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Home / Build Better Spaces! / The Juice is Worth the Squeeze: Investing in Your Glamping Business Pays Off

The Juice is Worth the Squeeze: Investing in Your Glamping Business Pays Off

  • 7 min read

Over the next 5 years, glamping is expected to grow at an annually compounded growth rate of 14.7%, providing a massive opportunity for those who have yet to enter the market. If you offer glamping rentals already but are looking to expand, the growth potential is an extremely important consideration to assess.

Since the pandemic, travelers have been getting hooked on unique, outdoor short-term stays. Whether it’s music festival goers, stargazers, or young families that aren’t fully ready to commit to the complexities of camping, glamping offers something for everyone, especially for the hosts! Once you understand the potential return on investment (ROI) that can be achieved by standing up glamping rentals, you’ll be just as hooked as the guests who are ready to rent out your space!

Investment Costs of Glamping

The overall cost of standing up your glamping rentals can vary; if you already have land, then your upfront investment will be much lower than if you need to purchase land to set up geodesic domes on, but either way, with smart moves, your investment will pay off.

Land Investment 

Many glamping hosts live on a large plot of land that has some secluded area away from the main house. This option is great for glamping because it only requires hosts to set up the domes themselves. However, if that is not the case for you, purchasing land will be a major component of your business investment to consider. This land investment can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars, depending on where you’re looking to buy land and what type of land you purchase. For instance, in most cases, waterfront property will be much more expensive than a property that is not near an ocean, lake, or river.

Geodesic Domes

In order to offer a glamping experience, you have to have a place for people to stay. We recommend Ekodome geodesic domes as they are easy to assemble and offer a unique experience to stay. If you’re planning on renting out the space for people to stay, start with the Luna dome which is 16ft in diameter and starts at around $11,000. You can furnish with a queen sized bed, a wood stove and a small table with chairs for a perfect stay for couples and solo travelers. For bigger space the Terra dome 22ft in diameter is a wonderful option. Ekodome Terra 22ft has 366 sqft floor area and has a height of 13.55 ft,  offering the possibility to include a loft bed. This means you can host families or bigger groups in Terra unit. Besides, offering an in-unit bathroom, kitchen is possible with that much space.

Land Preparation

You’ll either need decking or concrete foundation to secure your domes onto the ground. Additionally, the infrastructure has to be set up including electricity, water and sewage systems. You might think of going off the grid and creating a self-sustainable eco-system with solar panels, wind turbines, rain harvesting systems etc. These additions will increase your startup investment costs but also increase the value of stay, as well as per night rates.

Interior Design

We recommend furnishing each dome with comfortable beds and quality linens that are built to last. When people are glamping, they want to feel that touch of luxury, and you’ll be able to charge more if you offer it, too. Furnishing the dome prior to renting it can range widely in costs, but by getting a few furniture items that are built well, you can ensure they last for a long time. To save money, you might want to look on your local online resell platforms or flea markets. Don’t worry about having each dome unit decorated with a different theme; this is not a conventional hotel room and your patrons would understand. 

Maintenance Costs

As with any rental property, maintenance is your responsibility. You’ll need to ensure it is thoroughly cleaned after each guest, and all furniture is in great shape. Normal wear and tear will often happen faster with short-term guests than it would if you lived in it yourself, so be prepared for unexpected costs to pop up from time to time.

Expected Income from Glampers

With the rise in glamping’s popularity continuing to shoot up, the opportunity to make money in this rental space is massive! According to Airbnb, the average income for hosts in 2021 shot up to $13,800, which was an 85% increase from the year prior. Since then, short-term rentals have become even more popular, offering room for income growth.

If you want to bolster the potential income from your glamping rental, consider offering your guests unique experiences as well. The extras can add up quickly, be low-cost, and bring in a substantial boost in yearly revenue. Think of a date night stargazing experience, horseback riding, or a picnic in an idyllic setting!

Case Study 1:
Land Already Purchased

To examine potential ROI for a new glamping host, we will first look at the costs and profit potential for someone that does not need to consider purchasing land prior to hosting. Whether it is because they already own a plot of land or simply plan on setting up a dome in the backyard of their home, we will not factor in the cost of land for this example.

After 6 months, this host would be turning a profit! That’s an amazing investment; many businesses take 3-5 years to see their first profitable year. During the following years, furnishings and dome investments would be nearly $0, depending on if any major furniture items needed to be replaced, leaving roughly half a million dollars gross profit in year 2!

Line ItemCost/PriceNotes
Dome Price per unit$11,000Ekodome Luna – Design A
Quantity5 
Interior Design$60,000$12,000 per unit
Land Preparation Costs$50,000$10,000 per unit
Maintenance Fees$36,000$3,000/month
Total Investment Costs$201,000 
Price Per Night$350 
Occupancy Rate86%~26 nights per month
Monthly Income$45,500 
Yearly Income$546,000 
Year 1 Profit$345,000 
ROI~6 months 

Case Study 2:
Land Not Purchased

We’ll look at another example where the host needs to buy the land, as well as throw in some different numbers to consider. Remember, the nightly prices will vary greatly depending on the space you offer and the location. Here, we’ll say that it’s a lakefront plot of land, meaning guests will pay a higher premium for the experience.

Of course, these figures are calculated with rough estimates and can be revised depending on the infrastructure on the land, the decking, plumbing, wiring costs at startup. But considering the per night rates reaching to $650-$700, there’s much wiggle room to spend for the infrastructure, amenities, and advertising. Even if you wouldn’t make a profit in year 1, a hefty profit would be awaiting in year 2!

Line ItemCost/PriceNotes
Land Investment$250,000Estimate
Dome Price per unit$22,200Ekodome Terra  – Design B
Quantity8 
Interior Design$160,000$20,000 per unit
Land Preparation Costs$80,000$10,000 per unit
Maintenance Fees$60,000$5,000/month
Total Investment Costs$727,600 
Price Per Night$650 
Occupancy Rate83%~25 nights per month
Monthly Income$130,000 
Yearly Income$1,560,000 
Year 1 Profit$832,400 
ROI~6 months 

Ride the Wave!

Glamping is getting more popular, allowing hosts to offer more short-term stays all over the world. If you want to get in on this investment opportunity while it’s still hot, now is the time! There are many things to consider when analyzing the return of your investment, but the profitability potential is clear. Real estate is always a great way to invest your money, but why not make it a little extra wonderful by starting a glamping business? If you’re ready to dive in, you’re in the right place!