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

Intro- 00:00:02: Welcome to the Resort Second Podcast, offered by Revinate, the podcast the place we speak to leaders within the hospitality trade. In the event you’re on the lookout for developments, views, and tales from leaders in journey and hospitality, you’re in the proper place.

Karen – 00:00:21: Howdy and welcome everybody to the Resort Second Podcast. I’m your host, Karen Stephens, the Chief Income Officer of Revinate. And as we speak 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 identify 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 considered one of our favourite prospects 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 many 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 resort out in the midst of the woods that, versus being a vertical constructing, we sort of smashed down horizontally and all of these rooms are particular person customized Airstreams you could’t discover anyplace else however with us. We constructed an incredible clubhouse that has sort of like a mid-century trendy design motif to it. That’s the place you test in, that’s the place you may hang around. We’ve acquired meals and beverage there, we’ve acquired retail there. And then you definately’re strolling by means of the woods out to your Airstream suite and all these Airstreams like I discussed, customized only for AutoCamp, so that they’re sort of chopped up into thirds. A 3rd is the bed room with a queen mattress. I at all times inform everyone that I’ve been working in resorts for 17 years and now we have essentially the most snug beds on the earth. The opposite third is a dwelling area to sort of hang around and kick it. It’s additionally acquired like just a little pull out sleeper as nicely for teenagers or for further pals. After which the bogs are actually the place we sort of separate ourselves from conventional glamping if you wish to say that. These are full spa bogs, tile showers, residential bogs. It’s unbelievable. So for people who haven’t skilled it, we wish everybody to return test it out and hop on our Instagram or take a look at our web site to see some footage of what we do.

Karen – 00:02:13: Completely, , and I’ve had the pleasure of staying at Yosemite and I can attest it’s like being in a boutique resort and then you definately stroll outdoors you’re like, oh. I’m steps away from a nationwide park, there’s a pool, so it’s actually a unbelievable expertise. So our subject as we speak, 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, , AutoCamp sort 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 company. So for those who’ll indulge me, I’m gonna ask you a pair now.

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

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

Vinny – 00:03:00: I don’t know if I bear in mind my first day. My first job in a resort was after I graduated school working valet at Sunriver Resort in Sunriver, Oregon, which my mother and father have been tremendous enthusiastic about, , after 4 years of them paying for faculty, making $9 an hour parking vehicles. I don’t actually bear in mind my first day, however I bear in mind plenty of moments from that place and like watching everyone stroll out and in of the property. One being affected by the households arriving and the way a lot pleasure and the way a lot enjoyable that they had, but additionally among the leaders of that property, the best way they carried themselves, the best way they offered themselves, , taking the time to cease and speak to the valet attendants. That was what sort of first acquired me, , to drink the Kool-Help of working in resorts and resorts, simply sort of seeing that connection from the very best ranges all the way down to the underside ranges and ensuring that everyone sort of had a smile on their face.

Karen – 00:03:47: That’s nice. I like that. A variety of company on the podcast have began actually on the floor ground, so to talk, in resorts, in order that’s very cool. Second query for you, what has been essentially the most uplifting second thus far in your profession?

Vinny – 00:04:01: Most likely throughout 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 sort of the ebb and circulation of going by means of these darkish days in March of 2020, April of 2020, all of our properties have been shuttered. Our pipeline when it comes to improvement seemed fairly bleak. After which absolutely the rebound into June of 2020, after we have been allowed to reopen our doorways and abruptly we’re hitting report ranges of occupancy, report ranges of income. And the group to sort of rubber band by means of that basically was simply extraordinarily uplifting. And I feel that’s sort of the tradition that we’ve carried by means of the final couple of years, as we’ve continued to increase right here at AutoCamp, is admittedly that roll up your sleeves, that’s considered one of our mission statements, however get completed and sort of have that MacGyver perspective to essentially sort of use no matter instruments, no matter assets now we have to get the job completed.

Karen – 00:04:57: I find it irresistible. You recognize, it’s resilience and grit. We are saying that loads at Revinate. It’s actually how do you get the group to get motivated? It has to do loads along 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 acquired to get the stuff completed. Alright. So the subsequent query, what’s the most putting expertise thus far for you personally when it comes to 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. After I was youthful, I had the chance to go on a visit to Italy with my entire complete Italian household and we stayed at a very nice resort in Rome referred to as the Rose Backyard or Rose Palace. It’s sort of near the principle prepare station in Rome. And I bear in mind it was like the primary good resort I’d ever stayed in, we have been a Motel 6 household by means of and thru. And as like a 17 12 months outdated child strolling downstairs to breakfast one morning, simply the unfold that that they had was unbelievable, and we’re speaking like high-end execution of, , what basically was a buffet breakfast. In order that was an unbelievable expertise. After which when it comes to restaurant experiences, my favourite restaurant in the whole world is Frank in New York Metropolis, it’s on Second Avenue, and each time I’m within the metropolis, I ensure that I’ve lunch or dinner there. Each time I eat there, it blows my thoughts and it’s simply essentially the most superb sort of quintessential New York Italian restaurant expertise.

Karen – 00:06:25: Wow, I find it irresistible. That’s saying loads. You recognize, there’s plenty 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 making an attempt to provide you with reply and it’s extraordinarily area of interest and particular to any Cal Bears or 49er followers on the market. So considered one of my first jobs was being a entrance desk agent and I acquired a cellphone name and the identify pops up on the cellphone display and the voice is immediately recognizable to me, like I do know immediately who this man is predicated on the identify and the voice and also you’re not purported to sort of work together with celebrities, we’ll name this gentleman a star however I couldn’t assist myself. He was so necessary to me in my childhood. The man’s identify is Joe Starkey. He was the 49ers radio broadcaster and the Cal Bears radio broadcaster for soccer and like all my reminiscences 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 instructed the man this story and I used to be immediately tremendous embarrassed and tremendous scared considering 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 most likely 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 essentially the most superb factor. I acquired to take a seat there and chat with him for a pair minutes. In order that’s my favourite superstar interplay I’ve ever had working in resorts.

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

Vinny – 00:08:02: Okay, this was additionally a tough one for me to provide you with as a result of there’ve been so many. However there’s two girls I work with proper now I feel which have helped sort of change me as a lot as my spouse has modified me and get me to take a look at issues from a special perspective and definitely method conditions with a special, most likely extra optimistic and compassionate perspective. Taylor Davis, who’s our VP of Model Advertising, after which Julie Saunders, our CMO, I work with them every day, completely love them to dying they usually’re each extraordinarily inspirational. Come from completely different backgrounds than me when it comes to the place nearly all of their time of their profession has been spent. Julie’s labored loads in resorts, however Taylor, that is her first resort gig and people two girls are two of essentially the most badass individuals I’ve ever met in my life. They’ll crack skulls they usually’ll get it completed which is what we’re all about however they achieve this with grace, they achieve this with compassion and yeah I completely love working with each of them

Karen – 00:08:53: Very cool. Effectively, and I imply, clearly I pay plenty 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 outdoors the USA who won’t be aware of what an Airstream is. Are you able to give us just a little 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 basically a journey trailer, an RV if you’ll. They’ve been round for the reason that ‘50s. Their sort 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 needed to do was mainly take a few the areas within the RV park and sort 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 considered one of them nonetheless right here in a parking zone, they usually had an architectural agency, mainly redesigned the insides of them. So intestine them and sort of make them extra arrange for dwelling versus touring. After which did some landscaping and constructed some decks round these six spots they usually have been gonna hire them out to people on a month-to-month foundation. Effectively, as they have been getting issues prepared, that they had 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 abruptly it simply began to choose up steam and acquire this momentum. They usually’re promoting out each night time they usually’re elevating the charges they usually’re promoting out they usually’re elevating the charges. Gained a lot notoriety that Sundown journal mainly wrote a canopy story about this little six unit, , basically micro-hotel in Santa Barbara. In order that’s what the sort 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 sort of after we partnered with our capital accomplice, Whitman Peterson, they made a strategic funding in our platform and in addition in sort 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 strive 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 resort room. So we’re on like our seventh or eighth model of them. The vast majority of company wouldn’t be capable of inform the distinction, it’s plenty of issues behind the partitions and only a sort of altering of supplies to make them extra sturdy and higher for internet hosting 1000’s of company a 12 months. So now we’re Airstream’s mainly primary buyer and we’re shopping for lots of of those Airstreams yearly and inserting them on our properties. I feel one of many issues that’s actually fascinating, each individual I speak to, pals, household, colleagues, they don’t perceive the size of what an AutoCamp is, and most of the people suppose it’s much like that first property, there’s six of them. So a typical AutoCamp property could have between like 80 and 100 models. So we’re speaking about unfold out over a few acres, prefer it’s fairly spectacular if 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 sort of our evolution of our partnership with Airstream.

Karen – 00:12:09: It truly is putting if you stroll onto a property like that. So I’ve heard you speak loads at AutoCamp about bringing luxurious outdoor. That’s actually sort of the worth proposition. So how are you pulling that concept all through each location to drive RevPAR? How do you consider that with the facilities and the issues that come collectively for the company as you suppose throughout the completely different places?

Vinny – 00:12:32: Yeah, I feel there’s actually three primary issues, at the very least 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 proper supplies, hiring the proper designers. We now have a design group 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 company? So now we have a meals and beverage program. We now have some superb retail that creates comfort, but additionally sort of creates particular moments the place a household can sit round and have, , a s’mores cookout or do a barbecue the place they’re cooking their very own meal over the hearth. We’ve acquired swimming pools at plenty of our properties. We now have video games, now we have lawns, now we have mountaineering trails. All of the AutoCamps have some sort of key options that they’re shared throughout the portfolio. So communal hearth pits inside and out of doors so people can sort 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 people and paying them a wage that basically 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 varied completely 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 related issues that I feel conventional luxurious or boutique resorts and resorts deal with. We attempt to mannequin our enterprise after that from an expertise standpoint in order that our company are feeling snug. As a result of actually what we’re doing is bridging the hole between tenting and a luxurious resort. We sort of sit someplace, I wouldn’t say the center, we’re most likely leaning extra in the direction of the highest third of being much like a resort. So we’re making an attempt to tug these people out of what’s uncomfortable for them. They’re not campers. They’re not people who’re, , organising the outdated Coleman tent and laying down a tarp. They arrive from luxurious resorts. So we’re both pulling them into tenting or pulling them out of tenting and sort of laying in that prime third.

Karen – 00:14:24: You deliver up an fascinating level since you are straddling between luxurious and the outside expertise. So let’s speak just a little bit about sustainability as a result of I feel there’s additionally most likely expectations, my guess, there’s expectations for company for sustainability throughout hospitality. However how is that just a little bit completely different? Or how do you consider that with AutoCamp since you are sitting out in these pristine places?

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 a much bigger influence and that’s we mainly have our personal wastewater therapy crops on the property. The vast majority 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 positively centered on some property particular initiatives working in the direction of eliminating the usage of single use plastic. I’m saying working in the direction of that as a result of we did a full audit and it’s 1000’s of things which have single use plastic from what you get shipped to you from the resort provide firm to the pens that you’ve got on the entrance desk. So we mainly did a full audit of all the pieces that company 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 sort of getting individuals into the outside. We wish individuals to embrace nature and to sort of really feel the therapeutic energy of mom nature and the one means that we proceed to do this for the subsequent hundred years is by serving to to protect these pure environments and do proper by our prospects, our kids, our pals, our household, and sort of doing the proper factor to deal with mom.

Karen – 00:16:01: I like that as a result of I feel, , as you stated, it’s so necessary as a client, you wish 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, , it’s like my footprint isn’t as dangerous as I feel it’s, perhaps. In order that’s nice. It’s one little factor at a time. So I do know you’re continually innovating at AutoCamp and also you’ve acquired a brand new location coming subsequent 12 months. Are you able to inform us just a little bit about that? I’m actually excited for that one.

Vinny – 00:16:26: Yeah, now we have a pair with the one which’s essentially the most future on the horizon, I assume I might say is AutoCamp Asheville. So proper outdoors of downtown Asheville, I’m heading on the market for the primary time in two weeks and actually excited. That’ll be our first sort of city adjoining location, I might say, as a result of Asheville is sort of a much bigger metropolis than the place we usually function. So we’re actually excited to get into that neighborhood and accomplice with plenty of native companies to offer an superior expertise to company in North Carolina. The property is correct on the river. It has plenty of slope to it so it’s going to create some superior little hideaways for folk to get away and loosen up. And we’re going to be having some new unit sorts there that we’re ready to sort of absolutely announce after we announce bookings, however a brand new product with Airstream that we’re going to have. AutoCamp Asheville, that’ll be a very cool, distinctive choice.

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 sort of in between San Antonio and Austin. After which again right here in our dwelling state of California, we’ll be opening up our subsequent nationwide park location simply outdoors 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 just a little bit about the way you interface with the advertising group. 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 acquired alignment, single goal, and that you just’re all shifting in the proper course to get completed?

Vinny – 00:18:12: Yeah, it’s the primary subject we speak about within the industrial technique enviornment, varied conferences and whatnot. It at all times looks like it’s the primary factor that individuals wish to speak about. What I discovered to achieve success right here is that we method the tough conversations sort 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 sort of have the identical aligned targets and the identical aligned imaginative and prescient of what success is, then there actually must be no sort of battle. You recognize, you’re going to have disagreements when it comes to, , the way you’re going to get to that prime of the KPI mountain. However for those who’re doing so with the enterprise in thoughts you’re doing so with sort of that core focus of what’s our prime purpose that we’re making an attempt to realize, and also you test your self as you’re making the little choices that result in the massive determination, hey, is that this in service of our finish purpose? I feel to me, that’s the factor that basically brings at the very least the management group collectively. And for us, it’s then setting the instance for the oldsters that work with us. So if we, because the senior leaders are setting the instance of, we’re going to do that in a means the place we’re not fascinated about ego, the place we’re making an attempt to be as compassionate and thoughtful in our disagreements and our determination making as doable, then that sort of tradition flows by means of the remainder of the group. I do suppose that having centralized management over the industrial side of the group helps sort of create that as nicely. You recognize, when you’ve gotten sort of these silos when it comes to the construction in a company, that immediately creates that battle since you sort of are competing in opposition to one another. So I feel it’s each the construction, but it surely’s additionally that sort of egoless service of what the top purpose is that basically helps create that actual tight collaboration.

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

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

Karen – 00:20:41: Okay, you heard it right here first. Try the Instagram. It’s true. It’s nice. It’s nice photographs. 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 Resort Second Podcast. Be sure to subscribe wherever you take heed to podcasts. And for those who’re watching on YouTube, please just like the video and subscribe for extra content material. For extra data, head to The Resort Second Podcast is offered by Revinate.

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