A new RV rental company aimed toward young adults is coming to the Bozeman, Mont., airport. Blacksford founder Jonathan Distad said he came to his business model for the company from a tech background, with customer service in mind.
This story by Abby Lynes originally appeared in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.
The idea for the company came to Distad when he was having trouble finding an RV to rent for a family vacation. He’d have to travel all the way to a place like Seattle or Denver to get what he wanted, he said.
He started looking into the rental RV market, calling renters across the country. They told him that many of their RVs ended up in Montana and in Yellowstone National Park. Data shows heavy RV usage in the area: The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research estimated visitors spent $22 million on RV and campgrounds and $42 million on auto rentals in Yellowstone and the Southwest regions.
In one day alone, Distad said he counted more than 120 RVs in Yellowstone, not counting the ones in private RV parks.
Seeing the need for an RV rental company, Distad contacted Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport Director Brian Sprenger to see if the airport would be a good home for the business.
The company will offer digital RV tutorials as well as an all-inclusive fee for the RVs, with amenities like unlimited mileage, free Wi-Fi, a parks pass and more. The RVs will be bought new each year, and they will cost $400 to $500 a night or $1,800 to $2,000 a month to rent for six months.