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Old 05-03-2012, 06:46 PM   #11
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I looked into buying a few photography studios a few years back and the books looked very similar - with a loan to pay on the property there'd be no income left over for the owners. (all were looking to retire and owned the building/property/studio/business free and clear).

Not sure if a commercial loan would be any different on a CG vs any other business, but 10 or maybe 15 year loan term is all one can usually get - $2.5mil over 15 years at what, 6% is gonna run $250k a year. Most employees would be seasonal - office/gate/store person, grass/mtce person, some part time help for long days, weekends, holidays perhaps $45k in labor (also figure as owner you may fill in or have one of those jobs and will work winters if needed - so $40k for you - $90k all told.)
Taxes can be looked up but vary by area a lot I'd imagine.
Utilities - usually can calll the elec company with an address and get an average bill for the past year (something to do next rainy day!).

Unknowns would be overall insurance and maintenance - roads (gravel) fire rings elec outlets, water/sewer, trash, bathrooms/showers, pool and other amenities.

RV Parks and Campgrounds for Sale - 856 Found has a listing of ones for sale...$150k to at least $3.5m!
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #12
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not a retirement for the one who wishes to relax

Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post

to own/operate a campground?

Seems like it might be an interesting way to retire!
retire doing this ??
well yes I guess
if one wants
to keep pretty ((darn busy)) in retirement
or have a good right hand man to run the place
which will be even more cost for the right one

my neighbor claims that
he owns a small RV Resort a state over
it is not his full time job
he seems to not be
rolling in the dough

Mountainman

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Old 05-03-2012, 08:35 PM   #13
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I have seen CG for sale in the 150K range and if you were to purchase it you most likely would have to put another 200k in repairs to the campground. There was a KOA in upper NY state for sale for $150,000 and all of the water and sewer lines were on top of the ground. Under new laws all plumbing must be buried. They also had a RV repair shop on site that was going a great business and this was not included with the sale of the property. The only thing making money was the RV repair. There was also a CG for sale in Nova Scotia, the person was honest and informed us that the campground was always full but again the water and sewer lines where above ground and would have to be replaced before the CG could be put into service under new ownership. Plus in Ont. because of the stringent water laws, it could cost 100 of thousands of dollars to bring well water up to government standards. You might have to install a chlorination system or a reverse osmosis or both depending on what the inspector tells you to do.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:05 AM   #14
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Sound like some pretty 'low rent' campgrounds...water pipes run above ground? Besides the freezing issue I can't imagine they dont' get broken and leak.

as for water...perhaps my assumption that campgrounds provide safe, potable water is wrong...
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:25 AM   #15
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I must say that dealing with the public is that very last thing I would do in retirement. Most people are great, but the 10% that are jerks would take all of the fun out of it.
I have been to a lot of private campgrounds, and most of the owners did not appear very happy.
Besides, if I had the money to buy a campground, I would just stick it in the bank and go camping. Come to think of it, that is what we are doing!
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:27 AM   #16
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I do work for a campground/casino/RV Park.

They pay close to $2k every summer for us to knock down their ants. I know its a small bill in the big scheme of things, but everything adds up...
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Old 05-04-2012, 05:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post

as for water...perhaps my assumption that campgrounds provide safe, potable water is wrong...

if using well water here in Calif
and for public use
yes -- State tested often

some here have been closed down
until water brought back up to standard

installing a chorine injector in a well
is not that expensive
a few thousand dollars covers it



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Old 05-04-2012, 07:21 AM   #18
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If I were looking for some retirement income, rather than a buy a campground, I would buy or build a storage lot for RV's.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #19
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DH worked at a campground going repairs and it went through 3 owners. Original owner did well but its been a downhill battle ever since. Price of CG of course went up with each sale but income doesn't really change. You have to decide if you'd have to raise the rates in order to make the payments and if so will that then be out of line with other campgrounds in the area. One set of owners had other jobs that had to help supplement the costs especially through the winter months. There is also a lot of repair-broken water lines, crushed sewers etc, upgrades - if you buy a 30 amp CG you know you'll have to upgrade it to a 50 amp, adding WIFI or cable etc) and upkeep that go into CG that the casual camper don't usually see.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #20
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The bottom line is, it costs a lot of money to operate a CG. But nobody commented on how lucrative it is either. It probably comes down to the 3 L's of any business venture and when you have that, you win. Afterall, many are successful. I can count at least 15 within a 1 1/2 hours drive of my house and I live out in the boonies compared to other locations. It is beautiful here in the boonies though.
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