Modern camping leaves out the 'roughing it' part

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - Campgrounds are going hi–tech and high class, giving campers all the amenities they can find in a hotel stay.

When you think of camping you probably imagine family and friends barbecuing and enjoying the great outdoors.

“They just went for a hike. We've been cooking. They've been making mud pies and we'll probably play Apples to Apples later,” says David Simmons who was camping at the Colorado National Monument.

But it's nothing fancy. “There’s flushing toilets, that's about it,” says Simmons.

Camping is traditionally thought of as roughing it. “Getting out into the wilderness and getting some fresh air,” says Simmons.

But some campers are changing that perception. “If you take a family, you need a bathroom. And it's nice to have a shower,” says Steven Smiley who was camping at KOA Campgrounds in Grand Junction.

And perks like Wi-Fi are a huge attraction for campers like Smiley. “I will say we've never had Wi-Fi before. That was really nice,” he says.

Campsites like KOA in Grand Junction may not be in the most picturesque of locations, but campers say their amenities like the pool, game room and washer and dryers make up for it.

“This is nicer,” says Smiley.

Curtis Pauli is the owner of KOA Campgrounds. He says more and more people aren't pitching tents. Instead, they're rolling up in RVs. He's even converted some tent only spaces into RV spots to keep up with the demand.

“Upper–end RVs are far more prevalent then they were years ago,” says Pauli.

“I think this camping is much better. We have a 25 ft. RV ourselves. It's very nice and comfortable,” says Bruce Rahn, as he was staying at the KOA Campground.

Don't have an RV and don't want to pitch a tent? How about an air-conditioned cabin. “KOA is getting heavier into lodging. The cabins are very popular,” says Pauli.

But for some campers like the Simmons family, no amenity will ever be worth giving up the scenery of the Colorado National Monument.

“I’d like to make this a yearly thing. This is a beautiful place,” says Simmons.

With those amenities comes a higher price too. To pitch a tent at KOA Campgrounds, it will cost $27 a night. An RV $35 and a cabin between $50-90. At the Colorado National Monument, tents and RVs cost $10 a night.



 
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