SMB Featured Industry: Summer CampsMonday, May 21, 2012
Posted by Brawlin Melgar
NEW TRENDS IN THE BUSINESS OF SUMMER CAMPS
Summer Programs Find a Unique Edge to Thrive in a Changing Marketplace
Small and midsized businesses have spent the last few years gaining every edge they can to stand out in a crowded marketplace and keep the business coming in. The business of running summer camps is no exception to the challenges faced by tightening wallets across the country.
In order to stay alive in this economy businesses have had to remain flexible and willing to make the necessary changes to keep their current clientele happy, and to tap into new opportunities for business growth. In doing this, camps like Julian Krinsky Camps & Programs (JKCP) (www.jkcp.com) have found a way to not only survive the changing marketplace, but to thrive despite it.
“The rate of change in the summer camp business is quicker than ever,” said Julian Krinsky, founder of JKCP. To stay ahead of the game Krinsky keeps his ear to the ground and really listens to what the students and parents want out of their summer experience. “It’s this flexibility that has allowed JKCP to thrive as a world leader in the summer programming marketplace.”
JKCP provides over 20 customized summer programs including sports, fitness, art, architecture, science, technology, classical music, production, business, leadership, internships, pre-college and SAT prep, cooking, fashion design, dance, yoga, photography, Spanish and more.
“Kids and teens love choice and today’s parents want value,” explains Krinsky. “Meeting both their needs means providing world-class programming, inspiring teachers, networking opportunities and valuable summer experiences.”
Located in Philadelphia, JKCP receives students from all over the country, and globe. Programs are held at top colleges in Philadelphia such as Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College and the Curtis Institute of Music so students get to jumpstart their college experience - in the dorm, in the dining hall and on campus.
On the other end of the country, Pali Overnight Adventures in California, is an extreme escapades summer camp that offers cutting-edge adventures led by experienced professionals.
Forget simple hiking, Pali Adventures offers 16 highly unique summer experiences including Hollywood Stunt Camp, Girl Power Camp, Secret Agent Camp and Rock Star Academy. Kids have over 50 activities to choose from including yoga, zip lining, EuroBungee, High Ropes, and more. Due to high early enrollment numbers for this summer, Pali has been able to add 16 extra sessions.
Andy Wexler, founder of Pali Adventures says "The camps are designed to meet every teen's interests. All kids are different so why should they do the same thing at camp?"
Pali Adventures has increased camp enrollment 30 percent in the past few years and the company is over $10 million in revenue. Wexler attributes his business growth to expanding beyond the "summer camp market" to outdoor educational programs and parenting websites that he runs year-round.
With this forward motion thinking, gone are the days of hiking and roasting marshmallows - summer camps are becoming high end specialized experiences, and the industry is booming. Despite the high price of tuition (parents are forking out thousands for one or two weeks) enrollment is up because programmers like Krinsky and Wexler understand what it will take to keep the business coming in.