Why some campgrounds are more successful than others.
Campgrounds are pretty much all the same, right?
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The problem is that it is very hard to determine which type of campground design will have the most camper nights. Every campground is different. Homer Staves has worked with hundreds of campground owners and investors since 1963. He has seen every possible type of park and had a chance to see what works and what doesn't.
Because there is no such thing as a typical campground, the feasibility study is an important first step in any decision on building a campground. Homer is market driven and his experience has taught him that before any decision can be made you must identify the specific market mix for your project. While everyone sees the forty foot motorhome towing a car on the Interstate highway, you never know how many cars are going by with a tent in their trunk. If you don't identify the market before you start, you can easily leave a couple hundred thousand dollars a year on the table.
What type of campground or RV park will be the most profitable in your area? Will the best market be for large sites for the big motorhomes or would it be more profitable to concentrate on the camper who shows up with a tent and motorcycle? Will the customers at your park be there for one day? Two days? A week? or all winter? Will your customers primarily consist of an older couple or families with several children? Are you located in a place where there is a great demand for family reunions? If so do you need to develop a large group camping area? What amenities do the other parks in your area offer and even more important, what amenities do they not offer that the market wants?
These are just some of the questions that need to be answered before you can determine the feasibility of building a campground or RV park. Once these questions have been answered the the $64,000 question is how many campers will stay at my park and for how long? In other words how many camper nights can I expect each year for the next five years? Homer Staves' extensive experience makes him the best person to help you answer these and other questions before you can determine the feasibility of building a campground.
A feasibility study will reveal the type of park for the site that has the greatest potential for profit. Homer's studies reveal hidden potential that you might not see from just looking around or making something up on your own. Homer can collect data from the competing campsites that most people wouldn't notice. Because he has been in the camping industry so long, he can really see which way to go with a particular location.
Your campground feasibility study will contain:
- A narrative of the type of facility Homer envisions as being the best for your market
- An analysis of the competition indicating what type of parks they are as well as how they score on inspections by independent campground inspectors
- An analysis of the camper night potential
- A detailed, realistic five year profit and loss projection. This projection is prepared using Microsoft Excel and you will be given the entire spreadsheet so you can modify any of the assumptions to see how each change might affect the final results. Different market mix strategies can vary your profits by several hundred thousand dollars a year at five years. These spreadsheets allow you to play "what if?" to fine tune your strategy. Homer will also be available for ongoing consultation as you look at all of the variables.
As Vice President, Real Estate at KOA, Homer researched hundreds of potential locations for company owned campgrounds and was involved in the construction and/or acquisition of KOA Kampgrounds throughout the United States. He also served on the corporate franchise review committee and helped analyze thousands of feasibility studies.
Homer Staves has both a construction and a marketing background which provides a unique combination of views when analyzing a campground or RV park opportunity. Homer's experiences with campgrounds in over 25 countries gives him the ability to think "outside the box" in order to suggest new ways to appeal to different types of markets. Staves Consulting's only objective is to help you develop a profitable business. We are not real estate salesmen trying to sell you some property nor are we a construction firm hoping to make a huge profit from building your facility.
To get the most out of your location and investment, Staves Consulting offers the following:
Campground Feasibility Special
- Up to two days time to travel to the proposed site and view the land and local competition.
- A written report which will contain a review of the competition.
- A general description of the type of campground envisioned for that market.
- Background on the inspection process for campgrounds
- Inspection scores for competing campgrounds
- Explanations of all assumptions.
- A written five year projection of income and expenses
- A computer disk containing five years of profit and loss projections in an Excel spreadsheet so the client can modify the assumptions as he sees fit.
- Reasonable telephone consulting on the report.
Various levels of reports are available ranging from a very quick preliminary feasibility study to help you decide if you want to proceed to a complete financial presentation that can be taken to a bank. Please contact us for a quote on your specific project and a sample feasibility study
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