A recipe for thriving throughout a number of industries to ship bespoke experiences

Intro- 00:00:02: Welcome to the Lodge Second Podcast, introduced by Revinate, the podcast the place we discuss to leaders within the hospitality business. In the event you’re in search of developments, views, and tales from leaders in journey and hospitality, you’re in the suitable place.

Karen – 00:00:21: Howdy and welcome everybody to the Lodge Second Podcast. I’m your host, Karen Stephens, the Chief Income Officer of Revinate. And in the present day I’m joined by Vinny Cuneo, who’s the Vice President of Gross sales and Income Technique at AutoCamp. Welcome Vinny.

Vinny – 00:00:36: Thanks for having me, Karen. Nice to see you.

Karen – 00:00:39: Nice to see you, and I feel I pronounced your title flawed even after asking. Cuneo!

Vinny – 00:00:43: Cuneo, you bought it, it’s shut sufficient.

Karen – 00:00:44: All proper, there we go. Superior, cool. So I’m so glad to have you ever on the podcast. So, Vinny runs AutoCamp, which is one in all our favourite clients right here at Revinate. It’s such a singular approach to spend a trip. So do you wanna simply give us the tremendous excessive degree, for individuals who aren’t acquainted, what AutoCamp is and what the candy spot of the expertise is?

Vinny – 00:01:04: Yeah, completely. So image a boutique lodge out in the midst of the woods that, versus being a vertical constructing, we type of smashed down horizontally and all of these rooms are particular person customized Airstreams which you can’t discover anyplace else however with us. We constructed an incredible clubhouse that has type of like a mid-century fashionable design motif to it. That’s the place you examine in, that’s the place you’ll be able to hang around. We’ve received meals and beverage there, we’ve received retail there. And then you definitely’re strolling by way of the woods out to your Airstream suite and all these Airstreams like I discussed, customized only for AutoCamp, in order that they’re type of chopped up into thirds. A 3rd is the bed room with a queen mattress. I all the time inform all people that I’ve been working in accommodations for 17 years and we’ve probably the most snug beds on this planet. The opposite third is a residing house to type of hang around and kick it. It’s additionally received like a bit of pull out sleeper as properly for teenagers or for additional buddies. After which the loos are actually the place we type of separate ourselves from conventional glamping if you wish to say that. These are full spa loos, tile showers, residential bathrooms. It’s unbelievable. So for those who haven’t skilled it, we would like everybody to return test it out and hop on our Instagram or take a look at our web site to see some photos of what we do.

Karen – 00:02:13: Completely, you realize, and I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Yosemite and I can attest it’s like being in a boutique lodge and then you definitely stroll exterior you’re like, oh. I’m steps away from a nationwide park, there’s a pool, so it’s actually a implausible expertise. So our subject in the present day, we’re gonna speak about how do you thrive in a number of industries? So how do you retain up with developments and faucet into visitor preferences, and naturally, maximize income? So, you realize, AutoCamp type of straddles hospitality and glamping, and it’s a cool mix of the 2. However earlier than we get into that, I’ve 5 questions that I ask all of my visitors. So in the event you’ll indulge me, I’m gonna ask you a pair now.

Vinny – 00:02:50: Alright, fireplace away.

Karen – 00:02:52: Okay, so the primary one, when did you first begin working within the hospitality business and do you keep in mind your first day on the job?

Vinny – 00:03:00: I don’t know if I keep in mind my first day. My first job in a lodge was after I graduated faculty working valet at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon, which my dad and mom have been tremendous enthusiastic about, you realize, after 4 years of them paying for school, making $9 an hour parking automobiles. I don’t actually keep in mind my first day, however I keep in mind loads of moments from that place and like watching all people stroll out and in of the property. One being laid low with the households arriving and the way a lot pleasure and the way a lot enjoyable they’d, but in addition among the leaders of that property, the way in which they carried themselves, the way in which they introduced themselves, you realize, taking the time to cease and discuss to the valet attendants. That was what sort of first received me, you realize, to drink the Kool-Help of working in accommodations and resorts, simply type of seeing that connection from the very best ranges all the way down to the underside ranges and ensuring that everyone type of had a smile on their face.

Karen – 00:03:47: That’s nice. I like that. Numerous visitors on the podcast have began actually on the floor flooring, so to talk, in accommodations, in order that’s very cool. Second query for you, what has been probably the most uplifting second to this point in your profession?

Vinny – 00:04:01: In all probability through the darkest days of COVID. In 2020, we have been nonetheless in a really small startup mode, and COVID actually made us even smaller as we needed to shut all of our properties. So type of the ebb and circulate of going by way of these darkish days in March of 2020, April of 2020, all of our properties have been shuttered. Our pipeline by way of growth seemed fairly bleak. After which absolutely the rebound into June of 2020, once we have been allowed to reopen our doorways and impulsively we’re hitting report ranges of occupancy, report ranges of income. And the crew to type of rubber band by way of that actually was simply extraordinarily uplifting. And I feel that’s type of the tradition that we’ve carried by way of the final couple of years, as we’ve continued to broaden right here at AutoCamp, is actually that roll up your sleeves, that’s one in all our mission statements, however get performed and type of have that MacGyver perspective to essentially type of use no matter instruments, no matter assets we’ve to get the job performed.

Karen – 00:04:57: I find it irresistible. , it’s resilience and grit. We are saying that lots at Revinate. It’s actually how do you get the crew to get motivated? It has to do lots together with your tradition. And as you stated, I like that. That’s an superior mission assertion as a result of it truly is true as a result of generally you simply received to get the stuff performed. Alright. So the following query, what’s the most putting expertise to this point for you personally by way of meals or a keep or a vacation that involves thoughts?

Vinny – 00:05:24: I’d have two as a result of meals’s an enormous ardour of mine, each cooking and consuming. Once I was youthful, I had the chance to go on a visit to Italy with my entire whole Italian household and we stayed at a very nice lodge in Rome referred to as the Rose Backyard or Rose Palace. It’s type of near the primary practice station in Rome. And I keep in mind it was like the primary good lodge I’d ever stayed in, we have been a Motel 6 household by way of and thru. And as like a 17 12 months outdated child strolling downstairs to breakfast one morning, simply the unfold that they’d was unbelievable, and we’re speaking like high-end execution of, you realize, what primarily was a buffet breakfast. In order that was an unbelievable expertise. After which by way of restaurant experiences, my favourite restaurant in all the world is Frank in New York Metropolis, it’s on Second Avenue, and each time I’m within the metropolis, I guarantee that I’ve lunch or dinner there. Each time I eat there, it blows my thoughts and it’s simply probably the most superb type of quintessential New York Italian restaurant expertise.

Karen – 00:06:25: Wow, I find it irresistible. That’s saying lots. , there’s loads of good meals in New York Metropolis. So yeah, you heard it right here first, Frank. Superior. OK, and have you ever met any celebrities when you’ve been on the market within the trenches?

Vinny – 00:06:38: Yeah, but it surely’s humorous. I used to be fascinated about attempting to give you a very good reply and it’s extraordinarily area of interest and particular to any Cal Bears or 49er followers on the market. So one in all my first jobs was being a entrance desk agent and I received a telephone name and the title pops up on the telephone display and the voice is immediately recognizable to me, like I do know immediately who this man is predicated on the title and the voice and also you’re not purported to type of work together with celebrities, we’ll name this gentleman a celeb however I couldn’t assist myself. He was so necessary to me in my childhood. The man’s title is Joe Starkey. He was the 49ers radio broadcaster and the Cal Bears radio broadcaster for soccer and like all my recollections of childhood on Sunday mornings are mainly mowing the garden with my dad and listening to the 49ers on like a megaphone in our yard. So I informed the man this story and I used to be immediately tremendous embarrassed and tremendous scared pondering like, oh my God, I shouldn’t have stated something to him. He’s going to inform my boss that I like approached him. It was in all probability like 9.30 at night time and on the time the man was 65, 70 years outdated, he got here all the way down to the entrance desk and requested to shake my hand and say thanks for telling him. And it was like probably the most superb factor. I received to take a seat there and chat with him for a pair minutes. In order that’s my favourite celeb interplay I’ve ever had working in accommodations.

Karen – 00:07:51: I like that. That’s an superior story. Wow. Alright. Very cool. Okay, last query. Who’re the ladies at work you could have been most impressed by?

Vinny – 00:08:02: Okay, this was additionally a tough one for me to give you as a result of there’ve been so many. However there’s two ladies I work with proper now I feel which have helped type of change me as a lot as my spouse has modified me and get me to take a look at issues from a unique perspective and positively strategy conditions with a unique, in all probability extra constructive and compassionate perspective. Taylor Davis, who’s our VP of Model Advertising, after which Julie Saunders, our CMO, I work with them each day, completely love them to demise and so they’re each extraordinarily inspirational. Come from totally different backgrounds than me by way of the place the vast majority of their time of their profession has been spent. Julie’s labored lots in accommodations, however Taylor, that is her first lodge gig and people two ladies are two of probably the most badass individuals I’ve ever met in my life. They’ll crack skulls and so they’ll get it performed which is what we’re all about however they accomplish that with grace, they accomplish that with compassion and yeah I completely love working with each of them

Karen – 00:08:53: Very cool. Nicely, and I imply, clearly I pay loads of consideration to your advertising so I can attest to the inspiration, the creativity. I imply, each time I see a marketing campaign, I’m like, I gotta get out of right here. It’s time to go on trip. Okay, we do have listeners exterior the US who may not be acquainted with what an Airstream is. Are you able to give us a bit of little bit of a historical past lesson on what Airstreams are and the way you got here up with that concept to make use of that as a hospitality expertise?

Vinny – 00:09:20: Yeah, so Airstreams are primarily a journey trailer, an RV if you’ll. They’ve been round because the ‘50s. Their type of uniqueness is that they’re made out of aluminum versus fiberglass, which is almost all of what you see on the street. So our partnership with them actually was a product of our founders, Neil Dipaola and Chris Haydon. They’ve an RV park right here in Santa Barbara and what they wished to do was mainly take a few the areas within the RV park and type of set it up for extra elevated low earnings housing. In order that they purchased six classic Airstreams from the ‘50s and ‘60s, we even have one in all them nonetheless right here in a car parking zone, and so they had an architectural agency, mainly redesigned the insides of them. So intestine them and type of make them extra arrange for residing versus touring. After which did some landscaping and constructed some decks round these six spots and so they have been gonna hire them out to of us on a month-to-month foundation. Nicely, as they have been getting issues prepared, they’d a few the models able to go. In order that they threw them on Airbnb earlier than they’re able to hire them out. And impulsively it simply began to select up steam and acquire this momentum. They usually’re promoting out each night time and so they’re elevating the charges and so they’re promoting out and so they’re elevating the charges. Gained a lot notoriety that Sundown journal mainly wrote a canopy story about this little six unit, you realize, primarily micro-hotel in Santa Barbara. In order that’s what the type of the kickstarter second of AutoCamp was. After which that’s rolled into different properties. We purchased our property up in Guerneville within the Russian river. After which after that’s type of once we partnered with our capital accomplice, Whitman Peterson, they made a strategic funding in our platform and in addition in type of the actual property aspect of the enterprise. After which we’ve been rising like weeds ever since. However within the time between we went from Santa Barbara into Guerneville, contacted Airstream and mainly labored with them to customized design Airstream particularly for AutoCamp. So these models, we attempt to not name them trailers, we name them models or suites, they aren’t arrange for street life in any respect. In order that they’re not meant to be moved, they’re meant to be lived in like a lodge room. So we’re on like our seventh or eighth model of them. Nearly all of visitors wouldn’t have the ability to inform the distinction, it’s loads of issues behind the partitions and only a type of altering of supplies to make them extra sturdy and higher for internet hosting hundreds of visitors a 12 months. So now we’re Airstream’s mainly primary buyer and we’re shopping for tons of of those Airstreams yearly and putting them on our properties. I feel one of many issues that’s actually fascinating, each individual I discuss to, buddies, household, colleagues, they don’t perceive the dimensions of what an AutoCamp is, and most of the people suppose it’s just like that first property, there’s six of them. So a typical AutoCamp property can have between like 80 and 100 models. So we’re speaking about unfold out over a few acres, prefer it’s fairly spectacular once you stroll on property, you’ve been to Yosemite and also you’ve seen it. There’s simply all this aluminum all through the forest and it’s such a nostalgic really feel. In order that’s type of our evolution of our partnership with Airstream.

Karen – 00:12:09: It truly is putting once you stroll onto a property like that. So I’ve heard you discuss lots at AutoCamp about bringing luxurious outdoor. That’s actually type of the worth proposition. So how are you pulling that concept all through each location to drive RevPAR? How do you concentrate on that with the facilities and the issues that come collectively for the visitors as you suppose throughout the totally different areas?

Vinny – 00:12:32: Yeah, I feel there’s actually three major issues, not less than for me, that I feel we’re capable of create that worth prop with. One is the design. So we’re speaking excessive design, excessive contact, utilizing the suitable supplies, hiring the suitable designers. Now we have a design crew on workers after which we accomplice with architects and inside designers to design our areas. The second most necessary factor might be the facilities. So what are we providing to visitors? So we’ve a meals and beverage program. Now we have some superb retail that creates comfort, but in addition type of creates particular moments the place a household can sit round and have, you realize, a s’mores cookout or do a barbecue the place they’re cooking their very own meal over the hearth. We’ve received swimming pools at loads of our properties. Now we have video games, we’ve lawns, we’ve mountain climbing trails. All of the AutoCamps have some type of key options that they’re shared throughout the portfolio. So communal fireplace pits inside and out of doors so of us can type of hang around and get to know different vacationers. After which the third factor I feel that’s a very powerful is our workers. So we’re hiring of us and paying them a wage that actually permits them to ship wonderful service. We actually doubled down on this in 2023 and actually centered on our exterior assessment scores. So taking a look at how individuals understand us on the assorted totally different channels, Google and Expedia, and the groups simply actually come collectively to embrace that. In order that’s a giant focus. I feel these three issues, all comparable issues that I feel conventional luxurious or boutique accommodations and resorts concentrate on. We attempt to mannequin our enterprise after that from an expertise standpoint in order that our visitors are feeling snug. As a result of actually what we’re doing is bridging the hole between tenting and a luxurious lodge. We type of sit someplace, I wouldn’t say the center, we’re in all probability leaning extra in direction of the highest third of being just like a lodge. So we’re attempting to drag these of us out of what’s uncomfortable for them. They’re not campers. They’re not of us who’re, you realize, establishing the outdated Coleman tent and laying down a tarp. They arrive from luxurious accommodations. So we’re both pulling them into tenting or pulling them out of tenting and type of laying in that high third.

Karen – 00:14:24: You convey up an fascinating level since you are straddling between luxurious and the outside expertise. So let’s discuss a bit of bit about sustainability as a result of I feel there’s additionally in all probability expectations, my guess, there’s expectations for visitors for sustainability throughout hospitality. However how is that a bit of bit totally different? Or how do you concentrate on that with AutoCamp since you are sitting out in these pristine areas?

Vinny – 00:14:45: Yeah, so there’s some attractive stuff that we do. There’s not so attractive stuff that we do. The not so attractive stuff I feel has an even bigger affect and that’s we mainly have our personal wastewater remedy crops on the property. Nearly all of our properties the place all we’re placing again into the bottom or placing again into the system is clear water. This 12 months, we’ve undoubtedly centered on some property particular initiatives working in direction of eliminating using single use plastic. I’m saying working in direction of that as a result of we did a full audit and it’s hundreds of things which have single use plastic from what you get shipped to you from the lodge provide firm to the pens that you’ve got on the entrance desk. So we mainly did a full audit of all the things that visitors and staff contact on property and we’re going one after the other and both discovering like reusable replacements or discovering objects like sponges and pens have been two issues that we have been capable of simply discover replacements that don’t use plastic in them. So it’s an enormous focus of ours. One in every of our mission statements is also type of getting individuals into the outside. We wish individuals to embrace nature and to type of really feel the therapeutic energy of mom nature and the one manner that we proceed to try this for the following hundred years is by serving to to protect these pure environments and do proper by our clients, our youngsters, our buddies, our household, and type of doing the suitable factor to care for mom.

Karen – 00:16:01: I like that as a result of I feel, you realize, as you stated, it’s so necessary as a client, you need to really feel such as you’re experiencing the outside so all of that non attractive stuff means one thing I feel to all of us, you realize, it’s like my footprint will not be as dangerous as I feel it’s, possibly. In order that’s nice. It’s one little factor at a time. So I do know you’re always innovating at AutoCamp and also you’ve received a brand new location coming subsequent 12 months. Are you able to inform us a bit of bit about that? I’m actually excited for that one.

Vinny – 00:16:26: Yeah, we’ve a pair with the one which’s probably the most future on the horizon, I suppose I might say is AutoCamp Asheville. So proper exterior of downtown Asheville, I’m heading on the market for the primary time in two weeks and actually excited. That’ll be our first type of city adjoining location, I might say, as a result of Asheville is type of an even bigger metropolis than the place we usually function. So we’re actually excited to get into that neighborhood and accomplice with loads of native companies to supply an superior expertise to visitors in North Carolina. The property is true on the river. It has loads of slope to it so it’s going to create some superior little hideaways for folk to get away and calm down. And we’re going to be having some new unit varieties there that we’re ready to type of totally announce once we announce bookings, however a brand new product with Airstream that we’re going to have. AutoCamp Asheville, that’ll be a extremely cool, distinctive possibility.

Karen – 00:17:13: Wow, that sounds superb. And when is that one opening? What’s the projected opening date?

Vinny – 00:17:17: We’re hoping to open that one within the spring of 2024. In order that’s our goal proper now.

Karen – 00:17:23: All proper, we’ll be right here earlier than we all know it. Okay.

Vinny – 00:17:26: Carefully following that, we’ll be opening a location within the Hill Nation in Texas, simply type of in between San Antonio and Austin. After which again right here in our residence state of California, we’ll be opening up our subsequent nationwide park location simply exterior Sequoia Nationwide Park.

Karen – 00:17:41: That’s the one I used to be fascinated about, however I’m very excited for all three. However I like the Grand Sequoias, and I feel that’s gonna be an incredible location. So that you talked a bit of bit about the way you interface with the advertising crew. In order you determine and pursue different venues to generate income, what ensures that gross sales and income and advertising are all aligned collectively? In order you embark on all of those, what are your suggestions for different groups on the market to be sure you’ve received alignment, single objective, and that you simply’re all transferring in the suitable route to get performed?

Vinny – 00:18:12: Yeah, it’s the primary subject we speak about within the business technique enviornment, numerous conferences and whatnot. It all the time looks as if it’s the primary factor that individuals need to speak about. What I discovered to achieve success right here is that we strategy the troublesome conversations type of with an egoless mindset. I’m not on this for Vinny Cuneo. I’m not on this to show that income managers are smarter than entrepreneurs or income managers are smarter than salespeople. If all of us type of have the identical aligned targets and the identical aligned imaginative and prescient of what success is, then there actually needs to be no type of battle. , you’re going to have disagreements by way of, you realize, the way you’re going to get to that high of the KPI mountain. However in the event you’re doing so with the enterprise in thoughts you’re doing so with type of that core focus of what’s our high aim that we’re attempting to realize, and also you examine your self as you’re making the little selections that result in the large resolution, hey, is that this in service of our finish aim? I feel to me, that’s the factor that actually brings not less than the management crew collectively. And for us, it’s then setting the instance for the parents that work with us. So if we, because the senior leaders are setting the instance of, we’re going to do that in a manner the place we’re not fascinated about ego, the place we’re attempting to be as compassionate and thoughtful in our disagreements and our resolution making as attainable, then that type of tradition flows by way of the remainder of the group. I do suppose that having centralized management over the business facet of the group helps type of create that as properly. , when you could have type of these silos by way of the construction in a company, that immediately creates that battle since you type of are competing towards one another. So I feel it’s each the construction, but it surely’s additionally that type of egoless service of what the tip aim is that actually helps create that actual tight collaboration.

Karen – 00:19:55: Yeah, that’s nice. That’s superb. Get in line and get it performed, so implausible. All proper, nice. And for anyone who desires to know a bit of bit extra about AutoCamp, what’s the URL? I feel I do know. Fairly straightforward, however tell us.

Vinny – 00:20:08: AutoCamp.com or @AutoCamp on Instagram. Our model once we began 10 years in the past, that is our 10-year anniversary, actually was constructed on the backs of natural Instagram posts and type of, you realize, we have been early adopters of utilizing user-generated content material in our advertising simply because of us have been taking such superb photos, however that’ll assist you to type of dive in and see what the AutoCamp expertise. We’re rising, like we’ve talked about three new areas opening in 2024, so we’re hoping that we will encourage extra lives and get individuals exterior within the years to return.

Karen – 00:20:41: Okay, you heard it right here first. Take a look at the Instagram. It’s true. It’s nice. It’s nice pictures. So thanks, Vinny. It’s been superior. My visitor has been Vinny Cuneo, the Vice President of Gross sales and Advertising Technique at AutoCamp. Thanks a lot.

Vinny – 00:20:53:Thanks, Karen.

Outro – 00:21:19:Thanks for listening to the Lodge Second Podcast. Ensure to subscribe wherever you take heed to podcasts. And in the event you’re watching on YouTube, please just like the video and subscribe for extra content material. For extra info, head to hotelmomentpodcast.com. The Lodge Second Podcast is introduced by Revinate.