Hotel luminaries to advise glamping startup

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AutoCamp accommodations include custom Airstream trailers.
AutoCamp accommodations include custom Airstream trailers.

Luxury camping specialist AutoCamp is plotting further expansion, recently unveiling that its third outpost will be near California's Yosemite National Park. The company also has added four executives to its board of advisers. 

AutoCamp's new advisers include Chip Conley (Joie de Vivre Hospitality founder and former Airbnb head of global hospitality and strategy) and Mike DePatie (managing partner of hotel real estate private equity firm KHP Capital Partners and former Kimpton president and CEO).

Former Deckers Outdoor Corp. CEO and chairman Angel Martinez and hotelier Eric Prevette also have been named advisers. Prevette co-founded Karas Lifestyle Hotels in 2015 and has been in the business of luxury hotel investment and management for more than three decades.

Launched in 2013, AutoCamp customizes Airstream trailers and turns them into upscale accommodations that are outfitted with high-end finishes, memory foam mattresses and spa-inspired bathrooms. An AutoCamp site also typically has luxury tent accommodations as well as a clubhouse with reception desk, grab-and-go food and beverage options, and lounge space.

The company's Yosemite camp is slated to open just outside Mariposa, California, in early 2019 with 80 Airstream trailers, 15 luxury tents, a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse, a heated pool and a freshwater pond. 

AutoCamp currently has California locations in Santa Barbara and the Russian River Valley.  The Yosemite location will give AutoCamp a total of roughly 150 accommodations across all three sites. 

Pricing at the Yosemite site will range from $265 to $450 per night for an Airstream suite and $240 to $325 per night for a luxury tent. The company pays travel agents 10% commission. 

AutoCamp chief marketing officer Ryan Miller said additional locations are in the works, including plans for its first East Coast site.

"We're partnered with Airstream for the continued development of our brand, and we're currently planning for a national expansion," said Miller, adding that AutoCamp has hundreds of custom Airstream trailers on order. "We are primarily focusing on iconic outdoor and vacation destinations, and that could certainly include additional expansion into areas like national parks."

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