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Camp Club USA, a discount camping club formed by Affinity Group Inc. (AGI) in January, is expanding its consumer base as well as its network of affiliated campgrounds and RV resorts.
The Denver, Colo.-based club had between 10,000 and 15,000 members by early June as well as a network of 350 parks, each of which offers club members a 50% discount on overnight camping, said Bruce Hoster, AGI vice president and executive director of the club.
“Our eventual goal is to have 1,000 to 1,500 parks and 50,000 to 75,000 members,” he said.
While its primary focus is to offer half-price discounts, a concept that has proven successful with other camping clubs around the country, Camp Club USA is attempting to distinguish itself from its competitors by offering a higher quality network of parks, Hoster said.
“We talked to people who used other clubs and discount programs and the thing that kept coming back was that they wanted a club that focused more on quality campgrounds,” he said.
In an effort to provide a higher quality network of campgrounds and RV parks, Camp Club USA is partnering with Woodall’s to identify prospective private park members, particularly those with rankings of WWW or higher.
While Hoster concedes that there is some resistance in the industry to the idea of discount camping, Camp Club USA is marketing itself as a way for campgrounds and RV parks to improve occupancies during their slow periods.
“There is no cost to campgrounds to participate,” he said. “They can determine when they want to offer the discount. They can also exempt holidays and peak seasons. Our pitch is to use it as a yield-management tool when your season is slower to fill empty campsites.”
Consumers pay $49 per year to be Camp Club USA members. The fee entitles them to discounts as well as a directory of parks, which also is available.
Hoster said many Good Sam Club members already have opted to join Camp Club USA. “There’s a lot of crossover (in memberships),” he said, adding, “I think the reception has been very good.”