Burning Man Festival Boosts El Monte’s Biz
The cult event that’s been gaining momentum since it started in 1986 is expected to draw 50,000 people into the primitive Black Rock Desert in Nevada from Aug. 30 to Sept. 6.
Part art fest, part culture crawl, part way-off-the-grid retreat, the remote festival about 120 miles from Reno, Nev., that defies description comes with a survival guide to the harsh, waterless site and touts “radical inclusion” as one of its guiding principles, the Los Angeles Times reported.
So where exactly do luxury RVs come into the picture? Joe Laing, director of marketing for El Monte RV, says Burning Man is the company’s single biggest event for motorhome rentals. “Each year we are getting more and more requests,” says Laing, whose company has 60 locations nationwide.
High-rollers: Pay a premium to get a luxury 34-foot Fleetwood Fiesta or 35-foot Fleetwood Bounder stocked with groceries and goodies and tricked out with flat-screen TVs, kitchen supplies, bedding and more delivered to a desert spot. The company then fetches guests from the airport (usually Reno) in an RV and shuttles them to the spot. The price-tag: $12,000 to $15,000. So far, Laing has booked about a dozen luxury packages for the 2010 event. “It’s as good accommodations as you’ll get at Burning Man,” he says.
Other “burners”: Most festival folks pick up motor-home rentals from sites in the Los Angeles area, Oakland (where the rental representative greets them dressed as Elvis in a gold lamé jacket) or a casino parking lot-turned-campground in Nevada. So far, El Monte RV has 300 motorhomes reserved for people going to Burning Man. The price tag starts at $5,890 plus tax for a Class C 23- to 25-foot motorhome that sleeps up to five people. The cost includes one-week rental with a pick-up in Reno.
And what happens when you return the vehicle dirty and dusty from a week on the sand? “As long as they pay to clean them up, we don’t mind,” Laing says.