From pitching tents and tipis to renting out rustic cabins and futuristic domes, more vacationers are camping glamorously. Also known as “glamping,” this style of travel “is a way to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing luxury,” as Glamping.com put it.
Unfortunately for “glampers,” Bend, Ore. has banned the practice. According to Rachel Ruppel, an associate planner at the Community Development Department, “glamping” “just doesn’t meet our code in any way, shape or form.” Even if it were legal, property owners would have to comply with the city’s land-use code on short-term rentals and obtain an annual operating license. Moreover, Bend banned short-term rentals from operating within 250 feet of each other in certain neighborhoods.
Yet, as The Bend Bulletin reports, travelers have been defying the law:
But in the midst of peak summer tourist season, property owners are pitching luxury tents, teepees and campers on private property and offering them to Bend’s tourists. The rentals cost anywhere from $15 to well above $100, with some that boast comforts such as heated massage beds, tribal rugs and feather pillows.
Meanwhile, camping, glamorous or not, seems to be fulfilling a demand unmet by hotels:
…the vast majority of tent and camper rentals listed in and around Bend cost less than most hotel rooms. Meanwhile, the occupancy rate in Bend hotels and lodging rose as high as 90 percent in 2015, according to Visit Bend data. And on summer weekends, the occupancy rate is even higher.
And for those who want an even more upscale experience, about an hour’s drive north of Bend, Glamping.com lists the Panacea at the Canyon, “a signal-free, 40-acre luxury tent resort and spa,” where a “queen luxury tent” goes for $750 a night.