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tentonlycamping
My wife and I are in the process of putting together a business plan for a new CampGround ... We already own the property ( 45 acres ) We are thinking about making the campground a Tent only Campground .. ( TO BEGIN WITH ) we feel by doing this and not running water and Power to every site .. It would save money for other nicer things ... Nice Pool - Play Ground - Game room ect..... Also we were thinging by pre setting up some of the sites with two 4 person tents .. that would go along way in helping new campers.......... Are we thinking wrong , I would like to hear from other owners.. thanks
RanMan
I'm not sure if this will work very well. Are these 45 acres very scenic? Even most tent campers today want a site with water and electric.
dalsgal
I agree that most tent campers want water and electric. They are also going to want/need to be very close to bathrooms or you are going to have lots of people using the woods as their facilities and you are going to have sanitation problems. They are also going to need the water for cooking and cleaning up. Are you in an area where people can safely have fires at the sites? Most people that like to tent camp aren't going to be there for the game rooms and pool. They are there for the nature. What is the wildlife situation there? Are there lots of critters like fire ants and spiders?

I think putting in a tent camping area would work but I think you would do better financially to put in more sites for regular camping, some for tent camping and then expand on either or both as necessary.
kcmoedoe
Is this a joke? Really, a pool, a gameroom, restrooms and showers, yet no services at sites so the park would be for tent campers only. Tent campers who can camp in any state or national park for free or nearly free? Even tent campers create a lot of wear and tear and waste. Just look at the Occupy Wallstreet sites across the country. I would think top, top dollar would be $15.00 for a site, $10.00 a more likely result. Even if you could get 10 to 20 campers a night (and I doubt it, except maybe on a Holiday Weekend or you had some kind of hippie rally like Burning Man) you would only gross $100 to maybe $300 on your best day. Even with a generous 6 month season I doubt you could gross over maybe $30,000. You would have costs to maintain the pool, the restrooms and showers, things like cleaning, toilet paper, paper towels, pool chemicals, repairs etc. You will need to advertise, to get insurance, have trash service and pay for the electricity and water to the buildings. Even tent campers need roads to their sites, and if they are dirt roads, they will need maintance. The buildings and pool would probably cost over $200,000 if you do it right, do it cheaper and wrong, no one will want to stay there. I just can't imagine there is anywhere close to enough tent campers to make such a venture even a midling success unless there is something really unique and special about where you are located. Good Luck
edcornflake
QUOTE(tentonlycamping @ Feb 14 2012, 11:14 AM) *

My wife and I are in the process of putting together a business plan for a new CampGround ...


Sounds like an interesting idea, but I know where I am on the east coast, the tents are outnumbered by RVs by a huge margin at every CG we go to. I think the previous posters raised some excellent points about the ROI when you can charge minimally for primitive sites. Perhaps you could cater to scouting groups though - we have an area where I live that was created for scouts and we tent there with the cub scouts as do other area packs (boy scouts nad girl scouts too). It's primitive and non-profit though - they do it because they want to preserve a camping/scouting heritage.
tentonlycamping
Thanks for all the good info ... No this is not a joke it was a question ...... I didn't need a lesson on business , I understand what cost money .. I grew up with out water at my campsite and it wasn't that bad ... But since I don't own a campground , I don't know how many people agree with me... People have become softer ( Even campers ) so having water and electric at all the sites maybe the way to go... And I agree it does help with dishes and cleaning....... I do like the Boy Scout Camp idea.............. I'm just not big on a dump load of RV's packed in like a trailer park............... Thanks again for all the info !!!
jim crowl
Interesting concept. I'd think that you would need some RV spaces to pay the bills- would not have to pack everyone in like sardines. I stayed in one private RV park that was quite scenic, and reminded one more of a state park, as you only saw landscaping and not other RV's looking out the window. It was almost always full capacity, and received high review ratings. The private and public parks where I have noticed the most tent campers have been ones on a river or lake. You might want to look at the European model. I've heard there are some nice tent campgrounds that are fairly modern, with pool, store, communal kitchen area etc. You will need to look further into the Scout idea. Many groups use their own Scout camps or have contracts with private land owners. In New Mexico for example the Scout groups often use the State Park group areas at a very special rate.
RFCN2
Hard for any of us to make any thoughtful comments without more information. I certainly did not think your inquiry was a joke. Likely, you will have to provide reasons for tenters to come and stay on your land. You have not said where it is located, so hard to know what attraction the land might have.

But if you are ocean or lake front it would help. Or be in the vicinity of some attraction that tenters like to go to.
RLM
I am not an owner of a campground, but I do own land and have given thought to many different uses, to include a small campground. I have some experience working with public land campgrounds and can say the the nicer USFS, State Park, and COE campgrounds usually have areas that are set up as individual campsites for tenters. They are similar to RV sites, but on a much smaller scale. They are well received by tent campers; especially those with families.

Utilites don't seem to matter in those type campgrounds - even for regular RVers who like being in that type "outdoor" environment. However, and this is in keeping with your "softer" comment, you must have potable water available and bathroom/shower facilities.

One consideration is what do your customers do with their spare time. Even the above mentioned public CGs have something in the surrounding area that attracts campers. Fishing, boating, site seeing, trails, biking, etc.

I know of one successful non-profit facility that has both tent sites and barrack type cabins. Their customer base is groups and they are usually full during their season.

Good luck.
Out Fishing
Howdy,

We are still in the ( very long) process of building our park. and due to enviromental issues we are planning to include 36 tenting sites in addition to all our RV sites. while i never have done the financials on just the tent sites i would caution about this approach.

however i will let you know what we are planning to mitigate just the tent sites.

we are planning a Inclusive Resort thus we are going to have all includsive Wood, ( We bought a fire wood processer so we can do this for about 40$ a cord max) Ice, ( An ice machine costs about 6-7,000 and is a huge cost saver to your campers), Power, Water, ( centralized to each tent cluster with the ability to sign out Power cables and Water Hoses for deposits) and close washroom facilities in that section of the Resort.

As we are located on a lake we are also offering sign outs for canoes, Aluminum boats and paddle boats. As we are aiming toward a more higher class customers and with these added bonuses ( young families do not have to drag around a canoe to go fishing for a couple hours) we feel we could charge 25-35$ ( CAN) for our tenting sites.

I would say to get that higher class clientele and the professional look of even a tenting campground you need to have all the attention to the details.

basically in my Code of conduct for my staff we say Treat the customer like Disneyland does. make it the perfect destination for camping.

Now Disclaimer as we have another year until our resort is open ( building this year and open next) i do not know how well this policy will work. However it may give you a different idea on how to build your tent only site. and get the money needed to operate within that.

But Good Luck!
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Out Fishing @ Apr 12 2012, 06:15 PM) *

Howdy,

We are still in the ( very long) process of building our park. and due to enviromental issues we are planning to include 36 tenting sites in addition to all our RV sites. while i never have done the financials on just the tent sites i would caution about this approach.

however i will let you know what we are planning to mitigate just the tent sites.

we are planning a Inclusive Resort thus we are going to have all includsive Wood, ( We bought a fire wood processer so we can do this for about 40$ a cord max) Ice, ( An ice machine costs about 6-7,000 and is a huge cost saver to your campers), Power, Water, ( centralized to each tent cluster with the ability to sign out Power cables and Water Hoses for deposits) and close washroom facilities in that section of the Resort.

As we are located on a lake we are also offering sign outs for canoes, Aluminum boats and paddle boats. As we are aiming toward a more higher class customers and with these added bonuses ( young families do not have to drag around a canoe to go fishing for a couple hours) we feel we could charge 25-35$ ( CAN) for our tenting sites.

I would say to get that higher class clientele and the professional look of even a tenting campground you need to have all the attention to the details.

basically in my Code of conduct for my staff we say Treat the customer like Disneyland does. make it the perfect destination for camping.

Now Disclaimer as we have another year until our resort is open ( building this year and open next) i do not know how well this policy will work. However it may give you a different idea on how to build your tent only site. and get the money needed to operate within that.

But Good Luck!

Interesting concept and hope it works out. Not sure I would row against the current and give up a lot of my profit centers (boat rentals, firewood sales, ice sales). Going to take a lot of marketing savvy to convince people to pay a very large premium ($35 for a tent site is very, very high in most places) for the priviledge of free ice. You are going to need a lot of boats, because offering an all inclusive and then not having the amenities available will make people upset very quickly. Also, since they don't have to pay for them, people will use them and keep them longer than normal. Let us know how it works.
Out Fishing
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Apr 16 2012, 10:08 PM) *

Interesting concept and hope it works out. Not sure I would row against the current and give up a lot of my profit centers (boat rentals, firewood sales, ice sales). Going to take a lot of marketing savvy to convince people to pay a very large premium ($35 for a tent site is very, very high in most places) for the priviledge of free ice. You are going to need a lot of boats, because offering an all inclusive and then not having the amenities available will make people upset very quickly. Also, since they don't have to pay for them, people will use them and keep them longer than normal. Let us know how it works.


true, but in our Province there is such a sever lack of campgrounds ( a government report indicates that we are short in the province by over 50%) and even the provincial parks charge 22-26 dollars per night for unserviced tent camping. ( sometimes with firewood more times without) so i feel it is not to high relative to the services we are providing compared to competitors. and as canoes and aluminum boats amortized over 5 year periods are relatively cheap so we can have 20-30 easily in storage.
also doing the math we feel that including these amenities in the price makes it a lot easier to supply the amenities with less labour and time involved in bagging wood and ice, taking deposits for boats ect. these activities are needed in a fee per use or buy system but not in a inclusive system.

luckily campground ownership is also a break even point prospect. you need a certain number of days occupied to cover your overheads and fixed costs, ( such as the huge building loan) then the rest is re-investment and income. hence the need to have larger campgrounds and the large amount near the 200 unit range. that's why im a little hesitant for the thread creator over the small number of tent only sites they want to create.

although this is only our second campground so any advise is always welcome!
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Out Fishing @ Apr 17 2012, 03:15 AM) *

true, but in our Province there is such a sever lack of campgrounds ( a government report indicates that we are short in the province by over 50%) and even the provincial parks charge 22-26 dollars per night for unserviced tent camping. ( sometimes with firewood more times without) so i feel it is not to high relative to the services we are providing compared to competitors. and as canoes and aluminum boats amortized over 5 year periods are relatively cheap so we can have 20-30 easily in storage.
also doing the math we feel that including these amenities in the price makes it a lot easier to supply the amenities with less labour and time involved in bagging wood and ice, taking deposits for boats ect. these activities are needed in a fee per use or buy system but not in a inclusive system.

luckily campground ownership is also a break even point prospect. you need a certain number of days occupied to cover your overheads and fixed costs, ( such as the huge building loan) then the rest is re-investment and income. hence the need to have larger campgrounds and the large amount near the 200 unit range. that's why im a little hesitant for the thread creator over the small number of tent only sites they want to create.

although this is only our second campground so any advise is always welcome!

Things are different in the frozen north, that is for sure. Here in the states, I would bet the liability insurance on those boats would exceed the boats cost. And we have any number of National and state parks, plus forest service and Corp of Engineer parks where tent camping is available for much less than $15.00 per night. The RV parks I have been involved with generally have moved away from tent camping. Those that have it, keep them because they have a large area and not the demand or the zoning to convert them to RV sites. By percentage, they have very few people who are looking for the RV park conveniences and amenities yet are tenting. I take if from your post that the primary focus of your park is going to be RVs. Curious, will it be a full featured RV park with pool, 50 amps, sewer, cable, wifi, etc.? It sounds like you are going to have a great park with a very interesting concept. When it is up and running let us know, I bet there will be a few forum readers who would love to add your park to a Canadian visit.
Out Fishing

Well right now we have no plans on including a Pool in the RV Resort, to our insurance company that's where the extra liability comes from. if a few years after construction and with popular demand we would consider adding one. ( we have a lake with floating docks. so swimming is available) and we cant have cable due to being 20 min from the nearest town with cable lol. and yea everything else full featured tho.

just a question with the forum rules on no solicitation how would i let some forum members know outside of personal messages when it is up and running?
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Apr 17 2012, 09:14 AM) *

Things are different in the frozen north, that is for sure. Here in the states, I would bet the liability insurance on those boats would exceed the boats cost. And we have any number of National and state parks, plus forest service and Corp of Engineer parks where tent camping is available for much less than $15.00 per night. The RV parks I have been involved with generally have moved away from tent camping. Those that have it, keep them because they have a large area and not the demand or the zoning to convert them to RV sites. By percentage, they have very few people who are looking for the RV park conveniences and amenities yet are tenting. I take if from your post that the primary focus of your park is going to be RVs. Curious, will it be a full featured RV park with pool, 50 amps, sewer, cable, wifi, etc.? It sounds like you are going to have a great park with a very interesting concept. When it is up and running let us know, I bet there will be a few forum readers who would love to add your park to a Canadian visit.

If you haven't already laid the power and water lines, consider a private cable TV system. Cable is very important to a lot of guests. Upfront costs are pretty high, but would be much cheaper to do when installing the utilities than later.
Out Fishing
QUOTE(kcmoedoe @ Apr 19 2012, 06:42 PM) *

If you haven't already laid the power and water lines, consider a private cable TV system. Cable is very important to a lot of guests. Upfront costs are pretty high, but would be much cheaper to do when installing the utilities than later.


Wow, lol i never did think of that. and i wouldn't know where to start, do you know anything about private cable systems? so i can start my research with a base?

Thanks for the idea! ( it would be unique in my area)
kcmoedoe
QUOTE(Out Fishing @ Apr 19 2012, 06:46 PM) *

Wow, lol i never did think of that. and i wouldn't know where to start, do you know anything about private cable systems? so i can start my research with a base?

Thanks for the idea! ( it would be unique in my area)

In the states, parks use one of the commericial installations of either Directv or Dish network (satellite Television providers). I am not sure what or if there is a Canadian equivalent. This is the service that provides the programming. From there, you will need head end unit, a combiner and an amplifier. There should be a television or commercial satellite company that can provide this equipment and the installation. To run the cabling, maybe you could check and see if a line tech for a cable company in the area wanted to earn some extra money and install it on the side. It is more complicated than just running miles of coax cable. The equipment for a 12 channel cable system runs about $7,000 to $10,000 US., not including the cabling to the sites. The satellite companies charge about $3.00 per site per month for the programming You will be getting mostly the basic channels, things like ESPN, HBO and the like are much more expensive. It can be suspended for up to six months a year, so you wouldn't be paying for months you were closed. This type of service is most often offered in apartment complexes and hotels, you won't find too much information of you search for it under campgrounds, but the fundamental systems are the same. Good luck, it sounds like if you can get all the loose ends tied up it would be a great marketing addition to your park.
edcornflake
Then you could mount some weatherproof flat screens at each site, on a tree. That'd be awesome... of course, I'm probably the only idiot that would want that, but I like watching movies outside when I camp... rolleyes.gif
Out Fishing
lol well we already and got a nice digital projector lol. no woodland flat screens tho haha
pianotuna
Hi,

In Canada the choices would be Bell TV or ExpressVU (oh yes Ma Bell at her finest) and Star Choice.

There are other regional players such as Telus.
vincee
In my opinion, I any new campground has to have Wi-Fi, perhaps even before adding a luxury like cable tv. In regards to tent only campgrounds, I can not for the life of me think why anybody would want to go there. Back in the 70's when I was but a young youth (Ahhh, the glory years!) I used to camp in a small 2 man pup tent at an area state park. I would always get a site with electric so I could plug a radio in at night and a coffee pot in the morning. Today, camping in our motor home, we still see families opt for the campsites with hook ups for their tents, paying more, than the non hook up sites. As far as opening a campground with "rows of rv's looking like a trailer park", again in my opinion that would only happen if your campground is not treed acreage and everyone was just plopped in an open field type setting. I would think laying plastic water lines (they generally are only put in shallow ditchs, different that hard lines going to stick and brick buildings) and electric would be the first alternative of start up before pools, rec rooms and the so forth. Has the perspective campground owners thought of who will be their customers and where and how (advertise) will they promote their business. Finally, regarding erecting pre-installed tents and campsites for those who do not have camping gear, a very aggressive marketing professional lady from Western New York State tried that concept 2 years ago in a bunch of New York State Parks. She had white (noticable) tents pre-erected on wooden bases with cots, bedding, cooking supplies, coolers and camp fire wood all set for the arriving campers. Her business lasted one camping season.
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