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Old 05-03-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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So what does it cost to own/run a campground?

Not sure if this is the best forum, but it's about Dollars and Cents!

So what's it cost to own/operate a campground?

Seems like it might be an interesting way to retire!

My local 'resort' is a member only resort and I can guesstimate their income, but don't really have any idea on what the costs are to owning/running a campground.
I know you've got grass/maintenance, store/activities, and property taxes.
One public one we've stayed at a number of times as some 250 sites (if not more) and on the weekends we've been there 70% are full at $50/ea, plus they have at least 80 seasonal/permanent sites at $2900k a year.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:45 AM   #2
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I've seen ads for CG's for sale and some of them offer the "books" for you to review.
You might find one in your area or prospective area to look at.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:55 AM   #3
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I think allot would depend on the geographic location. Believe it or not the KOA here in my hometown was charging $1200 a month per spot. The campground was full. This was during the oil/natural gas boom.
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Old 05-03-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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You forgot Water, Electric, Sewer. One more very important thing, INSURANCE. Not sure what kind of coverage you need, but it won't be cheap. Also since it is a commercial property, the cost of electric, water, and sewer but will be much higher. Also if you have employees, you have another set of payroll taxes, and worker's comp, etc.

The last thing, and maybe the most important, you can never leave, if you are open year round.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
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Not too hard to put estimates together but it certainly depends on area (closed during the winter, local attractions, major travel route). Major questions are self run or hired help. Advertising, both print and web, would be required. Competing parks. Normal operation expenses and capital improvements.

Is this your main source of income or will you keep your current job and have the wife & kids run the place? How much of your free time are you willing to invest?
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prof_fate View Post
Not sure if this is the best forum, but it's about Dollars and Cents!

So what's it cost to own/operate a campground?

Seems like it might be an interesting way to retire!

My local 'resort' is a member only resort and I can guesstimate their income, but don't really have any idea on what the costs are to owning/running a campground.
I know you've got grass/maintenance, store/activities, and property taxes.
One public one we've stayed at a number of times as some 250 sites (if not more) and on the weekends we've been there 70% are full at $50/ea, plus they have at least 80 seasonal/permanent sites at $2900k a year.
I had to really laugh at the 3rd line! Retire!! Youroo!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:13 AM   #7
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^All of those costs would be disclosed in the books.
One would hope to get competent staff so the owner could leave.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:20 AM   #8
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I think insurance would be the big expense.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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Don't forget the monthly payment on the loan you took out to buy the campground. Personally I wouldn't want to own a campground.
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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We looked at several CG to purchase several years ago. They were all in PEI. I got the financial books from all three. The first showed a profit of $10,000 a year with no pay going to the owners. When I inquired about then lack of income he responded that they ran a cash business and the income was higher but he did not show it on the books. I backed away from this deal. it would be hard to get a loan with only $10,000 profit. The next showed a loss of $2,000 but they did show a salary of $30,000 for the owner. The loss was because they had invested over $60,000 back into the CG of upgrade washrooms and office. The 3rd would not pass over the books until I gave a down payment on the business. I would not purchase a CG to retire. The work load is great and if you where to purchase a great CG the cost could be over $1,000,000. A KOA in Ont. was listed for 2.5 million four years ago.
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