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gasjarvi

Ilion, NY

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Posted: 09/04/19 12:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My husband, son and I are thinking of building a small, no frills campground on our farm after we get out of dairying later this month. We want to cater to the RVers looking for a safe, comfortable spot to overnight. We do not want to have seasonals nor resident campers. We will start with level sights with water and electric and a dump station and a small bathhouse for $30 a night. Large pull thrus will be located in a grassy field just as you come into the park. Sites for longer stays will be set back further with trees and bushes around. The campground will be located behind our farm brewery. We are located 8 miles from the NYS Thruway in Central NY. I was wondering if I could get any feedback on this idea and some suggestions on what we could/should offer.

swphotobug

varous

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Posted: 09/04/19 12:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To see how popular your location is you might want to look into Harvest Hosts. RVers who belong to HH are just looking for a spot to park overnight, no need for any hookups, your brewery would be a draw. All anyone is looking for is a flat, level spot.

RobWNY

Jamestown, NY

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Posted: 09/04/19 12:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I second swphotobug's suggestion. I know my wife and I have visited several wineries and breweries throughout NYS and many are affiliated with Harvest Host. Although we are not members of that club, I know part of the deal is for the "guests" to visit and support the winery or brewery etc. Visit their website for more information Harvest Hosts


Life is a lot like a baseball pitch. Sometimes you get a fast ball down the middle of the plate and sometimes you get a curve ball in the dirt.


gasjarvi

Ilion, NY

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:00pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are hosts in the Harvest Host system and have averaged at least one camper per weekend since April. All of them thought it was a great spot for a campground.

2bzy2c

California

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great idea. There is no shortage of demand. Figure on about $20,000 per site for your construction costs, no frills. Not counting county and or city fees. Lucky that you already own the land.


My advice is worth exactly what you paid for it.

swphotobug

varous

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would say you have your answer then. I would phase it in, transients first to give you some income and then create the longer term sites.

wanderingaimlessly

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Being 8 miles from the Thruway may be a bit far for a lot of folks just looking to park overnight. W&E would help especially for those that want to run their AC overnight. But a lot of folks tend to look for a WalMart or a Cracker Barrel right off the interstate for convenience, and it's free.
Your Dairy farm and brewery however would be a possible destination based on someone not wanting to have to travel too far from the metro areas and who would like the quiet farm atmosphere. If the sites will have a little shade, maybe a small brook, and a view of the dairy herd, a lot of people would find that very relaxing, and if the brewery did a friday or saturday evening tasting and tour maybe even mixed with some other local products (wine and cheese maybe) I could see it becoming a nice niche location.

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

gasjarvi,

I have no idea about this and I'm sure the laws vary from state to state, maybe even county to county, or town to town. But, what will happen to the tax assessment for the portion of property that is no longer being used for a farm? I know in our area, "farms" are assessed a lower tax rate but if the property is no longer farmed, I believe the owner has to pay what amounts to back taxes at the higher "non-farm" rates for the past 5 years, or something to that effect. It's more complicated than what I mentioned, of course, and hopefully your area isn't as bad as ours, but it would be something to look into as you do your planning.

As an RV'er, I like the concept, and would take advantage of such a place, but 8 miles is a bit of distance from the highway. But seeing as you are in a scenic area, it just might work out.

Good Luck, and please let us know what you find out. [emoticon]

~Rick


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (22-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (17), 2 boys (19 & 16).
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westernrvparkowner

montana

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Posted: 09/04/19 01:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Capturing overnighters with a 16 mile round trip to the main road is a tough fight. It will be even tougher without any natural draw such as a well known attraction or a moderately sized town. You will need to advertise like mad to begin with.
My advice would be to make the building of the park your last step. Investigate the costs of substantial advertising and insurance. Be sure your zoning allows it. Zoning often requires site surveys, public hearings, engineering reports and on and on.
It is my third hand understanding that New York can be a real pain when it comes to regulatory rules. This will be especially true with potable water that is not a municipal system. The wastewater disposal system, the size and location of bathrooms, ADA requirements are all regulated and if you do it wrong the regulators don't offer backsies . There may very well be fire codes regarding roads, site density, access and the like. Be sure your roadmap to building that park is clear of all the pitfalls before you start moving dirt.

Mickeyfan0805

SE Wisconsin

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Posted: 09/04/19 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with everything that's been posted here. Converting farmland to commercial property likely comes with all sorts of challenges/implications, and opening an RV park has even more on the regulatory side. Given your distance from the Thruway and lack of local POI's, I think it's an uphill battle from a marketing perspective and HUGE risk as far as a reasonable ROI. While they charge a bit more, Turning Point is only 30 minutes up the road, has all sorts of amenities, and is right next to the interstate - that's a tough competitor for the overnight stop.

If I were you, I'd stick with Harvest Hosts for a while to see what kind of traffic you get before jumping in too deep.

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