Springs, had luxury tents operated by Marriott for concert goers. Back in March, the upscale accommodations were furnished with the same items used in many of its higher-end nameplate brands, including Aloft, Renaissance and Westin.

There have been other major hotel chains that offer glamping as well.

Will this turn out to be a major hospitality commercial real estate trend? It won’t drive investors in that direction until we see more of this continue, but there could be some positivity on the horizon.

With an increased interest in being close to nature by millennials, and a retiring Baby Boomer crowd, which is a high percentage of the population that is looking for a relaxed lifestyle, it could be a possibility.

Some day it might be common for beach resorts, and similar facilities, to have pod-like tents scattered around the grounds of major commercial real estate hospitality properties.