Margaritaville’s first RV resorts were a ‘surprise’ smash hit, so it’s taking 5 o’clock somewhere nationwide – see inside Camp Margaritaville

the check-in building at the Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
  • Margaritaville's first Camp Margaritaville RV resort opened in spring 2019 to "surprising" success.
  • Now, Margaritaville wants to expand its new RV resorts arm across the country.
  • The brand is targeting 30 to 50 more locations in the next five years, its president of development told Insider.
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville empire is bringing its sponge cake and sun bake on the road with plans to expand its budding RV and glamping resorts across the US.
sketch of the entrance into a Camp Margaritaville
The entrance to a Camp Margaritaville.
Margaritaville's brand might not immediately evoke RVing. But so far, Camp Margaritaville has seen massive success at its first two locations in Lake Lanier, Georgia and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, it said.
RVs parked at a Camp Margaritaville
A Camp Margaritaville.
The first Camp Margaritaville RV Resort and Lodge opened in Lake Lanier - about an hour north of Atlanta - following a "happy accident," Jim Wiseman, the president of development at Camp Margaritaville, told Insider.
the check-in area of The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
When Margaritaville had plans to sublease part of Lake Lanier, there was already a defunct RV park sitting unused on the land.
RVs parked at Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Instead of scrapping the camp, Margaritaville decided to revive and rebrand the resort as "Camp Margaritaville."
Camp Margaritaville RV Resort logo
The Camp Margaritaville logo.
The revamped camp reopened in spring 2019. In retrospect, this timing was fortuitous: Shortly after, the US underwent a pandemic-induced camping and RV boom.
sketch of the swim-up bar at Camp Margaritaville
A swim-up bar at a Camp Margaritaville.

Source: Insider

This road travel trend then helped boost Camp Margaritaville's business, which has since seen "off the charts" reception and reviews, according to Wiseman.
sketch of A bathhouse and laundry room among trees at Camp Margaritaville
The bathhouse and laundry room at a Camp Margaritaville.

Source: Insider

The Lake Lanier location is now performing better than what the company initially predicted and budgeted for, "which is why [Margaritaville] is trying to get in the business so fast," Wiseman said.
sketch of a check-in porte-cochère at a Camp Margaritaville
The check-in porte-cochère at a Camp Margaritaville.
"What surprised us at Lake Lanier was the average daily rate we could generate with an upscale camping experience," Wiseman said. "That drove our interest to move [the expansion of Camp Margaritaville] along quicker."
sketch of Barkaritaville at a Camp Margaritaville location
Barkaritaville at a Camp Margaritaville location.
Now, Margaritaville is targeting the rollout of 30 to 50 more nationwide locations in the next five years, Wiseman said.
RVs parked at a Camp Margaritaville
A Camp Margaritaville.
And in the short term, the brand has plans to launch five additional locations in 2022, including one in Auburndale, Florida early next year.
sketch of a pool with people at a Camp Margaritaville
The pool at a Camp Margaritaville.
But for now, Margaritaville won't be building any RV camps from the ground up.
sketch of the swim-up bar at Camp Margaritaville
A swim-up bar at a Camp Margaritaville.
Instead, to expedite the expansion of its RV resorts arm, the company will rebrand existing RV resorts to fit the Margaritaville "lifestyle."
sketch of Barkaritaville at a Camp Margaritaville location.
Barkaritaville at a Camp Margaritaville location.
This means updating existing RV resorts with stronger programmatic, food, and beverage offerings, for example.
sketch of the entrance into a Camp Margaritaville
The entrance to a Camp Margaritaville.
So far, this Margaritaville charm of a "casual luxury camping experience" has resulted in an average demographic of younger families and guests in their low-30s age range, according to Wiseman.
the check-in area of The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Like any RV resort, every RV at Camp Margaritaville will have access to water, power, and sewage hookups.
RVs parked at a Camp Margaritaville
A Camp Margaritaville.
The resorts also have glamping and non-RV lodging options for guests who don't have a tiny home on wheels but are still interested in a Camp Margaritaville vacation.
sketch of the entrance into a Camp Margaritaville
The entrance to a Camp Margaritaville.
Both the Georgia and Tennessee locations have services like shared bathhouses with showers and restrooms, complimentary WiF, and laundry facilities, as well as some family friend amenities like swimming pools or shuffle board.
a welcome sign at the Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Source: Camp Margaritaville (1) (2

The upcoming Florida location will have all the facilities of a tropical-themed resort, such as a tiki bar, pool, volleyball courts, and a dog park, to name a few features.
sketch of a pool with people at a Camp Margaritaville
The pool at a Camp Margaritaville.
"We want people to think of fun when they think of Margaritaville," Wiseman said. "The underpinning of the brand is to go out and have fun."
the check-in building at the Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
The Camp Margaritaville in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
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