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Old 02-13-2009, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Heart of the San Joaquin
350 posts, read 1,014,503 times
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What are the pros/cons to buying a campground? Are they difficult to manage? Do you typically go through a real estate agent to find them?
I thought it would be kind of a cool retirement job. Any thoughts/input?
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Old 02-13-2009, 07:03 PM
 
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 16,328,930 times
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Why don't you work for the national parks service running a campground for a season or two, then decide if you want to go through with it. The national park service is always looking for semi-volunteers (there is some compensation, usually a campground space and a stipend) who will live on-site a run things for a season. Several of my relatives have done this upon retirement and enjoyed it. Some states have similar programs. Look for campground host positions under "opportunities" here: Volunteer
This really is a great program.
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Old 02-13-2009, 11:27 PM
 
3,191 posts, read 8,243,924 times
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momojojo

Are you wanting raw land to start from scratch, or possibly looking to buy an already established place?

I always thought that would be an interesting thing to do too!
There was this neat little campground up near Franklin NC, not too big, part for trailers, part tents. It wasn't fancy, no pool no lake, but a clean, mnaintained bathhouse, playground and well kept grounds. The nicest older couple ran it. And lived in a tidy little cabin to the back.

Would you want to cater to tent camping ? Or trailer/motorhomes? Both?

Would you want to be some where that people could come to all yr. round? Or near the beach, mountains, or other attractions?

Is this something you would want to supervise and operate yourself, or hire it out?

What amenities would you want to offer?
Waterfront? Secluded?

I think those might be a few questions to be thinking of.
Good luck!! Let us know what you are thinking of!
I think it sounds interesting!
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Old 02-14-2009, 06:40 AM
 
19,078 posts, read 21,897,453 times
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Buying and running a camp ground is my dream retirement gig as well. crazyma offers good questions to consider.
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Old 02-14-2009, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Heart of the San Joaquin
350 posts, read 1,014,503 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyma View Post
momojojo

Are you wanting raw land to start from scratch, or possibly looking to buy an already established place?

I always thought that would be an interesting thing to do too!
There was this neat little campground up near Franklin NC, not too big, part for trailers, part tents. It wasn't fancy, no pool no lake, but a clean, mnaintained bathhouse, playground and well kept grounds. The nicest older couple ran it. And lived in a tidy little cabin to the back.

Would you want to cater to tent camping ? Or trailer/motorhomes? Both?

Would you want to be some where that people could come to all yr. round? Or near the beach, mountains, or other attractions?

Is this something you would want to supervise and operate yourself, or hire it out?

What amenities would you want to offer?
Waterfront? Secluded?

I think those might be a few questions to be thinking of.
Good luck!! Let us know what you are thinking of!
I think it sounds interesting!
We would like an established campground. I saw one for sale on a website for around $450,000. 22 acres, river frontage, a lot of spaces plus a teepee, and included a pre-civil war house to live in. I just want a friendly, down home kind of place with stuff to do like horseshoe pits, fishing, tubing, campfires, maybe some old bomb proof horses to rent out, a small store to sell the basic necessities, a place to live on the property, somewhere that perhaps could be rented out for family reunions, etc. Some RV spaces, some camping spots. We'd like to run it ourselves, but have back up employees for when we want to get away. I think it would be awesome. I googled campgrounds for sale and came up with a bunch of sites, from the millions of dollars to a couple hundred thousand.

Thanks for the suggestions. My cousin does the volunteer thing each summer in Tuolumne Meadows. They're camp hosts and seem to really enjoy it. They've made friends from all over. I'll check it out.
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Old 02-14-2009, 11:01 AM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,185 posts, read 11,224,804 times
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Definitely talk to people who do it now or have done it in the past.

There's a fellow that bought the KOA campground in Stark, FL that was always more than willing to discuss his campground with interested parties. I used to follow his discussion on the irv2dotcom website. You may want to check to see if he's still active over there. (I haven't been on that site since we sold our RV four years ago.)

I also stress to research people who formerly ran campgrounds. See what they enjoyed and why they got out. I rememember one saying they got out because of sewerage issues. They in effect had their own treatment plant onsite, but they still had a lot of government hassle and costs.

You also want to do good market research. A good number of RV'ers would rather pull off into Walmart parking lots to spend the night versus paying a campground fees. Will your CG be a destination / tourist spot, or more for transients who are passing through?

Either way, I wish you luck. I'd like to see people get to live out their dream.
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Central Maryland - Mt Airy
160 posts, read 712,314 times
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I've tossed around a similar idea for retirement. I'd like a camp ground area with options to include full hook-up sites, cabins and a tent area, as well as corrals, barn and horse facilites. I want to specialize in a horse-friendly situation where people can bring their horses, camp and be able to offer miles of trails for them to enjoy. I'd also offer guided trail rides with my own mules. For non-horsey people, there'd be swimming pool, fishing and hiking trails where they can walk and bring dogs. I know there are similar places out there now, been to a few myself, which is why I started thinking about maybe running my own someday. Not sure what area of the country I'd like to be in though. Would prefer to stay in/around the east coast.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Heart of the San Joaquin
350 posts, read 1,014,503 times
Reputation: 324
Quote:
Originally Posted by Debi18 View Post
I've tossed around a similar idea for retirement. I'd like a camp ground area with options to include full hook-up sites, cabins and a tent area, as well as corrals, barn and horse facilites. I want to specialize in a horse-friendly situation where people can bring their horses, camp and be able to offer miles of trails for them to enjoy. I'd also offer guided trail rides with my own mules. For non-horsey people, there'd be swimming pool, fishing and hiking trails where they can walk and bring dogs. I know there are similar places out there now, been to a few myself, which is why I started thinking about maybe running my own someday. Not sure what area of the country I'd like to be in though. Would prefer to stay in/around the east coast.
That sounds awesome. There is a place in CA (one of the few) where you can camp with horses and ride the trails around the beach/mountains. It's right by Morro Bay and is called Montana de Oro. I have a mule as well.
I'm thinking of an area where it wouldn't need to close for the winter season, so possibly Texas. I've started looking on line for information about running a campground and all the boring stuff like insurance, etc. Good luck to you.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:24 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
33,875 posts, read 42,085,992 times
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Not to rain on your parade but I have to ask this question: why on earth would you want to retire and become a landlord for transients?
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Old 02-16-2009, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Heart of the San Joaquin
350 posts, read 1,014,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Not to rain on your parade but I have to ask this question: why on earth would you want to retire and become a landlord for transients?
We don't consider owning a campground being a landlord for transients. Providing a service that caters to campers and RV'ers, in a destination location, would be a retirement business for us. Between the two of us we have law enforcement, business, insurance and construction backgrounds. We feel we could offer a quality facility for campers, with a family atmosphere focusing on fun and great experience. We'll be young retirees, want property and challenge. We feel this would be a good thing for us. We aren't big on traveling (I'm a 3-day max kind of traveler), we have family spread out that could visit, and we like to stay busy. That's why on earth.
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