Most RV travelers in the past have stayed in a Walmart parking lot overnight at least once. While taking advantage of their generosity, we followed the common courtesy of unspoken camping rules by keeping our chairs and awnings closed. Generally, we checked in with the manager first and spent some money on the way out the door, creating little attention from Walmart customers. Neighboring RV parks complained about lost commerce, but generally accepted an overnight stay as the “traveling way.”
In recent years, travelers, although choosing an RV as their vehicle, seem not to follow this good will process that in the past had gained praise from the Walmart corporation. As a result, more Superstores have decided not to offer this privilege and installed security to police the area. You really can’t blame them when you see the garbage and wastewater left behind, along with the noise that kept customers away. Parking along city streets, these RVers now face the same response.
Walmart is taking its revenge by partnering with Getaway campsites to offer “the General Store” onsite. By bringing campers quality goods from small shops within the community, Walmart shows its commitment to support local businesses. And…it offers the opportunity to receive a Walmart + trial (similar to Prime?).
Walmart Corp, MarketWatch and CNN Business are all running articles with information worth perusing. Trailing behind Amazon with consumers and the stock market, this may be a way for Walmart to even out the competition.
Carlos Becil, Chief Experience Officer explains their motivation for this project . “At Getaway, our mission is to help people disconnect and spend time in nature.”
Getaway Outposts consist of tiny cabins, more glamping than camping. Each tiny cabin has a kitchen, toilet, and queen-size bed. Getaway plans to have Outposts with 28 Walmart locations by the end of the year. The first General Store opens this August at Getaway Hill Country in Wimberley, Texas, located near Austin and San Antonio. All of their Outposts are away from populated areas, so it is almost like boondocking but with a “glamping” style. Leave your RVs and tents at home though.
Promoted as a place to unplug, Getaway promises, “Because of the secluded nature of our outposts, cell phone service may be a little spottier than normal. You may not get any reception at all—if this is the case, embrace the opportunity to unplug and relax. Each of the cabins is equipped with a landline for calls to the Getaway team or to 911 in case of emergency. There is no WiFi and never will be.”
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