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Discussion Starter #1
So, a little about my project. I am opening a Campground to service the Hatfield McCoy and Spearhead Trails. The property we have purchased is 7 acres in Pocahontas, Virginia. We are open to all kinds of suggestions and the more input the better! We are planning to open this summer around the same time as the Pocahontas branch of the Spearhead trails.

We are planning to begin with 10 cabins as well as a retail store front expansion would be dependent on our success with the 10. What kind of amenities are you as a rider looking for in a lodging facility? Price range? RV slots? Discrepancies? I'm all ears!

Thanks in advance!
 

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First thing I always seem to need when on a trip is to fix a broken machine. Never fails, someone always has a problem along the way when you're in a big group. So a shop space that you can use, and maybe even some tools to rent by the hour or something along those lines would be great. Things like spark plugs, belts, tire repair, gas cans, and things along those lines that we need now and don't want to drive an hour to get. Anything more than a basic thing like that I wouldn't expect to be able to fix on site. IE broken axle, severely damaged tire, etc.

I'm a cheap traveler so bare minimum of running water and a couple outlets. In individual cabins, room for 6-8 with a kitchen with a fridge and stove/oven, microwave so we can cook our own food instead of eating out every meal. TV to wind down with a the end of the day if I can stay up that long. Usually a day of riding and being outdoors just requires a hot shower and a pillow afterwards.
 

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Clean bathrooms and shower facilities! It's also nice to have a parking area for the atv trailers.
 

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Honestly, I'd skip the cabins and go with RV spots and tent spots first. that way you're open and have income coming in while you build some cabins over the summer/fall.

covered work area (aka shop space) preferably with some sort of lift capability. Rental tools are nice, but a prepared rider should have the majority of the tools that they could need to do medium to light repairs on the trail.

a recovery service would be nice just in case.

for the camping, covered cooking areas, Nice fire rings. Not just a ring in the ground with a flip out grate. something that has a nice fire ring and maybe some benches there already so it's not BYOS.

For the cabins. Indoor and outdoor cooking options, capacity of 6-8 with 2 full baths.

For RV's Power & Water and an onsite waste dump.

Garbage's, water, and bathrooms need to be plentiful. and Clean.
 

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- Place to turn wrenches. A pole barn would suffice. A lift would be nice, but a couple floor jacks and some jack stands would suffice. If you wanted to make it an over-the-top shop, contact local Polaris, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki dealers and offer to set up a satellite/remote shop for common parts and such. Belts, hoses, spark plugs, even less-common stuff like axles, tires, and such. Full array of fluids would be nice too.

- 3-room cabin. Bathroom, sleeping room (bunk beds would be fine), and kitchen/living room. An added bonus would be a mud/wash room to hose off your riding gear and let hang to dry.

- Coin-operated laundry building wouldn't be a bad investment.

- Adequate parking for long trucks and trailers close to each cabin would be nice.

- Water hose spigot on the side of the cabin closest to parking area for washing off quads. Or a central location (possibly to the side of the workshop) would work if you had multiple hoses with good water pressure.

- Permanent charcoal grill outside each cabin (think along the lines of what you'd see at a picnic area, only a bit larger).
 

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Cabins are great for us, beds, showers, tv, kitchen. Some guys are big on beer so sell beer ? Most riders will want ice for the food in their atv coolers.

My gal just said to ask for screened porches and overhead fans or AC. Doesn't have to be fancy cabins BUT they have to be clean. No tv possible then Red box for movies. Ice cream. Laundry some where on premise too. Oh, fire pit, lawn chairs..... man she's got a list !

Ethanol free gas or premium gas sales may be a hit. Sometimes premium gas is hard to find in the boonies.

To the riders: A great idea is to use crock pots for your dinner. My gal throws dinner in one in the morning then we ride all day, come back, voila! Dinner is all done. Who wants to dink around cooking dinner after riding all day ? Plus clean up is much easier. She has a different crock pot dinner for every night. IT"S GREAT !

It's also nice to swim after riding all day. My gal says if not on premises then directions to the nearest swimming hole !
 

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Clean showers and restrooms. A spot to was multiple quads. Grills are a good idea. Electric at each site. A store with oil gas spark plugs tire plugs batteries ice cream is always good riding gear and flags if needed and air compressor. Pool is always nice.
 

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Wow! Thanks for the great feedback so far.

I'm definitely going to take these ideas and run everything you guys have mentioned seems do-able and would add nice touches.

I'm loving the pole barn idea with the tool rental that's very unique and well I'm sure we have all needed something like that at some point. :ponder:

Any thoughts on offering a larger "bunkhouse" type? Something that sleeps several people say 12-14 in one big room? This is in addition to the cabins of course.

Keep em' coming I'm all ears.
 

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Man you guys are demanding. The campground at the trails we usually ride has a couple outhouses and each site has a fire pit and a picnic table. That's it. It's right next to a river if you want to swim or do some fishing.

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i have rode pocahontas trails and we stayed at bramwell atv resort.take a look at his website and you will see his accomadations.nothing fancy but nice and can handle a bunch of riders. good luck in whatever you do there,nice place
 

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Any thoughts on offering a larger "bunkhouse" type? Something that sleeps several people say 12-14 in one big room? This is in addition to the cabins of course.
Well ok....my gal just had me check back in and She said..." this would not be good. No privacy. Women like their privacy.

UNLESS it's more for all guys. She said that might work...If it's geared towards dudes that's different. Guys are gross they don't mind if they fart around each other. It would at least need two bathrooms at opposite ends cause she don't wanna pee after you guys take a dump.

And what if there's married couples ? They won't want to be " boinkin " in bunks next to each other ! ".

Myself, I say why not ? :werd:
 

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A few hook ups for RV's probably wouldn't be a bad idea either. Water and electric, place to pump blackwater.

A bunkhouse would be alright, I'm sure there's groups of all-male (or all-female) riders out there that wouldn't mind sharing a bunkhouse as long as it made sense cost-wise.

As far as what you could charge? For the cabins, I'd look at local hotel prices. If you're close to the trails, and the hotels are several miles away, you could probably charge right up to the cost of a hotel room. Closer to the trail, costs the same, has all the essentials... No loading up at the end of the day... Yeah, I'd stay at your place for the same price as a hotel room. Group discounts and specials during the slow months would be good.

Have you thought about secure storage for the ATVs? Personally, I would be fine with a couple hundred pound block of concrete buried several feet deep (maybe two or three good backhoe scoops deep) with a few heavy chains cast in the concrete going up to the surface so my buddies and I could padlock the chain to our quads. It wouldn't be Fort Knox, but it would help dissuade opportunist thieves.
 

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Honestly, I'd skip the cabins and go with RV spots and tent spots first. that way you're open and have income coming in while you build some cabins over the summer/fall.

For RV's Power & Water and an onsite waste dump.

Garbage's, water, and bathrooms need to be plentiful. and Clean.
I'm a cheap traveler so bare minimum of running water and a couple outlets. In individual cabins, room for 6-8 with a kitchen with a fridge and stove/oven, microwave so we can cook our own food instead of eating out every meal. TV to wind down with a the end of the day if I can stay up that long. Usually a day of riding and being outdoors just requires a hot shower and a pillow afterwards.
I'd have to agree with the above statements......

1) Start with a dozen RV spots and camp sites along with a decent bathroom / shower facilities.... while you build 6-10 cabins. Some with sleeping for 4 and others with sleeping for 6-8.

2) RV sites should have water, power and sewer hookup (camping has come a long ways these days!!)

3) A nice bar / dining / lodge area to have a cold one and a burger.... if you don't want to cook. Or play a game of pool and a couple arcade games for the kids to loose quarters in.

4) Fire Pits & Picnic tables at each site.

Surprised no one said......

1) Cheaper rates for members of this site (for their input / opinions)

2) Wash bays!!!!

3) Play Ground for the kids (At least a decent sized "Rainbow Play System")

4) Direct & Easy access to the trail head.


And I'll repeat.... "Clean Facilities"!!!

As for rates.... daily rv/camp site rates @ $30-40 and cabin's @ $80-90'ish.

Good luck with your venture!!!
 

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As already stated clean bathrooms/showers, wash pit for multiple 4-wheelers, and DEFINANTLY a secure place to lock your 4-wheelers at each site. Good luck and look forward to seeing the out come of your camp site!
 

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Personally I don't care much what it costs as long as I am happy staying there.

For me to be happy;
1. A real bed not some cheap piece of foam.

2. Real chairs not those damn resin pieces of crap.

3.Air conditioning, no negotiating on this one.

4. Swimming pool if possible however this is a big investment. Drunks will abuse
it I am sure.

5. His/her combined showers and bathrooms.

6.Must be clean

7. Parking at the cabin/site. Remember ATVers have trailers and need space.

8. A "Pay for Use" wash bay.

9.A snack bar could be nice as could a small store.

10. A work facility would be nice but this is more of a dream. The tool rentals
would have to be monitored as would the work bay. This would be high over head. Nice though.

11. Fire pit is well liked by some. I hate bugs and when they come out I go in.

12. A gas grille would be nice but I have never seen them where they were well kept. Easier to bring my own.

13.Continental breakfasts are sometimes nice. Not just fruit and stale little boxes of cereal.

14. The establishment needs to have a real good sheriff. If lights out is 10:00 then it should mean that!!!

15.Lots of trash cans outside
 

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Thank you to everyone who has responded this is really helping us fine tune some things in our budget and get a good idea of our model. Your responses alone will definitely encourage me to offer a special rate for members here as requested ;)

Luckily most things that have been mentioned we had brainstormed already. So it's good to know we are having the right train of thought.

What are your thoughts on a membership type deal? A yearly membership fee for a discounted rate, special promotions, discounts in the store and on trail permits. (or something similar)
 

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As for rates.... daily rv/camp site rates @ $30-40 and cabin's @ $80-90'ish.
...
Wow, $30-40 a night for a camp site?! Guess that depends on what it offers and what you need. Camping must not be very economical back east? It's a pad of concrete (if your lucky) usually just a gravel pad, a water spigot and an outlet. The average rv'er might use 10-12 gallons of water a day and a dollars worth of electricity...
Guess that why I camp in the forest, it's free and I can provide my own amenities.

Which brings me to my suggestion, LEAVE SOME SPACE BETWEEN CAMP SITES, ugh nothing worse than being stuck side by side like a damn white trash trailer park. And enforcing noise/speed limits will greatly enhance the experience.
 

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I for one would not use the group bunkhouse. Too many personalities; too many people snoring. I completely agree with an area to clean off quads and equipment. And not just a hose bib. One needs a pressure washer to truly clean an atv/utv. Laundry facilities would also be great! Nothing makes a fresh day of riding nicer than clean clothes!
A pet peeve of mine has always been the gouging on firewood. We always read not to bring wood from other states. But then to see campsites charging $10-20 for a small bundle of wood is ridiculous. Plenty of cover is also an important one for me whether in an RV or at a cabin. I never understand campsites that tear all the trees out so everyone can sit out in the open sunlight in their riding clothes.
Best of luck!
 

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As for rates.... daily rv/camp site rates @ $30-40 and cabin's @ $80-90'ish.
...
Wow, $30-40 a night for a camp site?! Guess that depends on what it offers and what you need. Camping must not be very economical back east? It's a pad of concrete (if your lucky) usually just a gravel pad, a water spigot and an outlet. The average rv'er might use 10-12 gallons of water a day and a dollars worth of electricity...
$30-$40 per night for an RV site with hookups is a good price. $25 per night for a tent site is reasonable as well. Nothing wrong with bunking up with your riding buddies. We put four in a small cabin when we go to Moab. 2 on the bunk bed and 2 on cots. Only time we are in the cabin is to sleep, and after a day of hard riding everyone sleeps like a log.
I think a shop with a lift of any sort would be a huge liability (insurance) expense for the owners. Sounds good, but don't think it would make economical sense.?
 

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Model it after Ashland as far as store front, cabins and rv spots but a wash station would be good. Fire rings and grills r a must. I can't see having tools and a lift as it would be a liability IMO. Ashland doesn't sell beer, so not sure what would be required to get that done? Ashland is way overpriced for what it is though....spend a couple million on the campground though and I guess u have to charge for it.


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