Friday, January 18, 2013

Future Resort Redux (p5) - Casual Culture

In part 2, I said that "nudism would be casual experience instead of a planned vacation or second residence."  This statement can be broken down into three markets.

The "nakation" (planned vacation) industry is a $400 million and growing global industry according to AANR.  There are a lot of opportunities for nude cruises and vacations at big resorts all around the world.  These take time from work and cost money, especially since travel is becoming increasingly expensive.  It's fair to assume that the majority of people taking "nakations" are retired, or middle-aged with the money and the time off from work to be able to do it.

Many stay at resorts and campgrounds either full-time or as a second residence.  Full-timers are almost always retired, or are lucky to work close enough to keep the commute reasonable.  The second residence crowd typically have a camper and stay at the resort on weekends.  It's fair to assume that these people have the money to buy a camper and pay for the site, which likely means they are middle-aged and have a career.  (Purchasing and developing their primary residence takes money and time first.)

The above two markets are currently the most profitable, and both are geared toward the middle-aged or older since they happen to be the primary customer.

Young naturists, and cash-strapped naturists, take a more casual approach to nude recreation.  They are the ones visiting the local free beaches whenever they have the time.  They are the ones bravely freehiking and skinny dipping on public lands.  They are the ones going to local hotel takeover parties.  They are the ones attending bowling parties, house parties, WNBR, and any other event that happens to be going on.  Perhaps "casual" isn't the right word since it takes a lot of work to organize these events, and sometimes a lot of work to participate in them.  But compared to buying a camper, membership, or vacation, and dedicating weeks or more at a time to being nude, these cheaper day-long or weekend-long activities are casual.

Both the Florida Young Naturists and the Young Naturists and Nudists America have seen a boom in numbers since forming.  FYN's Spring Bash went from 75 in 2009 to 200 in 2011 per N 31.2.  YNA claims to be "the fastest growing nudist organization and online naturist community based out of the NY / NJ / PA area".  The Chicago Fun Club has seen growing numbers of participants -- they've grown to more than 200 members in the 3 or so years they've been active.  These groups have popped into existence with a primary goal of having fun at whatever venues they can set up.  It seems that people of all ages are eager to participate in local events.

I haven't gone to an unsuccessful nudist event yet.  The hotel parties are always packed.  House parties always attract a crowd.  Public events like the WNBR have been growing.  Even the bowling group, almost in the middle of nowhere, has a good turnout each Winter month.  It seems that naturists are always looking for something local to do.

Just how much demand is in the market?  There were numerous people at the bowling party that didn't bowl.  I'm sure the WNBR gets it's share of people who don't normally ride bikes.  I haven't been to a nude skate party yet, but I'm sure some people attending can't skate.  (N 29.1 shows a group photo from a skating event, and a few people aren't wearing skates.)  Many people who visit nude beaches never go in the water, and some even avoid the sun.  It seems that people just want to be naked in social settings, even if they aren't interested in what's going on.  Markets are about supply and demand, and I believe there is more demand than supply for naturist events.

The Chicago Fun Club tested the limits of demand this year.  The club is one of only a few in the Chicago area, and the nearest resorts are across state lines several hours away.  One of the club's events worked out to be an ideal experiment.  When Naked Girls Reading was still new, I said: "Naturists would find this event to be one of the most boring things we could possibly sit through."  Then, later on, the Chicago Fun Club organized a nude viewing of this event.

How did it go?  Corresponding with one of the members, it was "well attended and much enjoyed".  I'd never go watch naked girls read.  But, with the opportunity to be in a social naturist setting with friends, I'd be tempted.

Even with nothing going on, people are still drawn to places.  Many like to stop in at the bars, just to see who's there and what's going on.  Many like to stroll through the mall even though they aren't shopping for anything specific.  People will be drawn to the urban nudist venue just to see what's new, who's around, and to kill some time while being social.  They might even bring their curious friends along.

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