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Harvest Hosts offers places where you can park your RV tonight

Harvest Hosts says it contracts with more than 5,000 businesses in the U.S. to provide places for RV travelers to park for a night or two.
Courtesy Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts says it contracts with more than 5,000 businesses in the U.S. to provide places for RV travelers to park for a night or two.

Several Spokane area businesses are making extra money by allowing recreational vehicle travelers to park on their property for a night or two.

Harvest Hosts is the company that contracts with those businesses to let its traveling members stop on their journeys.

“We really do look at it as a two-sided marketplace. Our host locations benefit from our members visiting and patronizing," said Joel Holland, Harvest Hosts' CEO.

"Our members this year will spend over $50 million directly with the farms and the wineries and the breweries in the network. But then our members benefit tremendously because they get these really unique places to stay overnight in their RV that’s just very different from the normal campground or parking lot," he said.

Holland says the travelers get to drop anchor for free, but they have an obligation to their hosts.

“The code of conduct says that our members should spend at least $30 with the hosts they visit. On average, our members spend closer to $50 per night and it’s wonderful. They basically take the money they’re saving from going to a campground or somewhere else and they’re really excited to buy the local produce and do a wine tasting," he said.

The hosts provide no hookups, just the space to park a vehicle.

Holland says it has taken him 10 years to develop an extensive network of 5,000 host businesses and a quarter million members, helped in part by word of mouth.

“A lot of businesses share, especially in the winery world as an example, they share resources with others. So they’ll tell other wineries, hey, this is a great way to make some extra revenue and there’s no cost to it," he said.

Holland says the average Harvest Host makes between $15,000 and $25,000 a year.

He says there’s an additional benefit for travelers, especially those looking for a decent place to stop in peak travel season.

“The nice thing about Harvest Hosts, because we have 5,000 locations and they’re only available to our members, you’re a lot more likely to find a place, especially last minute. We like to think it helps people be spontaneous, which is how most of us really want to travel anyway," he said.

You can find the Spokane Harvest Hosts on the company’s app and then make appointments through the app. Many host businesses are anonymous to the general public, but Holland has identified a few, including Fairways Golf Course, Pleasant Prairie Farms, Indian Ale Works Brewingand the Funny Farm Homestead.

Doug Nadvornick has spent most of his 30+-year radio career at Spokane Public Radio and filled a variety of positions. He is currently the program director and news director. Through the years, he has also been the local Morning Edition and All Things Considered host (not at the same time). He served as the Inland Northwest correspondent for the Northwest News Network, based in Coeur d’Alene. He created the original program grid for KSFC. He has also served for several years as a board member for Public Media Journalists Association. During his years away from SPR, he worked at The Pacific Northwest Inlander, Washington State University in Spokane and KXLY Radio.