Operating a camping business can be fun and it can be a great way to make money! It is a big endeavor though with plenty to take care of for it to be successful. Many families enjoy going camping, but they want the experience to be safe and exciting. It is going to be hard work, but it can be worth the effort if you love the great outdoors and you are dedicated to offering experiences people won’t forget!
You will need land for a campground business. It needs to be in a prime location that is easy for people to get to. While some will arrive in their vehicles with tents, many will show up with 5th wheel campers or large RVs. They need to be able to easily get in and out of that location. There needs to be ample room for several campers at once too.
If you already own some land in a decent location, getting it ready for campers does take time and money. If you don’t have any land yet, you will have to carefully evaluate what is on the market and compare prices. You want a prime location, but you also want a very good price for the land you purchase to operate such a business.
You must look beyond the land though for a successful location to put a campground business. You need electrical lines and plenty of water accessible. There could be issues with the gas lines too. Find out what is required in your area and complete an assessment of what can be used and what would need to be added or replaced. The cost of changes and upgrades can be a huge expense.
Not everyone who shows up will have a camper with them or want to stay in a tent. The best locations offer some type of onsite lodging. These can be various sized log cabins or other designs that offer plenty of comfort. They can be more enticing than a typical hotel room for a family. The cost of such structures, where to put them, and who to hire to build them all has to be taken into consideration.
What types of permits are necessary where you reside? What tax laws do you need to abide by both locally and Federally? Being out of compliance can get you into hot water and also be very expensive. Make sure you have separate business accounts and personal accounts. Talk to a business attorney about the business so you can’t be held personally liable should someone sue you.
There will be insurance required for such a business. What you should have in place will depend on where you reside and what all you offer. Since you will likely have some employees working for you, worker’s compensation is going to be necessary.
Enhance the Experience
There are several ways you can enhance the overall experience with a campground business. A playground is a nice addition the parents will appreciate. Other perks can include a swimming pool or a miniature golf course. You can offer movies outdoors on a big screen and even a small store where you sell drinks, ice cream, ice, and fishing supplies.
You may decide to offer tours for a given price. This would take the campers from the site to a given location for the day and back. Providing such transporation and a guide around that area can be very appealing to them. You can also offer a car rental service for them to get a vehicle and go check out the sites on their own.
You can’t just create a campground and then hope people show up! While you will have those that drop in and ask for a spot for the night or a few days, most will reserve in advance. Make sure they can call to talk to someone. Offering online reservations via your website can also be convenient to them. Successfully marketing the business lets people know where you are and what you offer.