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Airstream Hotel Chain Raises $115 Million in New Bet on Glamping

  • AutoCamp plans to expand hotel-campsite hybrid to 30 cities
  • Aims to take advantage of nostalgia for iconic American brands
A fire pit at an AutoCamp location.
A fire pit at an AutoCamp location.Source: Aubrie Pick/AutoCamp

Polished to a mirror sheen and reeking of nostalgia, the Airstream camper has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years as food truck operators, Airbnb landlords and others have embraced the classic American brand. Now a San Francisco-based company called AutoCamp has raised $115 million to build a nationwide network of hotels fashioned from the trailers.

AutoCamp announced a deal with manufacturer Thor Industries Inc. in December to become the exclusive developer of Airstream hotels, and will use the new capital to buy land and customized trailers to open new sites, Chief Executive Officer Neil Dipaola said in an interview. The fundraising deal, led by real estate private equity firm Whitman Peterson, includes a follow-on provision that could double the investment and allow AutoCamp to expand to 20 new markets.