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First-of-its-kind Private Land Camping Ordinance Passes in Colorado’s Chaffee County

October 12, 2022

The ordinance, championed by a coalition of Hipcamp Hosts and local policymakers, opens fresh revenue stream to Colorado farmers and ranchers.

DENVER, October 12, 2022— Chaffee County this week approved a private-land camping ordinance that provides rural landowners with an accessible, clear, and cost-effective path to hosting small-scale commercial camping on private property. With the ordinance, the Chaffee County Board of Commissioners modernized the county’s definition of agritourism and opened critical economic opportunities to Colorado farmers and ranchers.

“This groundbreaking policy puts outdoor recreation dollars into the hands of the rural landowners who are stewarding some of Colorado’s most historic and prized rural landscapes,” said Hipcamp Government and Community Relations Senior Manager Michal Rosenoer. “The new ordinance outlines clear, cost-effective, and thoughtful regulations for camping on private lands to ensure it’s safe for the community, good for the environment, and supportive of Chaffee County’s continued economic development.” (Photo: Business Wire)

“This groundbreaking policy puts outdoor recreation dollars into the hands of the rural landowners who are stewarding some of Colorado’s most historic and prized rural landscapes,” said Hipcamp Government and Community Relations Senior Manager Michal Rosenoer. “The new ordinance outlines clear, cost-effective, and thoughtful regulations for camping on private lands to ensure it’s safe for the community, good for the environment, and supportive of Chaffee County’s continued economic development.”

Hipcamp partnered closely with farmers and ranchers, the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation (EDC), and Hipcamp Hosts across the county to advocate for the change.

“This is how the government is supposed to work – with businesses, landowners, and the public sector coming together to create innovative solutions to community needs,” said Executive Director of the Chaffee County Economic Development Corporation Jake Rishavy. “The EDC is proud to have supported this effort to build new financial opportunities for landowners while protecting the environment and our community values. I hope this will serve as a model for other counties across Colorado and the nation on how to support rural communities in the face of growing interest in outdoor recreation.”

Agritourism helps farmers and ranchers facing record costs

Private land camping provides a much-needed additional revenue stream for hundreds of farmers and ranchers across the state of Colorado who have been impacted by increasing drought, low commodity prices, and historically high production costs.

Hipcamp provides a way to seamlessly host campers, glampers, and RVers, and new Hipcamp listings in Colorado have grown by 265% since 2019, while demand for bookings in the state have surged by 202% during the same period.

“It’s never been harder to make a living off the land,” said Chaffee County Commissioner Keith Baker. “If we want to protect our agricultural and rural heritage in Chaffee, we must be creative. Expanding economic opportunities for rural landowners in Chaffee by allowing for well-regulated, small-scale private land camping is a huge win for our community. This first-of-its-kind land use will reduce pressure on public lands, create new revenue streams for the ag community, and support our outdoor recreation economy. I’m proud to have worked with the many stakeholders who collaborated to make it a reality.”

Hipcamp Hosts across the country, more than 80% of whom steward working lands, earned more than $31M last year. The vast majority of Hipcamp Hosts report investing their earnings back into their land to prevent sell-offs and urban development, pay taxes, and maintain the natural beauty of their farms, ranches, and vineyards.

“Chaffee County Cattlemen’s Association is very grateful for the attention and care that has been placed on the concerns and needs of working Ag producers via this ordinance,” said President of the Chaffee County Cattlemen’s Association Madison Everett-Martinez. “Our members are oftentimes multigenerational ranchers who are simply looking to continue their business and lifestyle in a quickly changing community. We are appreciative of the support from many stakeholders in helping us reach this goal.”

Colorado couple provides a boost to the local economy via Hipcamp

Hipcamp Host Monika Courtney began welcoming tent campers, glampers, and RVers onto her forty-acre historic ranch and animal sanctuary in 2017. Since then, she has hosted hundreds of campers and has used the earnings to supplement the cost of running the sanctuary.

Her local community has benefited too; Hipcampers visiting the sanctuary listing drove an estimated $235,000 in revenue to neighboring businesses during the past five years.

“We operate out of pocket, and the cost of feed is always increasing, especially with ongoing drought conditions,” said Courtney. “Hosting campers is good for the welfare of our animals, good for the land, and healing for everyone who comes to Thunderbird Spirit Ranch. This new ordinance is common-sense and cost effective, and will benefit rural folks like myself who have to sustain our farms and do the demanding work required to help our lands and animals thrive.”

Hipcamp looks forward to partnering with other member organizations and state and local lawmakers to promote agritourism opportunities in rural communities across the nation.

About Hipcamp

Founded in 2013, Hipcamp is the world’s largest provider of outdoor stays. It gives a growing community of good-natured people the opportunity to list, discover, and book unique outdoor experiences. By connecting people with the land and each other, Hipcamp works to support the planet and protect biodiversity. The fully remote company operates in Australia, the United States, Canada, and the UK, and to date has helped people spend more than 6 million nights under the stars. When listing on Hipcamp, farmers, ranchers, vintners, and other landowners generate new revenue streams to conserve their land and keep it wild.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20221012005902/en/

Contacts

Lydia Davey for Hipcamp, press@hipcamp.com