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Old 07-12-2016, 11:52 PM   #1
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How to open a new campground?

Having given the matter some consideration, I realized there might be some demand for a campground of sorts near where I live. Having done a quick check, there are none within 30-40 miles of the area I have in mind. I am considering a location not far off of I-85 near Braselton, GA. Chateau Elan winery and resort is not far away, Road Atlanta is also pretty close (thinking this might appeal to racing fans and teams needing parking for events).

Any insight on what it would take to get a campground running? What might make it appealing (and things that would drive campers away)?
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:52 PM   #2
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The obvious first thing is a good sized chunk of land. It'll need to be attractive, such as trees and grass and any other geological attractions that people like to see when they look out their window. It should be accessible by a reasonably sized road that RVs can navigate and that the traffic won't raise the ire of neighbors. Then you have to contend with zoning if it's in an incorporated area (city, county), surveying, probably public notice and response period, and power, water and sewage requirements. Once you've got those ducks in a row, you will need to layout your property to include enough available lots that the property can at least pay for itself if not turn a profit based upon the price per unit per day you can reasonably charge within your market. You'll need to know how much the property will cost to buy or lease, the cost of improvements, the cost for operation, and then you see if the numbers all add up. If so, you have a feasible business plan to propose to attract financing unless you are planning on all of this being paid out of your pocket, in which case if you're that loaded why the heck are you on a skoolie forum?! Lol on that last bit. Then you file for a business license and start turning all those steps into actions.

If you want to make your campground themed or have themed weeks, at least you can attract or weed out which customers you'll most attract. I think for the most part if you have the right kind of customers then your reputation will grow. You may find the retirees don't like camping next to race fans. Stuff like that.

I'm sure others here who've launched businesses can offer even more steps, details and insights but these are just the broad strokes.
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Old 07-13-2016, 01:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Having given the matter some consideration, I realized there might be some demand for a campground of sorts near where I live. Having done a quick check, there are none within 30-40 miles of the area I have in mind. I am considering a location not far off of I-85 near Braselton, GA. Chateau Elan winery and resort is not far away, Road Atlanta is also pretty close (thinking this might appeal to racing fans and teams needing parking for events).

Any insight on what it would take to get a campground running? What might make it appealing (and things that would drive campers away)?
I would say (for us) shade and space (skoolie size ) Are you more for adults or planning for the family friendly version?

Here is a good article I found on just what you are asking. It breaks down everything from zoning to rough house campers. Maybe help with more ideas.

The article is I think 1980 but the idea/ concept is there
How to Open a Homestead Campground - Nature Community - MOTHER EARTH NEWS
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:32 PM   #4
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I think it is a good idea. I too am considering creating one. A place catering to and for skoolies.
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:03 PM   #5
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I just checked with a guy I know running a 10 spot with no attractions (except local to work) behind his convenience store....
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:05 PM   #6
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I think it is a good idea. I too am considering creating one. A place catering to and for skoolies.

My bus came from an Air Force base in Virginia
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:42 PM   #7
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One of the potential places I have in mind is more or less adjacent to the race tracks (Road Atlanta and what used to be Lanier Raceway across the street, a 3/8 mile oval track). Obviously this would be primarily catering to the racing crowd (both fans and teams), but open to anyone. Perhaps in the off season it would appeal to folks who would like to spend the winter months in a milder climate, but "not Florida".

Perhaps tomorrow I will drive by and get a better look at the properties; I expect values to be low as few people would want to live near a race track, and not many businesses (outside of the motorsports industry) would want to locate there either.
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Old 07-14-2016, 02:33 AM   #8
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My bus came from an Air Force base in Virginia
Cool! That must have been a fun drive home?
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Old 07-14-2016, 06:43 AM   #9
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Cool! That must have been a fun drive home?
My bad... It sold at government auction to a buyer in Arkansas... I bought it from him 30 miles away.

Someone else made the trip.

Another member showed me the auction results last year when I first found the bus.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f14/im...ong-11259.html

Did not give anywhere near asking price
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Old 07-17-2016, 09:03 PM   #10
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So I drove by today and did some quick Google checking on potential properties for a campground. The piece I initially had in mind is indeed vacant and undeveloped ... Google maps do not show a property line between it and the adjacent racetrack. As such, I assume it is all one contiguous piece and is owned by the racetrack. Across the road I saw several properties advertised for sale, with several real estate signs posted. I see this as encouraging ... if several properties are for sale (and depending how motivated the sellers are) it could lead to a buyer's market, and I can't see a great demand for these properties. If there was, why would several of them (still) be for sale?
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Old 07-17-2016, 11:04 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
So I drove by today and did some quick Google checking on potential properties for a campground. The piece I initially had in mind is indeed vacant and undeveloped ... Google maps do not show a property line between it and the adjacent racetrack. As such, I assume it is all one contiguous piece and is owned by the racetrack. Across the road I saw several properties advertised for sale, with several real estate signs posted. I see this as encouraging ... if several properties are for sale (and depending how motivated the sellers are) it could lead to a buyer's market, and I can't see a great demand for these properties. If there was, why would several of them (still) be for sale?
Sounds logical to me. Will you call and get a quote on the lots? I am curious now too.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:35 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
Having given the matter some consideration, I realized there might be some demand for a campground of sorts near where I live. Having done a quick check, there are none within 30-40 miles of the area I have in mind. I am considering a location not far off of I-85 near Braselton, GA. Chateau Elan winery and resort is not far away, Road Atlanta is also pretty close (thinking this might appeal to racing fans and teams needing parking for events).

Any insight on what it would take to get a campground running? What might make it appealing (and things that would drive campers away)?
I live in Suwanee and think this is a great idea
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I see this as encouraging ... if several properties are for sale (and depending how motivated the sellers are) it could lead to a buyer's market, and I can't see a great demand for these properties. If there was, why would several of them (still) be for sale?
I'm more of a pessimist; because they all think they are sitting on a gold mine and don't want to give them up. Good luck just the same. Directly across the street is convenient but probably higher priced. If you're already RV'ing expecially with a toad, what's a mile away?
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Old 06-21-2018, 06:35 PM   #14
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Any updates on this? I will be in Marietta at the end of the year and would love to have a place to camp and/or stop. That is when I get my Skoolie
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:51 PM   #15
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My wife,neighbor,buddy of mine & myself were discussing this subject just a few days ago, My friend is from a very small town pop 33 in the middle of farm country His parents owned the only bar & grill in town now retired place is sitting empty at the moment (different story ), The town is located off the beaten path off a 2 lane hi way , my thoughts are a nice RV park with full hookups & pool & clubhouse / restaurant & other amenities would draw full timers in looking for a place to sit-up for a couple months at a time without the distraction of vacationers looking to site see . ,,,,,Thoughts

Oh they all said it is a bad idea
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Old 06-28-2018, 06:56 PM   #16
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My wife,neighbor,buddy of mine & myself were discussing this subject just a few days ago, My friend is from a very small town pop 33 in the middle of farm country His parents owned the only bar & grill in town now retired place is sitting empty at the moment (different story ), The town is located off the beaten path off a 2 lane hi way , my thoughts are a nice RV park with full hookups & pool & clubhouse / restaurant & other amenities would draw full timers in looking for a place to sit-up for a couple months at a time without the distraction of vacationers looking to site see . ,,,,,Thoughts

Oh they all said it is a bad idea
Have you any idea how much you would need to invest in this project before the gates open? How many people a year do you need to make it profitable? What will draw me to a town of 33? I'm on the "it's a bad idea" side.
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:24 PM   #17
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Have you any idea how much you would need to invest in this project before the gates open? How many people a year do you need to make it profitable? What will draw me to a town of 33? I'm on the "it's a bad idea" side.
The draw would be its away from vacationers & weekend warriors , the answer to the other questions is no & don't know , it's in the just talking stage
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Old 06-28-2018, 07:28 PM   #18
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The draw would be its away from vacationers & weekend warriors , the answer to the other questions is no & don't know , it's in the just talking stage
Apparently it would be away from everything.
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Old 06-29-2018, 09:54 AM   #19
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Let's see if I can retype the post I was about to make when the computer decided on its own to reboot.


1)How tight a 2 lane road?
2) Parking on pavement, gravel, grass?
3) Sewer hook-ups?
4) Locals ok with "hobos" in town?


1) I get the away from the tourist mouthbreathers and I like that but how far from nowhere? Am I going to be able to get my 45' motorcoach in there without putting it in a ditch, hung on a railroad crossing, etc. Since I'm staying for 3 months, I'll need groceries, my ____ just broke and I need to go to Wally World/Home Depot; how far do I have to drive?


2) I dunno RV people but I imagine the fancy motorcoach guys don't want to park in grass. I'm leery of that with a skoolie just because I don't want to spin my tires on wet grass much less get stuck in mud after it rains.


3) A bar is going to have a better septic system than a house but still... 5, 50, or 500 RVs? If it's sewer, is the plant able to handle it? Same with the electric infrastructure. Assuming the bar has a 200 amp service, that's still only four 50 amp RV drops.


4) If the locals are against you, it's going to be a living hell at best. At worst, you won't get whatever zoning changes you need.

All that said, I'm actually for it. As it's in the talking stages, KEEP TALKING. There's a lot to research yet. It's certainly not an outright NO unless someone is already tired of dealing with people. Owning a bar, you get to see people at their finest I'm sure.
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:10 AM   #20
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Let's see if I can retype the post I was about to make when the computer decided on its own to reboot.


1)How tight a 2 lane road?
2) Parking on pavement, gravel, grass?
3) Sewer hook-ups?
4) Locals ok with "hobos" in town?


1) I get the away from the tourist mouthbreathers and I like that but how far from nowhere? Am I going to be able to get my 45' motorcoach in there without putting it in a ditch, hung on a railroad crossing, etc. Since I'm staying for 3 months, I'll need groceries, my ____ just broke and I need to go to Wally World/Home Depot; how far do I have to drive?


2) I dunno RV people but I imagine the fancy motorcoach guys don't want to park in grass. I'm leery of that with a skoolie just because I don't want to spin my tires on wet grass much less get stuck in mud after it rains.


3) A bar is going to have a better septic system than a house but still... 5, 50, or 500 RVs? If it's sewer, is the plant able to handle it? Same with the electric infrastructure. Assuming the bar has a 200 amp service, that's still only four 50 amp RV drops.


4) If the locals are against you, it's going to be a living hell at best. At worst, you won't get whatever zoning changes you need.

All that said, I'm actually for it. As it's in the talking stages, KEEP TALKING. There's a lot to research yet. It's certainly not an outright NO unless someone is already tired of dealing with people. Owning a bar, you get to see people at their finest I'm sure.
Lookup Cornlea, Ne,, looks like decent hi ways getting in & out far as the rest goes its what we decide to make it.

Of course I've never designed anything like this
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