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Old 01-09-2014, 04:26 PM   #15
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Love the entrepreneurial spirit. My sense is that you will have to buy trailers. Might find some inspiration here - Autocamp - Santa Barbara Boutique Airstream Lodging - an Airstream camp in Santa Barbara with other cities on the way.

Good luck.

Poppy
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:35 PM   #16
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Well there you have it. Looks like you will have to buy your own Airstreams.

You might want to talk to some Airstream dealers. They might give you a wholesale or package deal if you are buying 3 or 4 trailers at a time.

If they are going to be stationary things like axles, brakes and tires become unimportant but plumbing, lighting, appliances must be top notch.

From a business standpoint I don't know if this is a good idea or not, but having been involved in rental houses and apartments I find the idea intriguing. Would love to know what happens and how the venture pans out, good bad or whatever.
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Old 01-09-2014, 04:38 PM   #17
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I hope you are planning on being closed for the winter. Airstreams just are not suited to freezing weather. They are not well insulated and it is hard to keep comfortable no matter how much gas and electricity you burn.

From Arbor Day to Thanksgiving you should be fine.
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:16 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by texasboy View Post
For extra context, the demographic of people that I would be trying to bring in to the site would be the creative class with cash. People who love great design. So, I would be choosing Airstreams that have a great look to them. But also, you would not need to concern yourself that your trailer is going to get trashed.
Thanks,
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Likewise, I admire your entrepreneurial spirit. It's something I can relate to, as I am doing the R & D for a gourmet-food product, and am trying to keep my start-up cost as low as possible. So, I can understand why you are pondering the lease vs. purchase trailer option.

I know that creative class with cash type. Whistler, B.C. has run amok with them. I would imagine it would be exempified in NY.

My Take: Even if you can obtain a fairly new Airstream (sub-leased) it isn't going to make the cut with these types.

Why? Because you're confronted with a stereotype, even if it is an Airstream. You know....the trailer trash thing. Disguising it would be even more of an affront to the creative class with cash, i.e. we're sleeping in a sorta-new trailer and gawd forbid, someone else's trailer at that. (BTW, Airstream mattresses are also notoriously uncomfortable).

These types do not accept a "doctoring-up" or a false front when it comes to their hard-earned recreating. They convet two things: the authentic experience or a parody. So, instead of offering them someone else's "sorta-new" Airstream, play up the trailer-trash angle to the hilt, Hicksville Trailer Palace style. As you can see, this place is a hit.
Hicksville Trailer Palace - Campground Reviews, Deals - Joshua Tree, CA - TripAdvisor

This would entail the purchase and/or remodel of some vintage trailers. Is it worth the financial risk? You need to research your market. (The nostalgic appeal of a vintage trailer would attract the boomers - a retiring demographic with more disposable cash). Any trailer can be a real PITA to maintain in the winter. I doubt if winter trailering would hold much market appeal. Can you manage the financial risk of a seasonal venture?

Another option would be the that authentic experience via glam-tenting. I do not mean a nylon WalMart tent. I mean a whimsical, canvas, log-pole tent with all the conveniences of a likewise whimsical shower or bathtub (Hicksville utilized a metal horse trough) gourmet meals delivered to the tent, a nightly S'moresgasbord etc...
S'moresgasboard

These places have nailed the glam-tenting experience to a "T"....
Glamping Sites - Luxury Sites for Camping - Country Living

But then again, the tenting option would be seasonal.

You also mentioned an existing B & B? That may carry the seasonal aspect.

Good-luck!
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Old 01-22-2014, 03:53 PM   #19
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I have always loved these ideas and my girlfriend has her mind set on opening one out West. There are some either already in place or in the process of opening but I think that an original idea with fun amenities can still work. I have been doing a lot of research on the different kinds of Glamping campgrounds with tents, cabins, Airstreams and the like... I am really digging this spot in Texas. I think they did it just right...


El Cosmico
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Old 01-22-2014, 08:30 PM   #20
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The Shooting Star Airstream Drive-In is for sale. You can move to UT or move the trailers to NY.
Airstream Park Drive-In || Escalante Utah Hotel || Shooting Star
Shooting Star did a wonderful thing with their location, but they were just too remote.

If they were closer to an urban centre, they would have attracted the special and corporate event clientele. Special event planners are always looking for unique locations for weddings and other events. The corporate events are what you want to tap into. I was just looking at a promotion for a major car company. They leased a vintage drive-in theatre for a huge public/employee event, followed by an advertising shoot.

It's all about establishing your brand and identity, particularly with a venture like this. I just don't see any identity or branding utilizing someone else's sorta-new Airstream. You've got to go with an over-the-top wacky, nostalgic, and "campy" trailer concept, and/or tent glamping personified. Offer things like a gourmet campfire cooking class, nature hikes with an environmentalist, etc.

El Cosmico is offering a Valentine's Day cocktail making class utilizing natural aphrodisiacs. What a great idea~!
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:52 PM   #21
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My Take: Even if you can obtain a fairly new Airstream (sub-leased) it isn't going to make the cut with these types.

Why? Because you're confronted with a stereotype, even if it is an Airstream. You know....the trailer trash thing. Disguising it would be even more of an affront to the creative class with cash, i.e. we're sleeping in a sorta-new trailer and gawd forbid, someone else's trailer at that. (BTW, Airstream mattresses are also notoriously uncomfortable).

These types do not accept a "doctoring-up" or a false front when it comes to their hard-earned recreating. They convet two things: the authentic experience or a parody. So, instead of offering them someone else's "sorta-new" Airstream, play up the trailer-trash angle to the hilt, Hicksville Trailer Palace style. As you can see, this place is a hit.
Hicksville Trailer Palace - Campground Reviews, Deals - Joshua Tree, CA - TripAdvisor

This would entail the purchase and/or remodel of some vintage trailers. Is it worth the financial risk? You need to research your market. (The nostalgic appeal of a vintage trailer would attract the boomers - a retiring demographic with more disposable cash). Any trailer can be a real PITA to maintain in the winter. I doubt if winter trailering would hold much market appeal. Can you manage the financial risk of a seasonal venture?

Another option would be the that authentic experience via glam-tenting. I do not mean a nylon WalMart tent. I mean a whimsical, canvas, log-pole tent with all the conveniences of a likewise whimsical shower or bathtub (Hicksville utilized a metal horse trough) gourmet meals delivered to the tent, a nightly S'moresgasbord etc...
S'moresgasboard

These places have nailed the glam-tenting experience to a "T"....
Glamping Sites - Luxury Sites for Camping - Country Living

But then again, the tenting option would be seasonal.

You also mentioned an existing B & B? That may carry the seasonal aspect.

Good-luck!
Fantastically spot-on. FAN is *tuned* to your proposed customer base. Heed this words and make camping camp. You would pay big bucks for this input from a paid consultant.

Next time I have an idea I'm going to run it by FAN.

Poppy
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:52 AM   #22
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Have you seen Kate Pierson's (of B-52's fame) Airstream resort out here in the desert?

Kate's Lazy Meadow - KateLazy Desert

She bought and renovated (with various themes) about six Airstreams…and it seems to work for her.

You could do the same…then rent them out in winter down south…easy peasy…well, maybe not.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:27 PM   #23
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Fantastically spot-on. FAN is *tuned* to your proposed customer base. Heed this words and make camping camp. You would pay big bucks for this input from a paid consultant.

Next time I have an idea I'm going to run it by FAN.

Poppy
Poppy, thanks. But I'll have to charge you now.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:51 AM   #24
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I feel terrible now because I DO rent out my Airstream! Couldn't afford my restorations and property tax if I didn't. You'll find a number of them, including mine, on Air BnB. I've also been approached by two different "glamping" sites in the past month, asking me to list with them. I've said "no".
Of course, my sweet 64 Overlander is not "pristine". It's 95% original but I try to be relaxed about it. Air BnB lets owners do a fair bit of research into potential renters, and has an excellent feedback system.
As for who my Airstream attracts... my first summer was all-American (my AS is in Nova Scotia), and all but one couple were under the age of 40, and "artistic" types. I had no problems whatsoever. I have a local manager and repair guy...
I took last summer off as I was doing work on stuff, but am almost fully booked for this coming July and August.
Of course, your location is really important!
Anyhow, hope I haven't jinxed myself... Here's my listing, if you're curious:
https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/289001
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Old 02-19-2014, 10:26 PM   #25
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Wow! what a location. I think I might be inclined to leave my AS at home and just fly in to enjoy yours!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:36 AM   #26
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It is a good idea. I don't believe you'll find private owners willing to loan their trailers without a great many hurdles being introduced (e.g., maintenance and improvements agreement; insurance requirements; percentage of rentals).

My trailer is very active during the summer peak, then largely down from late fall through early spring for maintenance and improvements. For example, it is getting a new refrigerator, brake work and so on. Last year was a major plumbing upfit with new pump to restore boondocking capability.

What you might be able to do is secure a lease through an equipment finance lender, where you could purchase five or more pieces of rolling stock. If you purchase a used 1960s - 1980s Airstream trailer, you can count on $5500 - $15K purchase price each and I'd conservatively allow for $2,500 - $7000 for improvements (mechanicals, polishing, re-upholster, appliance service and replacement as necessary). So, figure an average of $15,000 for a refurbished used trailer (perhaps not road-worthy, but more and suitable for permanently-situated use), and up to $100K for brand-new rolling stock (which, of course would be entirely road-worthy).

Add to that the cost of 2 - 5 acres of choice land acquisition, site preparation and construction of a shop / manager's facility and you could handily be in the $500K - $1M range, all-in. Then you have your ongoing costs from there.

As has been said by others, location and siting definitely matters for the viability of a facility like this. Conveniently located in the heart of a tourism-rich destination or in close proximity to an urban center, you might be able to command room rates over the $150 mark per night and week rates approaching $1200.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:35 PM   #27
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I feel terrible now because I DO rent out my Airstream! Couldn't afford my restorations and property tax if I didn't. You'll find a number of them, including mine, on Air BnB. I've also been approached by two different "glamping" sites in the past month, asking me to list with them. I've said "no".
Of course, my sweet 64 Overlander is not "pristine". It's 95% original but I try to be relaxed about it. Air BnB lets owners do a fair bit of research into potential renters, and has an excellent feedback system.
As for who my Airstream attracts... my first summer was all-American (my AS is in Nova Scotia), and all but one couple were under the age of 40, and "artistic" types. I had no problems whatsoever. I have a local manager and repair guy...
I took last summer off as I was doing work on stuff, but am almost fully booked for this coming July and August.
Of course, your location is really important!
Anyhow, hope I haven't jinxed myself... Here's my listing, if you're curious:
https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/289001
Very interesting, but I have to think your relationship with your AS is very different than ours. For example, you are booked out far ahead and cannot use your AS at a moment's notice on a spur of the moment trip, but there's nothing wrong with that if that's how you like to use it. Getting $600+ a week for it when you otherwise would not be using it anyway seems like a pretty good exchange for the inconvenience! It looks like a spectacular location, I'll bet you do get a lot of interest
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