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Old 08-06-2016, 10:17 PM   #1
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thinking about a new RV Park in WA State

My wife and I own some acreage in NW washington. It used to be way out in the county. The city of Lynden now borders it on 2 sides and is interested in annexing. We have just been renting 10 acres out to a neighbor who farms. But we have been thinking it might be fun to put in an RV park. So I have a couple of questions for the group at large. Do you think there is a need for a new park in this area? Lynden is about 15 min from the Canadian border near Vancouver. Do you have any idea how we could go about measuring the need? What things do you like and dislike about the parks you go to now? What amenities are important? A good size creek runs along one edge, there are trees along another side and we would add a lot more, there is really good soil but no large trees on the acreage that is being farmed and great views of Mt. Baker. Our thoughts are all spaces pull through with gravel and long enough for most TT and TV rigs, full hook ups, lawn, fire pits, picnic tables and internet. a small playground, store and restroom/shower/laundry facilities. how important is cable TV to most RV'ers by the way? we never use it but I see a lot of people watching TV. I just don't know how many have a system and how many are on cable? thanks for any thoughts
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:24 PM   #2
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Consder the cost of the infrastructure. First, you've goota have the sewer connections, with all the trencing and piping. Then, you lay the potable water pipes, probably in a separate trench, or as dictated by your local codes. Then, you lay all the underground electric lines.

Then you've gotta build showers and bathrooms, to commercial code and ADA compliance.

The cable TV will be the least of your issues.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:30 PM   #3
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yes and roadways, drainage, common area lighting, signeage and many other things. we understand the process.
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:33 PM   #4
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Is it properly zoned?
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Old 08-06-2016, 10:56 PM   #5
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I'll be blunt. I'm a western Washington native. I was born in Seattle 73 years ago, and I've seen nearly all of it. However, I've never been to Lynden. I'm guessing because I've never thought of a reason to go there, and it's not on the way to anywhere I've felt like going. In order for a RV park to do well it has to be near or on the way to an attraction of some sort. I'm pretty sure Lynden is a picturesque agricultural area, but so is a lot of western Washington and Southern BC. So before you commit to this, make sure you have a good idea of what the demand is.

Ken
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:03 PM   #6
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thank you for your candor. demand is the primary thing I am trying to figure out how to assess.
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Old 08-07-2016, 06:54 AM   #7
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I too think building a RV park could become a nice semi retirement business to be in.
I've always enjoyed working with people on vacation and looking for fun.

A lot of good ideas may turn up here about layout, needed facilities etc.

When I first read of your idea I was all " oh yea sign me up as one of your staff.

I traveled up that way last summer and loved it, I am even thinking of moving that way.
At first reading of your description of your place, my mind jumped at the idea that Lynden was near Port Angeles. But no it's way over there on the mainland and very near the border, as you say.

So that Brings me to your real question, the demand.
First off the whole area seems very seasonal. And the frenzy camping wise is on the south west coast of Wa and Or. Seems to lighten a bit as you reach the top of the penensula. But the proximity to the crossing to Victotia and the park's would seem to support more facilities in that area.

Now as to the area you are focused on. Does it enjoy the moderate temps and relative dryness of the Islands and Lee side of the Penensula?
Are there attractions in that area to sustain a reliable flow of guests?
Does the proximity to the border mean that the traffic going that way would be significant enough to support a park in the area.

These are just some of answers you are looking for, surly. Sorry I'm just not familiar enough with that particular area to have meaningful input.

It does seem a bit out of the way, but that may just because I haven't been that way. It could be the perfect stop over for those heading to Alaska.

I'll enjoy following your thread as your idea does interest me.

All the best, Richard
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Old 08-07-2016, 07:08 AM   #8
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One way to get a rough idea of the need is to check out the campgrounds already in the general area, say, within 10 miles of you. How full are they, what do they offer, etc.? They are your competition, after all. Don't just check on the weekends, check midweek, too. Of course, if they are only half full on the weekends you know that there isn't all that much demand.

Since you own an Airstream, you could go visit them yourself and get a better idea. You can talk to other visitors, too, and get their take. Don't say you are thinking of opening a competing park, just ask them what they like and don't like about that park.

Many commercial parks offer long-term sites and rates. Be sure that you have some sites for those people, too. They are the ones that actually pay your bills. The short-term visitors provide your profit.
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Old 08-07-2016, 08:03 AM   #9
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Personally we prefer the Lynden border crossing over the others west of there.
Many people are not aware there is a crossing in that area. For those entering Canada to see the Rockies and points west but not wanting the hassle of Vancouver this is a good place to cross.
Some people just like to get away from the maddening crowd and don't need attractions geared toward tourists.
You could make a plan for a large RV park when it comes to utilities etc.. But start off small 10 to 20 spaces. And see how it goes. Grow with the demand so to speak.
Good Luck
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:28 AM   #10
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I'm in Anacortes. Seems to me that when I check the parks are all full up there especially this time of year.
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Old 08-07-2016, 11:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyV View Post
My wife and I own some acreage in NW washington. It used to be way out in the county. The city of Lynden now borders it on 2 sides and is interested in annexing. We have just been renting 10 acres out to a neighbor who farms. But we have been thinking it might be fun to put in an RV park. So I have a couple of questions for the group at large. Do you think there is a need for a new park in this area? Lynden is about 15 min from the Canadian border near Vancouver. Do you have any idea how we could go about measuring the need? What things do you like and dislike about the parks you go to now? What amenities are important? A good size creek runs along one edge, there are trees along another side and we would add a lot more, there is really good soil but no large trees on the acreage that is being farmed and great views of Mt. Baker. Our thoughts are all spaces pull through with gravel and long enough for most TT and TV rigs, full hook ups, lawn, fire pits, picnic tables and internet. a small playground, store and restroom/shower/laundry facilities. how important is cable TV to most RV'ers by the way? we never use it but I see a lot of people watching TV. I just don't know how many have a system and how many are on cable? thanks for any thoughts
YIPPEE....another place to hold rallies in Northwest Washington...!!! We are part of the BC Unit and have, in past, always held our Installation Rally with North Cascade Unit at the Lynden Fairgrounds. It would be great to have another place to meet. Needs to be met are: WiFI and level grounds..!!! TV is a nice option but would have to be satellite rather than cable (I think). We don't get much TV at the Fairgrounds. I'll be watching for news about your progress -- with great anticipation...!!!
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Old 08-07-2016, 01:34 PM   #12
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Have you thought of franchising with Premier RV Resorts? We've stayed at several of their campgrounds and even have received an offer of participation from them. They have quality campgrounds and their experience could be quite helpful in your own venture.
John R.
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyV View Post
...The city of Lynden now borders it on 2 sides and is interested in annexing. ... Do you think there is a need for a new park in this area? ...
You may want to check with the Lynden Business Development Office and Tourism Office. If you get them on board with your idea they may be able to do a feasibility study for you in conjunction with the state tourism board. Who knows, there may even be business development money available for you - or at the very least tax breaks. There are some advantages to franchising - such as a solid business plan that you can use to talk to the BDO, but a lot of costs that are difficult to recoup. Good Luck!
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Old 08-07-2016, 02:32 PM   #14
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You might get help with market research from Western Washington. Check with the departments of business or marketing to see if they have students interesting in your planning as a research topic...
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