by Courtney Llewellyn

People who have purchased campers or RVs are itching to use them. They invested good money in their concept of recreation – and more and more people are looking to invest in experiences, not just hooking up at any old campground.

That’s where Harvest Hosts comes into play. At its core, it is an RV and camping membership company that connects adventurers to small businesses, explained Sash Hickey, partnerships & PR coordinator with Harvest Hosts.

A visitor enjoys the sunset at Wrights Farm in Gardiner, NY. Photo courtesy of Harvest Hosts

The company was started in 2010 by CEO Joel Holland with just 600 locations listed. Today, Harvest Hosts boasts more than 200,000 members with more than 3,100 host locations for campers to stop and stay a night. A host site can be very flexible, Hickey said – it just needs to be a level, self-contained spot for someone to set up for an evening.

“And they’re just one-night stopovers,” Hickey said. “The only thing hosts need to provide is a place to park.” It does help if hosts have something to sell, though, which is why small farms, breweries, distilleries and wineries are population destinations. It even says on the company’s website, “Please support the Hosts you camp with! Think of how much your fabulous overnight is worth and use some of those camping costs savings to purchase wine or gifts from the gift shop. We recommend spending a minimum of $20 to support your Host – that way everyone wins!”

The busiest season, for both travelers and hosts, is April through October. “During the height of the pandemic, a lot of people said it was the only income they had,” Hickey said of host farms. “Hosting helped a lot of people out.” Those people are spread across North America, with Harvest Host sites located in every state of the Continental U.S., Alaska, Canada and Baja California.

Interested in becoming a host and taking advantage of a unique and free marketing option? The Host Location program at Harvest Hosts is a cost-free opportunity for farms to share their offerings with its members who spend millions of dollars each year while visiting host locations. Sign up is easy; just fill out some basic information on their website and the Harvest Hosts team will reach out to you.

“We want to continue to find unique places for our members to stay,” Hickey said. “We encourage people to trade Walmarts for wineries.”

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