One-click Camping – Homeowners link with Tentrr to set up glamping sites on their land
Forty million people in the United States alone go camping each year, and together they log a whopping 600 million nights spent sleeping under the stars. Got an itch to go camping in the 413? If so, Berkshire Mountain Hideaway might be just the place. A wide grassy trail, punctuated by yellow arrows emblazoned on tree trunks, heralds the way to a secluded spot splashed with dappled sunlight, overlooking an intermittent brook. And a classic Radio Flyer wagon, leaning against a tree, is poised to ease the burden of lugging backpacks and other provisions through the woods.
What sets this particular locale apart from the myriad campgrounds and Appalachian Trail shelters that dot the local map is that Berkshire Mountain Hideaway is a Tentrr Signature Site, which means it has been personally selected and outfitted with all the gear needed to enjoy a relaxing respite in nature.
Tentrr, Inc. was founded in 2015 by Michael D’Agostino, during a “lightning bolt moment.” He and his wife, desperate to escape the city, booked two nights at a campground in the Catskills. After the first sleepless night, thanks to noisy neighbors and overcrowded conditions, the couple left. On their way home, they passed a farm—with a pond in the distance—and D’Agostino made a wistful, albeit profound, comment: Imagine if we could go camping there. From that excursion grew Tentrr (think Tenter with a trendy Silicon Valley flourish), a network of privately-owned personal campsites that allow rural landowners to create remarkable outdoor experiences for campers.
“We can’t fill the demand fast enough,” says D’Agostino, whose kernel of an idea has exploded into 39 states.
“Millennials are driving a camping boom in this country,” adds D’Agostino of the 80 million or so individuals living in major cities, carrying money in their pockets, and looking to have unique experiences. D’Agostino’s company, headquartered in New York City, is reinventing the infrastructure of camping and how the great outdoors are enjoyed, one cool campsite at a time. Each Tentrr campsite—of which there are eight in Berkshire County and another ten in western Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden counties—offers the luxury of space or, what D’Agostino calls, “beautiful places curated.”
Some liken it to Airbnb for camping, a parallel D’Agostino finds flattering. “We are like the rural yin to their urban yang,” he says, before turning to the biggest differentiator: standardization.
Each Tentrr site is fully rigged with everything needed for a night spent recharging in nature: a wooden platform with canvas tent; additional dome tent; fire pit; camp table; two Adirondack chairs; camp benches; queen bed; water carrier; grill tongs and brush; wood stove; campfire grill; camp loo; sun shower; and trash can. “It’s kind of a pioneering element to have standardization,” says D’Agostino. “You know exactly what you are going to get,” he adds: a comfortable, stylish place to stay. Which is important considering 40 percent of people who go on Tentrr adventures have never been camping before.”
The benefits extend to CampKeepers, a term created by Tentrr that refers to private landowners who host campers on their land and earn extra income. Arti Roots Ross was drawn to the idea of sharing her land, 22 largely wooded acres near the New York line, with others.
“I love meeting the people, and it’s very low maintenance,” says Ross, who toyed with the idea of Airbnb but ultimately felt uncomfortable leaving guests unattended in her home. Tentrr seemed the perfect fit for her Berkshire Mountain Hideaway, allowing her to customize her site with several amenities—at an additional cost—including luxury linens, two kayaks and on premises body work.
On its website, Tentrr describes this location as a “magical, quiet site a short walk (less than 1/4 mile) from easy access parking. Glacial rock to one direction, seasonal spring stream to another. Hiking trails right from the site to Perry’s Peak, Taconic Ridge trail, shorter scenic local trails, most very well established.”
Unlike other venture capital backed camping startups, Tentrr offers the
antithesis of the campground. Each site has been scouted to ensure
privacy and seclusion, the platform
D’Agostino and his wife were really pining for that night spent camping in the Catskills: a chance to recharge and regenerate in nature.
Tentrr’s philosophy—to distribute the camping model, using technology, to rural landowners like those in the Berkshires—offers CampKeepers the ability to become micro-entrepreneurs. Two payment options exist: the Moose Plan requires $6,500 up front while the Rabbit Plan is $300 per month, for 24 months. In each case, CampKeepers earn 80 percent of what they charge, a figure that hovers around $120 per night.
“The Berkshires are blowing up for us,” says D’Agostino in a nod to the parallel between Tentrr’s growth and regions that are expanding, like North Adams and Great Barrington. “Both are going through this huge renaissance, rebirth, rejuvenation,” he says. Which inevitably lends itself to attracting people who are interested in hosting, or availing themselves of, a Tentrr site. In other words, growing in really cool ways—with “hyper-local” experiences to the 413.