Designing and Building a Campground or RV Park
Making sure you get the most out of your investment.
Step One: Do a comprehensive Feasibility study. This study should have included a written description of the type of park best suited for the market you have selected and then projected the profit and loss for the first five years. You may or may not have identified a specific piece of property for the study or you may have only looked at a general area. This study should have also helped you make the decision whether to try to purchase a franchise from one of the two franchise campground companies or to operate as an independent or Good Sam park.
Step Two: Identify the specific parcel of land that
you want to develop and then to begin to quantify the costs associated with
that specific parcel. Just a few of the questions you need to answer before
you commit to purchasing the property are:
Can I get proper zoning?
What offsite improvements will be required?
How will the sewage be handled?
What is the source of water?
Are there any unusual environmental requirements?
Is there a drainage problem?
Is the land level or is the grade too steep to be developed?
Can I install cabins or other fixed rental units?
You can try to answer these and numerous other questions by yourself or you can retain Staves Consulting to do a complete site analysis for you.
Step Three: Develop the specific campground or RV park
layout of sites and amenities. If you purchased a franchise, the franchise
company will do this for you. If you have elected to be an independent park
then you will have to hire someone to design the park. This is a preliminary
concept design and will be used in order to obtain the proper zoning and planning
department approval. Do not spend money on the detailed plans until you have
preliminary approval of the concept design. Almost any landscape engineer
or architect will tell you they can do the design and they can. The problem
is that in most cases they do not understand the different type of sites that
need to go into a park to meet a specific market niche. For this you need
someone who understands the entire RV park business. The advantage of a local
engineer is that he is licensed in your area and usually knows the people
in the planning and zoning departments. If someone who is not licensed in
your area develops your concept design then you will have to take it to a
licensed engineer later to develop the final plans.
If you are doing your own design, Staves Consulting can be retained to provide advice to your engineer or we can find a qualified person to prepare it for you.
Step Four: After receiving zoning and planning department
approval, your local engineer or architect can draw the final plans and solicit
bids on the construction of your RV Park or campground. Local knowledgeable
people can best handle this step.
Staves Consulting is available to review the specifications before they go out as well as the bids you receive and to try to reduce the total cost of construction.
Step Five: Build the park. But at the same time, even
though you will be buried in details, dont forget that now is the time
to begin to finalize all of your marketing and business plans for the operation
of the park. You will also need to prepare marketing materials like billboard
ads, directory ads, rack cards, and many other marketing items.
Go to the Manage and Market section to see how Staves Consulting can help you with this effort.
What do you need to do to get started?
Register to download a free report
outlining over 20 important things to watch out for when selecting a building
site or evaluating a campground for purchase.
Contact Staves Consulting and tell us what your needs and concerns are. You may call us at 1-406-656-7086, email directly or fill out a short form that tells us a little bit about your project.