Homegrown Trailers in Kirkland, Wash., wants to awaken the inner RVer in anyone who’s considered glamping – and attract some Sasquatch enthusiasts along the way.
The factory-direct manufacturer of eco-friendly trailers was launched by founder and CEO Corey Weathers in 2016. As a past sustainability consultant, his intentions were to build nearly entirely recyclable trailers made from healthy materials like Havelock Wool, which makes insulation from sheep’s wool. In the span of three years, Homegrown Trailers has introduced two models: the Woodland and the Timberline. And, last June, the company embarked on a rental program on privately owned lands that puts consumers in the heartland of what first inspired the trailers.
“What we see as an underserved portion of the marketplace is this off-grid accommodation,” said Weathers. “We didn’t go into the marketplace thinking of accommodation as a big focus of ours. We knew it was going to be part of our focus.”
But the product was perfect for the outdoors with its solar power, composting toilet, and other pieces to be anywhere in nature. So Homegrown expedited its rental program by launching ROAM Beyond.
“It’s opened up a huge opportunity for us to tap into that off the grid accommodation opportunity,” he said.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the experiences industry, i.e. camping, concerts, sporting events, etc., is worth more than $1 trillion a year. It’s been growing exponentially since 1990. Weathers cites the more recent Kampgrounds of America survey which supports the growth of glamping in recent years. Hospitality is expected to grow by 14 percent over the next five years. Companies like AutoCamp and Collective Retreats offer a similar experience, but ROAM Beyond stands out when it comes to location and, more importantly, conversion.
“We know it’s a longer-term conversion. A lot of people with a product as niche as ours are, at least, a year or two or three for someone they initially come across as to when they actually decide to pull the trigger and buy a unit,” said Weathers.
Currently there are two locations in full operation on private properties. ROAM Beyond’s North Bend, Wash., location offers a lakeside experience in Homegrown Trailers, while Kalaloch, Wash., features a beach view and optional nature tour/Sasquatch site-seeing expedition (which involves a man in a costume).
“I don’t know that Sasquatch has stayed in the trailer, yet,” he said, laughing. “I cannot confirm or deny that.”
The variety of experiences may later include vineyards as well as national parks like the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Zion. Other ROAM Beyond locations will soon include: Walla Walla, Wash.; Paso Robles and Joshua Tree, Calif.; Sedona, Ariz.; and Moab, Utah.
Expect a batch of locations to come online this winter with more slated for April/May 2020.