Is Owning a Campground Profitable? Pros and Cons

making campground ownership profitable

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Is owning a campground actually profitable? You’d be forgiven for considering this as a possible income source. After all, research shows that 60% of households visit a campground at least once a year. That means millions of visitors every year and if you own a campground, you could get a slice of the pie.

However, what goes into owning a campground? Where can you go to buy this type of land?

Considering that campgrounds are a relatively novel investment for many, it’s no surprise that you’re probably asking yourself these and other questions.

Read on as we answer these questions including this one; is owning a campground profitable?

How Profitable is Owning a Campground

If you’re thinking of becoming a campground owner in the US, one of the most important considerations to make is to know how the industry works. According to our research, RV parks and campgrounds are incredibly lucrative.

During 2019 alone, these sites raked in $7 billion collectively and this amount was split between 14,500 sites throughout the country. This is consistent with an annual growth of 2.7% from 2010 to 2019 which has remained pretty steady throughout.

This continued growth in this sector is expected to only increase in the coming years, as an increasing number of people are showing more of an affinity to connect with nature and spend more time outdoors.

With that said, this growth can be positively and negatively impacted depending on a number of factors. It’s also important to consider that different campgrounds come with different benefits and challenges, such as those that cater mostly to RVs, for example.

There are many contributing factors to the RV lifestyle that one needs to consider including things like fuel which can change trends in how often campers visit and stay at a particular campsite. Other contributing factors include things like the availability of freelance work as this can also affect people’s ability to participate in the RV lifestyle or even the quality of your Core tents.

Then you have to consider the economic conditions that prevail at any given time which can affect the willingness of people to spend on outdoor activities such as camping. In certain situations, these can be seen as a luxury.

Pros of Owning a Campground

If you’ve made it to this part of the article, congratulations! You’re truly committed to owning a campground and won’t allow a few caveats to dissuade you!

You’re clearly passionate about this lucrative industry and want to continue researching about it. Good for you! Now we’re going to share all the benefits of owning a campground. For one, you get to be your own boss which means you can determine your schedule.

Another benefit of owning resorts, RV parks, and campgrounds is that these are all cash businesses which means you get a chance to learn on the job. You can reinvest all of your earnings into the business year after year by getting affordable tents under $100, and enjoy the fruits of your labor once you start breaking even.

Keep in mind also that any kind of resort, campgrounds included, are seasonal enterprises. This means that during the winter, you can take time off to relax with your family and actually enjoy your own vacation.

You’ll definitely earn your vacations as you’ll be busy from Spring Break through summer. The best part is that you get to live on the campground and enjoy the beauty and bounty of nature all year round cost-free!

Cons of Owning a Campground

Is owning a campground profitable? Well, the thing about owning a campground is that a lot goes into it. After all, this is a type of business after all. For one thing, you’ll be working all summer long, year after year.

In places like the Midwest where owning a campground is recognized as a service business, you can expect hordes of customers from Memorial Day all the way to Labor Day. You need to be on your toes and make sure your park is always ready to receive people.

Everyone that drives through your campgrounds expects nothing but the best and every single guest that comes should be like your first customer. Keep in mind that these people have come to enjoy a relaxing vacation so it’s your job to make sure their stay is nothing but pleasant.

You need to make sure that the customer service is on point and that you and your staff are always on your best behavior. Yes, it takes a lot of work but if you’re passionate about the outdoor lifestyle then it won’t feel like work at all.

However, this comes with the caveat of not being able to enjoy family vacations and yearly events that you’re accustomed to. Instead, you have to help other families celebrate their own special occasions such as birthdays, weddings, graduations, anniversaries, etc.

The weekends will probably be your busiest days, while Mondays (the same day that your family will be at work or school) are typically the quietest. Unfortunately, this will continue to be your reality until your campground is able to break even.

Extra Tips

As a campground owner, there are plenty of different ways to generate an income. This includes renting out space to campers and van-lifers alike. This will probably be your most important financial asset but it shouldn’t be your only one. You should consider selling other things to boost your income potential.

This could include anything from decorating your camping tents, adding more specialty products to your curio store or rent a part of your campground as event space. You can include products and services. You have to find a way to stand out and offer unique products and services because your competitors won’t be resting on their laurels either.

Consider the needs of your customers and try to make yourself a one-stop-shop for recreation in your area. Yes, you’ll need to invest a lot of money, time and effort into your campground in order to have an edge over the competition, but it’ll all be worth it when you see foot traffic coming into your resort. It will pay off in dividends.

All you have to do is give people a motive to visit your campsite and watch them streaming in.

Final Thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? Is owning a campground profitable? Being a campground owner can be a very profitable business when done right.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a seasoned business owner. There are plenty of different ways to find financial freedom with this business model, and it’s perfect for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts because you get to do what you love – work in nature!

Just remember that this is a seasonal business and that it comes with its fair share of challenges. But, so long as you have the right location, you’re sure to make a killing!


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