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Old 07-26-2021, 08:52 AM   #101
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Curious what kind of crowd -- "sporting event people -- you want to cater to. Intuitively I sense rowdy.

Why develop utilities? Wouldn't an empty field work just as well. Tents and self contained campers should work -- they ain't gonna be there anyway as they're all at the secret "event." You'll still have the cleanup though.

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Old 07-26-2021, 10:40 AM   #102
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I have always wanted to buy 20 acres of fairly flat land and set up an RV storage business. Capital costs are low and I would hire people to do the customer facing stuff. Land is expensive right now, so not seriously looking.

Maybe you could do a hybrid with the land. 5 acres for RV storage which will generate income year round with low capital costs and upkeep. No utilities required. Minimal customer service. Then develop the remaining land for camping. 100 electric only and maybe 5 acres of open field for boondockers. Upgrade as desired for additional revenue. Always look at incremental costs vs. revenue. Don't want to spend $100k to make a marginal $5k / year.
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:55 AM   #103
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5 acres for RV storage which will generate income year round with low capital costs and upkeep.
That's what seasonal campers are for.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:04 AM   #104
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But seasonal campers want pads, water, electric, and sewer. And picnic tables and sheds and ...

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Old 07-26-2021, 11:49 AM   #105
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"Opinions? Let me have it.."


If you have to go onto an internet forum to help make up your mind, you should not open a park.



Just my opinion.
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Old 07-27-2021, 12:11 PM   #106
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GO FOR IT !! Thats what I say. there's only one way to know if you can handle it.
When we went on our 2 month journey a few months ago, we came across a campground in Foley Alabama, where the guy was working on the park while the customers were in other areas and the price reflected it, myself I look for parks that have power, water and sewer is nice but not needed, I am driving around looking at stuff, not staying at a park.

Again I say GO FOR IT.
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Old 07-29-2021, 06:35 PM   #107
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Many decades ago I was asked to take over coaching our school's cross country team. While I had run to train for other sports, I never competed in cross country. First thing I did was to spend three hours with a local state champion cross country coach. Time well spent. We took a team which had never won a meet in school history to a winning record in year one.

You need to interview several working campground owners, preferably in Illinois, and pick their brains. There are many issues that those of us who have never owned a campground won't know which will be pertinent. Take your time. Do your homework. Building a campground is easy compared to doing all the things you need to do to make it a success for you and your family.
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:20 PM   #108
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Late to this thread.

It's a 24 hr/day job unless you've got lots of employees and then it's 18 hr/days

But someone's got to do it...
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Old 07-29-2021, 07:51 PM   #109
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On the lighter side, Rodney Dangerfield's business advice from Back to School comes to mind!


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Old 07-29-2021, 10:07 PM   #110
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I have never operated an RV park but have operated a mobile home park some decades ago.

Back in the 70's early 80's the cost to develop a mobile home park IF YOU ALRADY OWNED THE LAND AND IT WAS ZONED the cost was about $10,000 per lot for streets, water, sewer and 100 amp power pedestals. These would be bare dirt sites - no concrete pads/sidewalks.

Also - one is ON DUTY - available 24/7/365 because all sorts of issues come up at the most inopportune times, like nights, weekends and holidays.

YOU need to be a good people person and know how to read/handle people and their 'emotional' situations.....and they will be evident.

Don't forget, maintaining those roads, the utilities and the lawns/landscaping is YOUR JOB....along with the maintenance required to keep the lawnmowers and other equipment functional....unless you have a staff to take care of those issues and money to pay them IF you can find qualified personnel.

And don't forget the book keeping, property and liability insurance, taxes, water/garbage and sewer costs.


Good luck.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:08 AM   #111
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If you think it will cost $10 it will be $500. Plan for it. That may be a low estimate. We thought we could open a business for $10,000. We sunk a mill into it and still went under for a lack of funding. Find a good accountant and a lawyer. The lawyer doesn’t have to be top notch. Have a draw for families. I can’t get my wife and family to go to any park without a pool and something for the kids to do.

I wish you all the best. Owning a park is my dream.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:11 AM   #112
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Start at a base development coat of $2million and add insurance at about $1.50/$1000 of insurance. Ensure the land is zoned for the rv use you intend and go from there. If you are excited about it and there is already interest go for it.
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Old 07-30-2021, 12:30 AM   #113
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Cheap land in Illinois?Farm land is going for $7000.00 to $11,000 per acre.Taxes are through the roof.The state would stick there nose in and make you do things there way or no way.I assume you are talking up north because you say sports venue near by.People are looking to get away from the concrete jungle not go to it.If the land can be had cheap.Makes me think it must be bottom ground that would flood and have campers floating away at some point real soon.I know of a campground in central Illinois.That has been in business for almost 50 years.They had live Country music every Saturday night in what they call the Opry House.We real good until Covid came along and destroyed it.You might ask him could probably buy it cheap.I am sure he would gladly sell it and walk away from the nightmare that has destroyed his never was to profitable business.
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Old 07-30-2021, 01:10 AM   #114
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Spending time on this thread is fine, but spend serious time developing a detailed business plan. Banker doesn't need one? Great! You still need one. It's the only way you can prove to yourself and your wife that you know what bases need to be covered and you have some idea of how to cover them. Assuming you pull the trigger, the business plan serves as the guidepost to keep you on track. It's also the measuring stick for determining your progress. It serves to inform your company policies and procedures. It not only states your vision, it also states how you plan to achieve it. Memory can fail you. Commit it to paper or at least bit and bytes. The mere act of pulling the plan together will teach you more about the business than this or any forum thread ever will. This may be your future livelihood. Use every tool available to insure it will work or find out that it was an interesting idea that's not to be before you sink everything into it.

When you think it's done, ask people whose opinion you respect to critique it, to look for the things you missed or got wrong (and there will be). Then, if the plan is feasible and you pull the trigger, don't just set it aside. Business plans should be living documents, reviewed and revised frequently as things change for good or ill.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:05 AM   #115
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I've read about every post in this super long thread. I don't see much mention of obtaining special use permit from local authorities. Where I'm from we recently had a proposed RV park get shot down due to permit process and lake people with big mouths and deep pockets opossing it. Not sure if your offer to purchase could be contingent on zoning approval? It was a very long and expensive process for the developer with a big fat NO at the end.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:09 AM   #116
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I've read about every post in this super long thread. I don't see much mention of obtaining special use permit from local authorities. Where I'm from we recently had a proposed RV park get shot down due to permit process and lake people with big mouths and deep pockets opossing it. Not sure if your offer to purchase could be contingent on zoning approval? It was a very long and expensive process for the developer with a big fat NO at the end.

see post #7.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:17 AM   #117
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see post #7.
Yes wmtire you did scratch the surface, but water, electric code is vastly different than special use permit (SUP). Code is pretty cut and dried, SUP is subject to public comment and the whim of the planning commission.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:31 AM   #118
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Link to rv park permit saga

Trying to link to article on RV park. Note the date sept of 2020, just a month or 2 ago got final NO, from township.

https://www.record-eagle.com/news/lo...8fe6d1d64.html
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:32 AM   #119
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Yes wmtire you did scratch the surface, but water, electric code is vastly different than special use permit (SUP). Code is pretty cut and dried, SUP is subject to public comment and the whim of the planning commission.

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Is the county fair or political in such? Will a good old boy system let you build...or let you spend bunches of money on infrastructure then never let you open as they have friends/family who will try to pick it up on the cheap later. Don't just assume you can do as you wish especially if you are not familiar with the ones in power there. Are you friends or an outsider?

I think we are saying the same things in different ways.
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Old 07-30-2021, 07:35 AM   #120
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I think we are saying the same things in different ways.
Agreed, it can be a long and brutal process.
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