Many small and medium-sized wineries, distillers, and breweries took it on the chin in 2020 as Pandemic lockdowns put a severe strain on their revenue streams. Forced to quickly pivot their business models as their on-premise traffic dried up, they had to get creative. While they still were able to sell their products through delivery services and in liquor and grocery stores, there was one thing that they needed, a way to bring people to their businesses. One company had an angle on the one consumer that still was out and about and delivered them to their front door, complete with their own mobile homes.
Harvest Hosts is a twelve-year-old company that exploded during the pandemic. A membership program designed to connect recreational vehicle owners (RV'ers) to hosts, not campgrounds, it brings consumers to the doorsteps of its small business partners. With a network of over 2,100 wineries, farms, breweries, distillers, and other unique businesses covering all of North America from Alaska to Mexico, it offers its members the chance to stay somewhere different when on the road.
Ownership of RVs has never been higher than it is nowadays. A recently released report on Business Wire said that over 10 million U.S. households own an RV, with another 17.2 million looking to buy one. That equates to over 20% of the households in the country that are possible business partners for the companies hosts. The RV Industry Association recently projected 61 million Americans are planning to take an RV trip in the next year. That is a considerable revenue stream waiting to be harnessed.
That potential for traffic attracted the owners of Starr Brothers Brewing Company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the site. The four-year-old brewery realized that they needed to bring in any business when they had to shut their taproom and restaurant. "The program has had a significant impact on our revenue since we got involved," says John Starr, the co-founder. "We have anywhere from four to ten RV’ers every night and put space to use that just sat empty.”
Check out the rest of the article from Forbes here.