Camping is a very popular hobby. Thousands of RVs, campers, trailers, and tents are sold each year, and their buyers rove all over the countryside, looking for a place to set up.
That might be where you want to come in. Opening a campground can be a very lucrative business, providing the opportunity to make good revenue on a fairly small piece of land. An added benefit is the opportunity to meet people from all over the country.
If you’re hoping to see some of those travelers pull in at your place, think about what you might need to do to develop a great campground.
Make It a Business First
It may seem pretty simple just to rent a space and collect the money, but a campground is a business with lots of things to keep track of.
Just advertising and managing reservations can be a real burden if you don’t have a good system, so a smart first step will be to purchase campground management software to keep all those functions efficient and easy for yourself and your guests.
And just as any business does, you should take out some appropriate insurance. Campgrounds can fall victim to floods, fires, earthquakes, and even sinkholes, and your visitors can always sprain an ankle or be bitten by an animal. Get good coverage before you accept your first reservation.
A Campground Is Not Just a Field
While you might be able to get by with a very, very basic setup for people who want to do primitive camping, most people will be driving in with their home away from home. That means constructing all-weather roads and parking areas, as well as some lighting during the night.
Those provisions might be enough to make it a campground, but if you want to be competitive, you’ll need more. Utility hookups are an essential feature of the best sites because most people are looking for an at-home experience on the road. They want water, they want their sewage to be piped away, and they want electricity without the all-night roar of a generator. The more of those you can provide, the bigger your market share will be.
You Need An Angle
Let’s say you have everything ready to go. Your office is operational, your coverage is in place, and you have your sites ready for use. You just need one last ingredient: an identity.
The busiest camping areas of the country are dotted with dozens of sites, and each one is jockeying to get the visitors that the other ones can’t. Unless you are miles and miles from the next campground, you need to do the same thing. And if you are far away from other campgrounds, you have an even taller order.
You need to identify what makes your campground unique before you even open the gates. Are you further from the city lights, permitting a better view of the stars? Do you have better road access or a more scenic backdrop? What about wildlife? Can your visitors expect to see deer, elk, or moose casually grazing outside?
Think practical, too. Highlight your proximity to stores or other sources of necessities, but balance that with an identity as a remote, peaceful area.
So there you have it. A few of the basics of how to develop your own campground into a destination for travelers from all over the country. There will be more things you’ll learn along the way, of course, but this will get you started. A great first step would be to camp a lot yourself so that you can develop that front-row perspective of what makes a campground good or bad.
From there, it’s all up to your business sense and determination to make your campground a success.