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Some business thoughts

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nwcid, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    So I have been thinking about buying some property that could be used as a business too but have some questions.

    I am thinking of an area that would have RV sites, Camp sites, Cabins. The area would have lots of access to ATV area's, Horse riding area's, Snowmobile area's, hunting and just all around outdoor. It would also be close to water access about 20 miles.

    It looks like full RV hook ups $25/day is about the average going price.

    Initially I was thinking about putting up a couple of "cabins" that would have 2 beds, stove, Fridge, heat, water, toilet, just real basic stuff. What do you think something like this would rent for?

    There would be outdoor fire pits and a central "hang out" area if people wanted to be social. A central shower/restroom area for campers, day use, ect.

    The thought is to set up 5 RV spots and 2 "cabins" first.

    There would also be enough room for a shooting range. What do shooting ranges charge to rent guns normally?

    Any other thoughts? I have plans on what I would like eventually but like everything in life cost is an issue.
     
  2. x1hunter89

    x1hunter89 gresham oregon Active Member

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    buy land! start with camping and low cost, high profit events. then slowly use the profits to grow and expand into the atv trails and shooting ranges and what not.
     
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  3. JSJPDX

    JSJPDX East Portland Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    If you are going to cater to hunters during their seasons you might want to consider some sort of walk in refer to store game. If they have some place to store their meat it might encourage them to stay longer and spend more money with you.
     
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  4. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I was telling a local that my niece and family paid $150 a night for a motel up here.Non event weekend
    He said in some places in Montana it's 180 a night and for a set up camp site,with tent and all,it's about the same.
    That's renting a tent, table, site,sleeping bags and all the goodies for as much as it would have cost to bring them along.

    But RV sights along the interstates are closer to $45 a night and most cabins would be $85 a night easily,especially with toilets!
    Now if you just made a community bathroom facility,it seems it would cut down on some costs for you. Then as you expand,you could ad another facility.
    Fire pits are always good times.Maybe with some grills so the guests could try some out door cooking?
    I believe the Bulls Eye in Tacoma rents handguns for around $8 a caliber. If you change calibers it's another $8,otherwise you can try all in one caliber. Heck 10-15 bucks for a given time to try a few different guns would rock.Plus the locals would be there to test different guns before purchases. I think the gun range would keep you a little more than afloat,itself.

    Heck a little fish pond for kids,an archery range for bow hunters to tune up one last time,maybe at least 1 100 yard rifle lane for hunters to make sure the gun is ready also,cold beer and pop,a couple stainless tables and cutlery to cut game,fish,somebody that's heading to a pig farm.Oh never mind.

    AND!!! after you open,a suggestion board so you know what else to ad

    Sounds like a gas to me.If I was a young man again,it's what I would try to start.Meet new people from all walks of life.Hear more stories than you could ever ask for.

    You gunna have this open before spring turkey next year?
    If so,save me a spot!.
     
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  5. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    First and formost make sure the government will ok your plans before you go spending any money. I know the RV park here in Silverton (granted is pretty big) went through all kinds of problems with permits and other government hassles.
     
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  6. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Wow those are some prices. You also have to keep in mind my area and what it will handle for cost.

    Range/FFL would be part of it. Some kind of try and if you buy get a discount type thing. If it grows bar/restaurant would be in the works. Lots of room to expand.

    MJB I wont have it open by then but I do have plenty of room for you to park where I live now. All you have to do is ask and get directions.......

    Mark Good point for sure. It would be in the middle of nowhere and I county really could use some more tax $$$.
     
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  7. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    One thing I would look into is what is required for fire suppression and if you are in an incorporated fire district. Believe it or not there are portions of Oregon, that are not in an incorporated fire district. In most cases if there is a fire, the Forest Service arrives to control the fire and make sure it doesn't turn into a forest fire. If there is a danger to life, you'll get an emergency response, but if it's just property you're on your own. You may or may not be required to add some sort of fire suppression system, like water lines and hydrants. This can be very expensive. Personally if it were me, I'd take a proactive approach. If it's legal and I've got the land a nice large lake on the property could add value to the camping, and provide a source for water if the need arises. Then it's just a matter of watching Craigslist and finding a fire truck for sale and you're set. Besides who doesn't want to own their own fire truck?
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I am in a fire district, I am on the department. The area's I am looking at are in the same area and in district.

    I also have IA fire suppression gear at home that I use when burning my families fields. Since we only have 2 stations and if I was home more odds are I would have at least 1 district truck on site, especially if I have a covered area.
     
  9. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're set then.

    You've got a great idea for a venture and if you go for it, my wife and I will have to come check it out.
     
  10. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a great idea. Just need to find a way to do it all so that it is cost effective. It also has to be able to make enough money to offset the cost that go into it.

    I have some good ideas that if I had the upfront money I could make a lot also. But without that upfront have to do a lot of setting priorities of how to do it without incurring too much debit.
     
  11. iusmc2002

    iusmc2002 Colville, WA Active Member

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    I was reading an article in a magazine about opening a hunting lodge. The guy who wrote it is pretty experienced in owning, operating and guiding. He laid down some pretty harsh truths as to how many people he's seen invest heavily into the lodge and guides and cooks and whatnot, that crashed after a year or two. He said that if you wanted to do something like that, make sure you have the funds available to hold you through for 5 years until your investment becomes solvent. One of the big points I noticed, was advertising. How do you get the word out about your place? There are quite a few members on here, but I don't think there are enough who would be able to keep you supported until your advertising pays off :laugh:

    If you get something like that going in the next year or two, I'm sure my family would use the hell out of it! Good luck! I'd use it RIGHT NOW if you had a shooting range. It sucks moving to a new area and not having anywhere to shoot!
     
  12. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    I see you are in Chewelah, I live 30 min from you. I do have a 300 yard range. PM me we will have to meet up and have lunch.
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If you invest big you can crash big.But when I was young and went to all the get rich programs,they also said if you fail small or big you still fail,so why not fail big?
    You'll still be bankrupt either way.

    Or you could start small and just ad more structures as the moneys come in.Heck you can always rent out a cabin or two.
    But maybe not 5.
    Rent a few camp/RV sites but maybe not fill 10 enough.

    BUT! If you do rent both cabins consistently and fill all 5 RV and camp sites weekly,then set up a few more. Of course the camp sites will be the cheapest to make,so 10 or 15 isn't going to break you.
    When doing the RV spaces,you could lay the sewer pipes and electrical conduit fairly cheap,for plenty of sites.The pipe is cheap and it would be less to have the machinery out there once and lay all the underground then. Just don't buy all the electrical.That will be the expensive part. Plus you could have "dry" RV sites for a bit. Prep the pads and put down gravel as they fill up. Rent 4 all the time? Finish 5 pads.Have 5 extra without power or gravel at first. Then as money comes in,do a few more.

    Same with the cabins.Housing projects are done this way all the time.Lay out the utilities to each cabin site,then run the wires and water lines as you build. The conduits will last forever and having the water main in just makes for better fire protection.
    Heck ,first thing you want,as you,NWcid know,is the water/fire line in.

    Eazshee sneazshee
     
  14. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    That was the plan, do it in steps.

    Put in say 10 camp sites (real cheap)
    Put in 5 RV sites and leave space for more (cheap enough also with higher income potential)
    Put in 2 cabins and leave space for more (highest cost but also highest return)

    Most of this could be done with minimal investment then as some $$$ comes in and if sites fill up add more.

    Of course the main water, power, and septic set up will be the highest cost overall.
     
  15. Sun195

    Sun195 Pugetropolis, WA Well-Known Member

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    Various things I'd think about:

    Check zoning/land use regs - hate to invest in land for some purpose and not be able to utilize it. Best thing to do would be to walk into whoever has permit authority in the area and talk with them about what you want to do. They may be able to alert you to other flags that you may not think about - SEPA, limits on septic, sensitive area setbacks, etc.

    Shooting range - will this create additional insurance requirements for your business? Will the additional value of this offset the additional cost? Is this allowed in the area you are considering? Does this require additional staffing to manage?

    Seasonal cash flow - I've seen RV/lodges go totally dead during certain times of the year. Do you need cash flow during these times? Can you afford to just shut down? Maybe you won't have a lull during certain times?

    Help - are you doing this all by yourself? Will you have to hire someone? Is there a good workforce available? How much will this cost? Cabins mean cleaning every day.

    I'd try to figure out who might use your facility - RV'ers, hunters, off-roaders, concert goers, church groups - whoever. And, then, I'd try to get in touch with those groups to see what their interests are - how much would they pay, what kind of things would they like, are they even interested in the location you're thinking about, etc. This will help you devise a marketing plan.

    Do a survey of similar businesses within X miles of where you're planning to locate - what are they charging? What do they offer? What advantages can you offer over them? Maybe call them up on busy weekends to see if you can book a site - are they full or do they have spaces?

    Keep maintenance & future capital improvements in mind - real easy to let a place get run down and hard to bring it back up again. How many places have you seen that just look beat over time? (plenty) The "public" can be hard on things.

    Maybe visit some small resorts like you're envisioning and talk with the owners about what they are doing to keep their places going. I stopped by a small resort in North-central Washington and the owner talked my ear off - probably a good opportunity to get certain information if I'd been thinking about the right questions to ask.

    Keep track of all the data you collect - may be useful if you have to make your case to a bank for a SBA loan or something. Will help with your business plan, etc.

    It may be worth paying for a consult with an attorney and/or a CPA to better understand how you should set up your business structure to protect your personal assets, understand the tax implications, etc.

    Good luck!
     
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  16. motoman98

    motoman98 Gresham, OR Active Member

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    Just be sure to get a quote on business insurance to cover your commercial venture.....
     
  17. Thebastidge

    Thebastidge 10411 NE Fourth Plain Blvd Vancouver WA 98662 Well-Known Member

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    I've looked into this a good bit. I would email this guy and get on his mailing list:

    Rich Stockwell rich@rvparkconsulting.com.

    The business model is do-able, but there's a lot to it that doesn't meet the eye at first glance.
     
  18. Gunwheeler

    Gunwheeler Somewhere in De Nile Active Member

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    You should look as to why an RV/cabin/camp area somewhat local to you has a hard time staying in business. Squaw Rock up 410 is sold and resold every couple years. Same guy that holds the contract keeps getting it back.
     
  19. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Well Hwy 410 is over 4hrs from where I live. So it is a very different location.

    As far as I am aware there is nothing in my area like what I want to do. There are lots of NPS camp grounds but none are RV hook up. There are no cabins that I am aware of.

    I would have to work on drawing lots of different kinds of business and customers to keep in business. That is why I am looking for things to offer.
     
  20. Gunwheeler

    Gunwheeler Somewhere in De Nile Active Member

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    Sorry I saw in your profile Yakima and remember someone showing pics from up near Tampico. Thought it might be you. I'll have to dig thru my business card file I have a somwhat aquiantance with a fishing resort north of Spokane. They bought the resort as a retirement idea and have never been so busy in their life. From time to time in the winter they escape to the wetside to thaw out.