Park? Resort? Campground?

Adventurous Thoughts

Written by SandySandy Ellingson

Have you noticed how there are no criteria for the terms we use to describe “parks” within the outdoor hospitality industry? I bet some of you have never heard the term “outdoor hospitality industry!” How does a park get the title of campground or a resort?

When we first started RVing, we assumed that there were guidelines for how parks identified themselves. A campground was a campground. A resort was a resort and an RV Park was, well, we didn’t know for sure but we figured we would learn. Over the years, we have been to campgrounds that were so fancy that we would have called them resorts. We have been to resorts that we wondered how they were staying in business and drove out as quickly as we drove in. And, we have been to RV Parks that were as varied in appearance and amenities as they could be. As a strategist, I have to ask myself, “Is this an issue for other new campers? Does it have the ability to be a threat to our industry?” I think the answer is yes. The titles set expectations and we all know how important setting expectations properly can be for success.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? Stay tuned for future projects that could change our language around parks and help us all to ultimately be more successful.


We bought our first camper during the 2020 apocalypse. (Covid-19) We booked a weekend at a park that was about 2 hours away that called itself a resort. Upon arrival, we were very surprised. It was obvious that most of the residents were living at this park. The park was as advertised on the website, but the camping experience we had hoped for was not at all met. We haven’t used the trailer since.

– Max Monehann

My blogs are intentionally short and should cause you to think. I try to ask a question that will challenge you to think not about how things are, but about how things might need to be in the future. I never point out a challenge without being willing to be part of the solution. I’d love to have your insight and thoughts. Let me know by commenting below.

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