It wasn’t an easy sell when half the country’s underwater. But Christian and Carolyn Van Outersterp took an ambitious plan to expand their Jollydays luxury campsite into the Dragons’ Den on Sunday night (February 10) – and impressed the fire breathing panel.
The couple want to expand their glamping business – as “glamorous camping” is now known.
They told Dragons’ Den on BBC2 that their business at Buttercrambe Moor Wood near York, with 20 deluxe tents, complete with four-poster beds and en suite showers, was profitable.
The new plan was to expand into the Yorkshire Wolds with 50 wooden lodges “akin to a luxurious hotel suite in the woods”. Both sites could soon deliver £4 million in profit.
For an investment of £200,000, the dragons could get 20 per cent of the business, Carolyn told them.
Initially, things looked promising: “I like this: it interests me,” said Deborah Meaden.
But further probing revealed that the business didn’t own the land where the new lodges would be located – but rented it on a 15-year-lease.
Suddenly the dragons’ mood changed. The risk was deemed too high and one by one they declared: “I’m out.”
But what did the Twitterati make of the glamping pitch?
It might be cold, wet and windy outside but you'll have to imagine the sunshine for our next pitch, luxury camping holidays #DragonsDen
— BBC Dragons' Den (@BBCDragonsDen) February 9, 2014
— Louise Turner (@lu_turner) February 9, 2014
— Linda Rolfe (@lindahrolfe) February 9, 2014
— James Brown (@JBcatering) February 9, 2014
Loving this glamping idea….much more appealing than normal camping. Would deffo do this 😀 #dragonsden
— Eves (@Evie_Kirkham) February 9, 2014
The whole point of camping is to do it urself and get boggin. If ur gona go "glamping" u may aswell go to a spa #DragonsDen
— x ♥ Leeann ♥ x (@Lee141989) February 9, 2014
— Steve (@canido_steve) February 9, 2014
Jolly Days Luxury Camping? They look so depressed, don't think il be going there! #DragonsDen
— Peter Stanek (@PeterStanek) February 9, 2014
Glamping = would rather trepan own head. #dragonsden
— Marina O'Loughlin (@MarinaOLoughlin) February 9, 2014
— Shelley Bambrook (@sherlls) February 9, 2014
Watching Dragons Den on sky+. Shocked but pleased to see Tony Soprano flogging posh tent holidays #DragonsDen
— John Simpson (@simmo_motd) February 9, 2014
— Sarahjane Funnell (@sarahjanestyle) February 9, 2014
— Canvas Cottage Co (@CanvasCottage) February 9, 2014
#DragonsDen I liked the 'Glamping,' idea, until the 15 year bit.
— Avesniis (@Avesniis) February 9, 2014
Whats the name of that camping site in Yorkshire looks decent that?#DragonsDen
— Ash Harper (@AshHarper90) February 9, 2014
Glamping seems to destroy the concept of camping. Surely camping's about dehumanising filth, bad food, bears, the rain… #dragonsden
— Ed Whitfield (@edwhitfield) February 9, 2014
I like extreme 'glamping'. It's called a hotel #dragonsden
— Marcus In E17 (@MarcusInE17) February 9, 2014
I want to go glamping #DragonsDen
— Waxqueen (@waxqueen1) February 9, 2014
— SyndicateRoom (@SyndicateRoom) February 9, 2014
I am watching #DragonsDen & had never heard of glamping before. If they offered glamping at festivals, I would finally go camping!
— Jai'me Jan (@jaimelondonboy) February 9, 2014
#DragonsDen We nearly booked with this glamping place it looks ace. Will do next year!
— Stevie Needs a Job (@66usual) February 9, 2014
— Lauren (@LaurenisGrand) February 9, 2014
I'm sorry. It must be so nerve wrecking in the den. But, cmon could you SAY Jolly Days any less jolly #dragonsden
— Ste (@stegroverkallee) February 9, 2014
Jolly days need to sound more jolly #DragonsDen
— Zoggle and Foggle (@ZoggleandFoggle) February 9, 2014
Where are Jolly Days on twitter? #DragonsDen
— Charlie Bradley (@TicoCherry) February 9, 2014
— Rob Peck (@Robbiepeck) February 9, 2014
— Vivian O' Brien (@VivianBrien) February 9, 2014
— Toni Brown (@misstonibrown) February 9, 2014