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Old 08-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #1
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thinking of buying a campground!!!

My wife and I have been talking about buying a campground since we bought our first motor home 18 months ago and went to cape may nj. There is a campground that is for sale about 35-45 minutes from where I live now. This place will need some work but could be a nice place I think. It's located right off a highway and would be no problems to get a big rig into the entrance. I'm really looking for advise on what to look for and if a deal can be reached what everyone would want in a "prefect" campground. I know there is no such place but I think giving the easy access it maybe worth while looking into. I'm not looking to get rich off the place but just make enough that it pays it's own bills. Please let me know what think about my idea and if it comes to be who will stop in for a day or two. Thanks for all your help on this one.

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Old 08-19-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
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One word, FOOLISH!
Lots of hassles and heart aches. Plus you need to spend long hours trying to keep it up.

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Old 08-19-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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As with most owner/operator small business, be prepared to work, a lot! 7 days a week maybe. WORK,WORK,WORK. The lows are lower than having a job, but the highs are higher also.

There are some advantages to being self employed but not as many as the average person thinks.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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I would not be relying on the campground for my source of income. I work for norfolk southern rr and do not intend to leave my good paying job and take a chance on a campground that may or may not get off the ground. I do have friends in the landscaping business that I'm sure would lend me a hand when I need it.
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:33 PM   #5
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The thing that makes otherwise ordinary campgrounds great is having owners on the premises. No one cares about your business and customers the way you do. If you have the social skills and can tolerate dealing with difficult people you're way ahead of the game. Read some of the posts in these forums and you'll see what you'll be up against.

I think it's a great thing if you have the personality and skills to make it work for you
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:46 PM   #6
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Sale the MH,you won't have time for that kind of thing...
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Old 08-19-2013, 04:48 PM   #7
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When I couldn't be there my wife would be. I worked as a store manager in a retail store and got very use to hearing all the complaints from both employees and customers. I know that I have the social skills needed for ownership Im just in the early stages of thinking it through and starting to plan out: 1. What needs to be done before I could ever open 2. Is it going to be possible for us to do this with me working. 3. Finding a small staff to help out with daily tasks. 4. Is the location good enough that people will want to stay. 5. Figuring out how much I can lose and still keep it open. We have not and will not jump into this without doing all the homework first. This was my first step was to get input from everyone both good and bad. This may never be more than a pipe dream but that's what this country was built on.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:00 PM   #8
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If you can run a good spreadsheet to figure out all of the financials, and the bottom line cash flow is good, go for it if this is your dream!

But...BUT, ya gotta know what $ needs to be put in, and a realistic client forecast, and how many $ come out the end of the pipe. Not easy!

Best wishes!
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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If we do end up persuading this idea it won't be until spring of next year at the earliest. Like I said before im just starting the information gathering stage and have not looked to close at the numbers yet.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:11 PM   #10
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When I lived in England, a common pipe dream was "I'm going to retire one day and open a pub". In terms of the work/reward ratio, that would be similar to owning a campground. If you have the guts and the stamina, go for it! I'll take a 50 amp pull thru please.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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I have thought about this also. Situations that make it scary are the financial responsiblities involved. As far as whether folk would come by depend alot on what there is to do besides just parking for a couple of days. Recreation vehicle owners require recreation, peace and quiet, and alot of friends. If you know you can afford to provide this then go for it. There are re-occring expenses even if you have no guests. You will need to be able to provide laundry,sewer,electic,water, a muchie store with other essenctials. I love having some wildlife co-existing with me not bugs. Best of luck in you decision. Volunteers could be usefull for you. Provide a nice pad with everything for free would be helpful for you.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:25 PM   #12
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Good utilities with good connections. 50 amps a plus

Wide enough spaces to open slides on both sides and open my awnings


I don't need a store, a cafe etc but others do.

A fixed price with no add ons (kids, pets, etc)

If you are not going to be there all of the time hire help that you can trust.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:52 PM   #13
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I wish you the best. My only advice would be: Charge reasonable rates, keep the bathrooms clean and don't nickel and dime people to death for the ad-ons.
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Old 08-19-2013, 05:54 PM   #14
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I'm with you on this one. This is something I always thought would be worth the effort. You seem to be serious and looking at the prospect in an intelligent manner. I don't know why so many people are such nay-sayers.

I believe in this day and age, the things you would need to think about is the size and utility demands of the newer RV's. So many of the last century's parks didn't allow for the increase in popularity of the bigger units. And maybe even some sites with multiple 50 amp outlets. Level sites are good and pull-thru's for those on their way someplace who don't want to unhook. If you plan on having people stay for awhile then you have a bunch more things to consider. Best of luck on this endeavor!

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