Go Back   iRV2 Forums > iRV2.com COMMUNITY FORUMS > iRV2.com General Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #1
Member
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: South Bound Brook, NJ, USA
Posts: 43
Question campground ownership

Not sure if this is the right place, but I have always had this dream about owning my own campground and making it the way I would like it to be. In today's economy, with the job market shrinking and everyone's job at risk, I think about it even more. Everytime my current employer expects me to take on more responsibility or do more without so much as a "thank you", I start to dream.

Anyway, is there somewhere I could do some research on campground ownership? For example, while I wouldn't expect to strike it rich owning my own campground, I would like to hear from other owners regarding:
1. What type of income could one expect?
2. Is this type of lifestyle something that others have regretted getting into?
3. Any advice as to the best way to find a campground for sale?
4. Where can I get info on associations for owners?
5. Pros and cons about franchising (Yogi, KOA, etc.) vs. private?
6. What type of investment should I expect to make? What type of cash would be needed?

__________________

__________________
2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J Class A Motorhome
Daddy's truck is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-16-2009, 06:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Jim Stewart's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne & Marathon, Florida
Posts: 1,537
This gentleman is probably the largest single broker of campgrounds in the US.

http://www.buyacampground.com/broker...don/index.html

Several years ago, my wife and I investigated the possibility of buying a campground as a retirement business. What we found out then:

Very few campgounds make money after servicing the debt to acquire them. At best you are buying a job when you purchase one. The job is 80 hours a week at slave labor wages.

Most people that own them either want to sell them because they make no money or they want an inflated price to be able to afford to retire.

Government regulations are starting to crush many of the smaller camps.

There are the exceptions to the rules. The very large well run campgrounds make money, but then again they are asking in the $millions for them.

It's kind of a dream of many and turns into a nightmare for most!

We started a different business.
__________________

__________________
2005 Safari Cheetah 38PDQ - 2009 Ford Flex
Me (Gatogonow), The Boss (DW), Honey Bunny, Maggie May and Mollie Kay (The Gatos)!
Jim Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2009, 11:28 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
bsavage's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Dolores, Colorado
Posts: 809
We own a small campground in Colorado. We originally bought it as a vacation home (there is a lovely residence above the office/laundry/showers) as well as an additional business, idea being that it would be nice to have a vacation home that helped pay for itself. Long story short, we now live here full time after downsizing due to the economy. We used to pay managers to run the place, and we were fortunate to have found good people to do it. However, our accountant asked us last year if this business was ever going to make money! Now that we run it (and we live here), it most likely will make a profit this year, but not by much. Both my husband and I have to have additional income to support it during the winter, and for our travel budget as well. It is not the money making machine I would have hoped for. Franchises are nice (again, we are a small park and not a franchise), but they are expensive. The nicest, largest RV Park in our area was sold to someone a year or two ago, and it is now in receivership. Look very, very carefully at the books, and as mentioned above, be careful about how much you finance.

On the other hand, I am so thankful that we bought this place, I love it here (we wouldn't have chosen it as a vacation home if we didn't), and quite honestly, it makes me happy to help get folks settled in their sites, help them enjoy their vacation, and to have a business that is all about making people happy. I come from almost 30 years in the rat race, and though cleaning bathrooms isn't glamourous, it is almost surely better than sitting in a 4 hour meeting of puffed up types trying to find ways to assure us all of their importance. Helping people have some fun is truly important! (And a clean bathroom is always important, LOL!)

Good luck, there are lots of bargains out there now...

Brenda, of...
__________________
Brenda & Tony, traveling with Chocolate Lab Cadbury and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Rossi, Hayden, Millie, & Hercules... towing an assortment of motorcycles!
bsavage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
RV Mutant #14
 
Wayne M's Avatar


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Freightliner Owners Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,204
I have often thought of it, but never acted. If I were to do it I would do it in the warmer climates. Then you have an almost yearly income, except when the snowbirds go home. In the colder climes, you are very seasonable and have to charge, in most cases, a higher price for camping than the CG's in the South.

Good luck.

Edited: Also, a CG on a lake may cost more, but the clientele will also be boaters and fishermen/women.
__________________
Wayne MSGT USMC (Ret) & Earlene (CinCHouse)
2015 Winnebago Tour 42QD
RVM14
It is what it is, and then it is what you make of it.
Wayne M is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2009, 09:48 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 2,486
Jim Stewart has it right. It is like having a convenience store franchise. You are esentialy buying a job. There was a ot of money to be made when you sold the CVG but in today's down market that would not be true. When I queried a broker about the small ROI he simply told me you are buying a lifestyle?? HUH???
__________________
Moisheh
2008 Dynasty 42' Diamond IV
2009 Silverado Toad
moisheh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 07:20 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
hamguy's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mesa, AZ USA
Posts: 1,806
I get so tired of calling the park office and saying, I can't connect to the wifi or it only shows local connect. The well meaninf but totally ignorant person on the desk says, well, Mr. *** just left for a 3 week vacation in Bora Bora.

One thing I would recommend ALL Park Owners do is TRAIN all counter personnel to re-boot the damn WiFi. 90% of the time, they go south just after the head man leaves for the weekend and allthat is needed is to shutdown th epower to the router and refire.

Training would make for much happier guests.

It ain't rocket surgery, folks!
__________________
Wretched excess is just barely enough.

2002 Itasca Suncruiser - WH Chassis - 35U - 2006 Jeep Liberty
hamguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-19-2009, 07:31 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Jim Stewart's Avatar
 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne & Marathon, Florida
Posts: 1,537
If the help was smart enough to do what is simple to most, they wouldn't be working in a campground for minimum wage!
__________________
2005 Safari Cheetah 38PDQ - 2009 Ford Flex
Me (Gatogonow), The Boss (DW), Honey Bunny, Maggie May and Mollie Kay (The Gatos)!
Jim Stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 07:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
hamguy's Avatar
 
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Mesa, AZ USA
Posts: 1,806
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stewart View Post
If the help was smart enough to do what is simple to most, they wouldn't be working in a campground for minimum wage!
In my 6 years of half timing, I have found that most counter staff are very intelligent, mostly retired folk who work for pocket money, or are the children of the honchos.

BTW, I'm glad I don't always see the brown side of things.
__________________
Wretched excess is just barely enough.

2002 Itasca Suncruiser - WH Chassis - 35U - 2006 Jeep Liberty
hamguy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 156
We have some friends who bought a campground about 30 years ago. It had a large section of mobile homes as well as campsites. Because it was in a well traveled spot over the course of the last 15 yrs caltrans came in and took a large part or the property and so when they got ready to retire not a taker could be found so it looks like they will die working in that campground which but it cured me of any desire to get into that business
__________________
2008 Revolution
Me the wife and 3 Bassets
Look out world here we come
Chuck Linn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Superslif's Avatar
 
Thor Owners Club
Pond Piggies Club
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: NE. Ohio USA
Posts: 4,707
Sometimes buying an older / outdated campground might mean putting $$$ into upgrading a facility to meet todays RV's higher expectations. Wouldn't it be nice to plan / build a campground from the ground up where sites could handle the larger units with level sites. Also not be on top of each other. It would have to have enough seasonal campers and weekenders to meet your expanses.
__________________
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
2018 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge 24 RKS
2014 Toyota Tundra Limited 5.7L
IRV2 Photo Album ~Let's Go Places~
Superslif is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2009, 07:07 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Lindsay Richards's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Tavares, FL
Posts: 1,644
Quote:
Then you have an almost yearly income, except when the snowbirds go home.
Having lived and camped for most of my life in Central Florida, the snowbird capital of the universe, I can you that we never bother to make reservations except in Jan, Fed, and March. Even in those months campgrounds are not full. In the remaining months the Occ Rate averages about 25%. The economy and fuel prices are going to make this even worse. This is not the time to invest in a campground. The fact that so many are on the market is very telling.
__________________

__________________
http://www.linandnancy.com
Lindsay Richards is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Take a Photo Tour of the 2009 Rally Campground with us Joe-K iRV2.com International Rally 6 09-25-2008 03:45 PM
Campground Reviews - We Need your Help Disney Campers - Scott Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 21 04-29-2008 09:03 AM
Cedar Breaks Campground Host Cedar Breaks National Monument Workkamping & Volunteering 4 04-11-2007 10:33 PM
2007 Trailer Life Campground Navigator, they finally have gotten it right Logthumper Gear and Product Discussions 6 03-09-2007 04:09 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:07 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.