It has been said that life begins at the end of your comfort zone, and it seems that the next generation of travelers today are embracing this idea. Instead of seeking relaxing holidays at the beach or luxurious getaways to the spa, these travelers look to quench their thirst for more than just an escape from daily life by seeking genuine experiences directly related to the natural surroundings and local culture of “outdoorsy” spots across the country. The experiential, adventure travel niche is picking up steam as this unique, but large, group of travelers looks for the next hip spot to visit. The trend, being pushed by Millennials who have a desire to engage in outdoor activities that push limits, is creating a demand for lodging spaces in destinations off the beaten path, where outdoor activities and experiences are part of the local culture. These are not the typical vacation spots of old that their parents and grandparents thought of when planning family trips, but domestic recreation hubs, some known, others more cloistered. These destinations are attracting travelers seeking unique spaces and experiences combined with opportunities to be immersed in all that encompasses the local lifestyle. The driving demographic force of this movement are the much studied and sought after Millennials, who are more likely than any other generation to identify as adventurists, outdoor enthusiasts, nature lovers, foodies, beer connoisseurs, lovers of live music, community builders, environmental activists, surfers, climbers, bikers, skiers, hikers and creatives. This group loves to take risks, travel, explore the outdoors and believe that community plays a huge role in both their lives and their adventures.
Many of these travelers are looking for more than just a place to stay the night; they are looking for places where likeminded individuals gather. One recently developed company, LOGE Camps (Live Outside, Go Explore) has a vision that appeals to these travelers. Their goal is to create unique lodging experiences in the center of great outdoor locales that give their guests a place to connect with others, try out new gear, see new places, make new friends, build relationships and ultimately community. They use authentic, user-generated content to market their brand to their target audience, sourcing photos on Instagram with the hashtag #LiveOutsideGoExplore, and market to local communities where their locations lie – inviting anyone in the area - paying guest, local resident, camper in the woods – you name it – to enjoy their free movie nights, and live music acts set up on their lawns on the weekends, complete with campfires, picnic tables, BBQs, lounge chairs, social pods and more. Really, a ready-made lawn party for a group of friends yet to be formed. These intentional spaces are by design, created to act as host for a full immersion in local culture. What these locals and tourists have in common is the desire to travel, to experience, discover, adventure, explore the unknown, find belonging, embrace discomfort, join a tribe, and be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to live their best life, and to find their place – with each other. The concept is being rapidly embraced and is destined to find success across the country.
"This group loves to take risks, travel, explore the outdoors and believe that community plays a huge role in both their lives and their adventures."
Hostel | LOGE Leavenworth, WA
"These intentional spaces are by design, created to act as host for a full immersion in local culture."
The Sands Cafe | LOGE at The Sands, Westport, WA
Millennial travelers are enthusiastic about this model. The genuine tone of the marketing, the inclusiveness, and the general concept of enjoying nature, outdoor activity, the local food and beverage scene, live music and making new friends is wildly appealing to so many. One way LOGE Camps hopes to attract this new generation of adventure tourist is by offering in one location multiple types of lodging — from affordable campsites and RV hookups to competitively priced hotel rooms with the additional option of staying in a modern, well equipped hostel. Offering features including storage space for outdoor gear such as skis, surfboards and mountain bikes, demo centers, on-site retail, coffee shops and beer taps, these locations are attracting nightly rental guests who enjoy frequenting not just one location, but all of the current camps across the Pacific Northwest. In addition to offering nightly rentals, LOGE launched what is known as a “season pass” allowing guests the ability to book multiple nights, rent gear, and get perks at the café for a highly discounted rate, a concept with potential to grow as LOGE moves towards being a nationwide brand.
As the demand for diversified vacation and lodging experiences increases, especially for those seeking outdoor adventure and local culture immersion, innovative and cutting edge lodging options are not only necessary, but crucial. As we have focused on, and gotten to know the Millennial traveler over the past few years, the impending change to vacation trends has become clear, the question is what will bigger, established brands do to offer products that appeal to this unique group.
General Manager, LOGE
Garret Van Swearingen