The purer pleasures of the outdoors don’t seem to be enough for some campers anymore, the New York Times reports. Increasingly, campgrounds are offering amenities like pizza delivery, air-conditioning, kiddie rides, and valet service to the delight of families and owners’ balance sheets. “The objective is to maximize dollars,” one campsite manager said. “If I add an amenity, I can charge $15 more a night.”
In a down economy, roughing it—or what passes for it these days—is an attractive alternative to hotels. “When the economy gets a little rough,” one owner said, “camping usually gets better.” One weekend warrior appreciated WiFi access and Segway rides, comparing the experience to other sites where there is “absolutely nothing to do, except if you want to go fishing.” The new breed is not unaware of the irony. “We’re campers in name only at this point,” one said.