By: Ben Quiggle | Published on: Aug 19, 2021
Mark Koep is a name that many in the outdoor hospitality industry probably recognize.
He is the founder of CampgroundViews.com, a search engine of sorts that hosts profiles of campgrounds across North America and features video tours of parks that allow campers to see specific campsites before they book them. On top of that, he is the curator of multiple Facebook groups, the most popular of which, the “RV Park/Campground Operators and Managers Operations & Marketing Forum,” has over 2,800 members.
“CampgroundViews.com started because we were full-time RVers traveling the country and trying to find a place to camp, and the information sources that were out there just didn’t have useful information,” Koep said. “It was all review-based and reviews are only as good as the people leaving them. You either have really amazing reviews or really bad reviews, and you have to guess. The entire concept behind CampgroundViews.com is to provide a visual experience through photos and video.”
Overseeing all of this is a full-time job — one that Koep loves.
“Several years ago, we started providing professional marketing services, specifically video production services, to campground owners,” Koep explained. “We’d come in and produce these various videos to help them market because video is the single best way to market a campground or location. There are data points out there that show 73% of affluent travelers will book immediately upon seeing a video. We started doing these video productions for campgrounds and they started measuring these insane results. Parks started to report to us that they were seeing 70 times more revenue than what we were charging for our services and those numbers repeated over and over again.”
In the beginning, the website relied on campers or owners using their cell phones to submit photos and now the website features over 3,000 videos and more than 50,000 photographs of RV parks and campgrounds across the country. However, Koep realized that he could do so much more with video and listened to the demands of campers, introducing 360 videos a few years ago.