COLORADO SPRINGS — Going camping to celebrate America's birthday is a popular choice in Colorado. An easy way to do it is to rent an RV. But this year, in the midst of a pandemic, it's easier said than done.
Blake Collier is relatively new to the RV Rental game.
“I’ve been in business about a year,” Collier said.
He owns High Alpine RV Rentals on Interpark Drive in Colorado Springs. In the short time he’s been in business, he’s had no choice but to learn quickly.
“Opening up a business right before COVID-19 happened is definitely a challenge,” he said. “I’m getting my PhD in RVs right now."
But that challenge isn’t necessarily one you’d expect for someone in the vacation business during a pandemic.
“Our only problem right now is lack of inventory,” Collier said.
Business has been booming. He expected Fourth of July week to be busy.
“My wait list right now is about 15 people deep,” he said.
But it hasn’t been just this week.
“Just about every single week, we’re a hundred percent booked out.”
It's his new reality, thanks to COVID-19.
“Recently it’s been more of people who are renting RVs to go on business trips,” he said.
An RV’s dinette is now just as likely to serve as a boardroom, as it is an eating spot.
“People were going down to Oklahoma to buy $30 million of apartment complexes,” Collier said.
The recent uptick in demand came from more than just business travelers.
“I put all my RVs at cost for local doctors, law enforcement workers, first line responders,” he said. “They’re paying roughly $15 a day to get an RV dropped off in their driveways to quarantine from their families.”
Even though he’s still new at this, Collier is managing to adapt along the way.
“Don’t know what a normal season looks like, but I’m glad I’m providing a service to people that are trying to be safer,” he said.