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Campspot’s Top Canadian & US Campgrounds

Campspot’s Top Canadian & US Campgrounds

by David Klemt

Small campervan made from VW Beetle on the side of the highway

Campspot helps campers, road-trippers, and adventurers select their next place to call home when traveling throughout North America.

Visitors to the Campspot site will find reviews and lists of amenities for more than 230,000 campgrounds.

Further, they select ten campgrounds across several categories for their Campspot Awards. Below, the top ten Campspot campgrounds for 2024 in Canada and the US. Oh, and there’s a bonus section for the five glamping sites that earned Campspot Awards.

However, I’ve done more than just share a few awards lists. In this article, I’ve also shared what basics and amenities these campgrounds have in common, and a number of standout features.

It’s important for current and future campground operators to know what guests expect, and what will make their visits memorable (in a good way).

Let’s check out this year’s award winners!

2024 Campspot Awards: Canada

  • Pathfinder Camp Resorts: Agassiz-Harrison, 4.6 stars (Agassiz, British Columbia)
  • Pinnacle Trails Resort, 4.4 stars (Yellowhead County, Alberta)
  • Sun Retreats Sherkston Shores, 4.4 stars (Sherkston, Ontario)
  • Village Des Écluses, 4.4 stars (Pointe-des-Cascades, Québec)
  • River Run Resort & Grill, 4.2 stars (Kingsclear, New Brunswick)
  • Dinosaur Trail RV Resort & Cabins, 4.1 stars (Drumheller, Alberta)
  • Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Kingston, 4.0 stars (Kingston, Nova Scotia)
  • Candle Lake Golf Resort, 4.0 stars (Candle Lake, Saskatchewan)
  • Logos Land Resort, 3.7 stars (Cobden, Ontario)
  • Pacific Playgrounds Oceanside Resort, 3.2 stars (Black Creek, British Columbia)

2024 Campspot Awards: US

  • Brialee Family Campground, 4.9 stars (Ashford, Connecticut)
  • Greenbrier Campground, 4.9 stars (Gatlinburg, Tennessee)
  • Jackson Rancheria Casino & RV Resort, 4.9 stars (Jackson, California)
  • Stonebridge RV Resort, 4.9 stars (Maggie Valley, North Carolina)
  • Ocean Grove RV Resort: St. Augustine, 4.8 stars (St. Augustine, Florida)
  • Paradise by the Sea Beach RV Resort, 4.8 stars (Oceanside, California)
  • Santa Cruz Redwoods RV Resort, 4.8 stars (Felton, California)
  • Canyon View RV Resort, 4.7 stars (Grand Junction, Colorado)
  • Verde Ranch RV Resort, 4.7 stars (Camp Verde, Arizona)
  • Sun Outdoors Myrtle Beach, 4.5 stars (Conway, South Carolina)

Amenities & Trends

When one takes a good look at both lists, a few commonalities jump out.

Most notably, the inclusion of the word “resort” in most of the above campground names. In fact, eight of the ten campgrounds on Campspot’s Canadian list feature the word. That number drops by just one on the American list.

This makes sense, of course. When people see the word “resort,” it speaks to an elevated guest experience. So, when people are making plans and searching for somewhere to camp, finding a resort may be a more attractive proposition.

One they’re there, though, what’s the actual experience? What are the amenities helping guests make their selections and, hopefully, converting them to repeat guests?

I took a look at each campground and found these in common, starting with the basics:

  • bathrooms
  • dump station
  • garbage
  • general store
  • Internet access
  • laundry
  • showers

Many campgrounds (or RV resorts) also feature experiential amenities:

  • availability of alcohol
  • arcade
  • bike rentals
  • dog park
  • hiking
  • hot tub / sauna
  • ice cream
  • pavilion
  • pool
  • playground
  • snack stand
  • sports (basketball, volleyball, fishing, paddle boats, etc.)

There are, of course, some more unique amenities, such as:

  • arts and crafts (Verde Ranch)
  • gaga ball (Logos Land)
  • golf cart rentals (Candle Lake, Sun Retreats)
  • mini-golf (Pinnacle Trails)
  • outdoor theater (Pinnacle Trails)
  • restaurant (Jackson Rancheria, Ocean Grove, Santa Cruz, Sun Outdoors, Sun Retreats, Village Des Écluses)
  • shuffleboard (Verde Ranch)
  • waterpark (Pinnacle Trails, Sun Retreats, Verde Ranch)

Bonus: 2024 Campspot Awards: Glamping

  • Blue Mesa Adventure Pods at Elk Creek Campground, 5.0 stars (Gunnison, Colorado)
  • Buck Hill Campground, 5.0 stars (Newland, North Carolina)
  • Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resort: Glen Ellis, 4.7 stars (Glen, New Hampshire)
  • Smokiam RV Resort, 4.6 stars (Soap Lake, Washington)
  • Westward Shores Cottages & RV Resorts, 4.2 stars (West Ossipee, New Hampshire)

Notably, the top two glamping campgrounds on this list don’t use the word “resort.”

Moreover, Jellystone Glen Ellis and Westward Shores feature dozens of attractive amenities. For example, both have access to a beach and a restaurant. Guests can also play laser tag, rent golf carts, access cable TV, and take part in arts and crafts.

At Jellystone Glen Ellis, guests can play mini-golf or enjoy a waterpark. People who enjoy boating will be happy that Westward Shores has a boat launch.

Interestingly, none of the campgrounds on the Canada, US, or glamping lists notes cornhole as an amenity. With so many offering horseshoes, I would’ve thought cornhole would also be available.

Image: Tiffany Bauer on Pexels

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

Canadians Preparing for NHL Opening Week

by David Klemt

Vintage tabletop hockey game toy

Now nobody can accuse me of showing any NHL teams favoritism. Go Knights Go!

As one should expect, Canadian hockey fans are preparing for the 2023-2024 NHL season opener, and those preparations include on-premise visits.

On Tuesday, October 10, three teams will face off to start the regular season.

First, the Nashville Predators take on the Tampa Bay Lightning. Then, the Chicago Blackhawks will face the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Finally, after raising their brand-new, first-ever Stanley Cup championship banner, which they won just six seasons after their founding, the fastest an expansion team has accomplished this feat, the Vegas Golden Knights will welcome the Seattle Kraken to T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

According to on-premise data from CGA by NIQ, Canadian hockey fans are planning to celebrate the start of the season at bars and restaurants. That means operators have less than two weeks to finalize plans to attract these guests to their venues.

In particular, operators in four provinces need to ensure their NHL opening week plans and promotions are good to go. Per CGA’s data, consumers in Québec are showing the greatest interest in watching this season’s opening games in bars and restaurants. Following and driving on-premise interest are British Columbia, Ontario, and Alberta.

Of course, operators throughout the provinces who serve sports fans should be ready to welcome hockey fans.

For our Canadian readers, the Montréal Candiens will take on Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, October 11. On that same day, the Ottawa Senators face the Carolina Hurricanes; the Edmonton Oilers face off against the Vancouver Canucks; and the Winnipeg Jets will battle the Calgary Flames.

Click here for the full opening week schedule.

Why Does this Matter?

I may catch some flack for this but technically, any bar with televisions events can be a sports bar.

Yes, I understand that’s a very simplistic view. And yes, of course that comes with the caveat that sports should be authentic to a given concept. Also, showing sports should take into account the expectations of bar or restaurant’s guests.

In other words, most bars and restaurants can benefit from sports but they’d likely be a hindrance to some high-end cocktail bars and fine-dining concepts.

With that out of the way, operators who want to establish themselves as the go-to spot for sporting events need to nail opening week. That means having all of their ducks in a row.

Do they have the proper business TV packages in place? Will promotions and programming appeal to the target audience? Are the screens and audio system high quality for the best viewing experience? Does the menu offer sports fans what they want for great value? Is the team pulling out all the spots to make viewing fun?

Regarding the menu, CGA by NIQ has a couple of valuable insights. First, beer is the top beverage alcohol category among those planning to celebrate NHL opening week on-premise. Second, among those who plan to consume spirits, tequila is the top pick. Sounds like offering beer and tequila shot pairings could perform well.

However, operators should certainly take into account their own data. What F&B items are selling the best? Which items performed the best this same time last year?

Between 15 and 16 million Canadians follow hockey. That’s a vast pool of potential customers to convert to loyal guests. The importance of becoming their sports home base, their third spot, cannot be overstated.

This coming opening week, lay the groundwork to become the go-to place for hockey fans, fantasy sports competitors, and sports bettors.

Image: cottonbro studio via Pexels

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