Report: How to Operate a Successful RV Park
Editor's Note: The following is an article in CNN Money reviewing the key areas behind opening an RV park and attracting business.
Owning an RV park is one of those businesses where you adopt a lifestyle more than you stick to a business plan. You have to love the camping lifestyle. You had best be comfortable in the outdoors. And you absolutely have to be one of those people others call a "people person."
RVers talk. They pull their trailers into a space at any park in the United States and they start chatting with the other RVers who are spending the night. One of the favored subjects is the parks they have been to where the help or the owners were rude. They tell each other where not to go.
Likewise, they like to tell each other where they should go if they haven't yet been there. More than any form of advertising, word of mouth among RVers can make or break a park. Again, you had better be a people person.
Other traits are also desirable for RV park owners, such as making sure the park is always clean and that the amenities are in working order. If you have a clean park, with nice amenities and a friendly staff and owner, you can make good money.
In the past several years, the RV park industry has been a busy one. The boomer generation has caught on to the joys of RV vacations much as their parents once did. Many parks now offer Internet access and cable television to suit the slightly more upscale taste of the boomers. A few now even have food delivery service, full-service restaurants and health clubs.
"It's a good business and you can make good money," said David Gorin, president of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds, a trade association in Falls Church, Va. For a well-run park, at least 20-to-30 percent of gross revenue will be profit, said Gorin. Most new park owners can expect to see a profit in short order, as well.
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