I picked up some strawberries at the market and commented to the woman selling them that they would be so good with some of the heavy cream I had bought. The woman commented that I should not eat fatty foods like that. Her table had strawberries, but also sugary preserves, candies and some baked goods. She was of course, overweight by a lot. I made the comment about how I had lost about 30 lbs eating high fat and really cutting back on sugar and eliminating wheat. She just looked at me dumbly.
Then I walked over to get my pork from the slender, healthy looking woman who routinely tells me all about her family clearing up yet another large portion of fatty meat....
[QUOTE=drssgchic;843374]What would I have to lose? Seriously? My land. Once I get it, I will do ANYTHING to protect my land.
I probably would do more of a "getaway" sort of thing than a "fat camp" since, as we know, everyone needs a little more health in their lives :) And there would be less insurance to deal with.[/QUOTE]
With something like that you would want to be renting the land, not owning it. With renting you can get started right away, and use the income from the guests to pay the rent. Then you are not making a hostage of yourself and you avoid having a long period of time while you get the capital together to buy. When you rent you can expand easily when things work out, and contract or up-sticks entirely if thing don't . You absolutely need that kind of flexibility starting up. It is only ever mature businesses that go to the trouble of buying their own property, specifically when they are planning on being open over thirty years on the same premisses.
I know the US is a litigious country, but I just don't see the mileage in suing a business that has trivial assets (a few animals and huts, and some hand-tools) operating on rented ground. And once you had about three satisfied customers the clients would be climbing over each other to attend and will be able to afford insurance. The one time I got sued by a stranger it was when I was driving an expensive new car with Swiss numberplates, and had just moved into a big house (by local standards 1400 sq ft is huge!) Someone pretended to have slipped on ice on my path, while crossing my property to get access to the house behind (which they can do). Once they found out they house was rented and I didn't have insurance they lost all interest, and since then I blend in better because I know the local customs and have numberplates showing me to be from this town.
For a project like this, you can market it any way you like. It is really a holiday camp or hotel/hostel with a theme, that's all. If you rent a house with the land it just looks like you have guests who help out, especially if you can find somewhere a bit out of sight with some sort of natural barrier like a hill or trees to discourage the curious. No one likes to be gawped at when they are very overweight and dripping with sweat outdoors.
If you want to do this you should get started right away and start looking for cheap land to rent, and get a website up. You can't overplan these things as a lot of the practicalities are only apparent once you are up and running.
[QUOTE=Bioletti;843556]That's hilarious! Helicopter parents who manage their "precious cherubs" from afar is damn right on the money. It's the equivalent of Stallone's "Stop or my mom will shoot". That would've been unthinkable in the late 60s/early 70s when I was a kid...unthinkable![/QUOTE]
Might be an idea to ban computers and mobile phones and (seeing as 90% will ignore such a ban) fail to provide sufficient or working electrical outlets, preventing anyone from using a mobile phone. Being off-grid (highly likely anyway) would be a great excuse for just not having power available even with the outlets in place. You can also use a cheap generator set. Only the expensive models produce clean enough electricity for a phone charger or computer. Most are only good for power tools, kitchen appliances and lighting. No overweight child is going to walk 20 miles into town to charge their phone up. Result: no parental control at all, just like in the good old days.
Basically, only run the generator in the early morning and evening. Warn everyone the dirty power will break their phone or laptop charger. It also allows you to very effectively enforce lights out at 10.30.
[QUOTE=OutdoorAmy;845795]I love this camp idea. If nothing else it would be a good place for Grok parents to send their groklings for the summer knowin that they aren't going to get the normal camp canteen fare of bright orange cheese covered nachos and silly straws. Plus all the natural movement exercise - rowing, swimming, hiking, fort building all that fun camp stuff! Then it might catch on with others and the kids might recruit their friends to come along with.[/QUOTE]
That is also a really good point. I doesn't have to be about [I]fat[/I] people or [I]fat[/I] kids. Anyone going is going to have a great time outside and get stronger and healthier as a result, while eating great food. This is one of the best business ideas I have heard for a while, and is better than the various Paleo restaurants you hear about not only because it the guests will be there for long enough to get real results, but also becuase long stays need good food. - For example, normally I just don't eat out as I can eat a bigger steak for less money at home, and these days I spend enough on food as it is. When I am away I can always cheat or fast - what I did for the last four days away. If someone is away for two weeks or even a month, then not only do the metabolically damaged start getting results, but healthy people start needing real food. I needed the 2lb steak I ate last night after days of beer, bread and waffles with fake cream in Antwerp. So it would be biased towards longer stays -> higher and steadier revenue. Plus there is room for unlimited organic expansion, all the way from a few huts in the woods up to the scale of holiday camp shown in the 80s film "Dirty Dancing". (Terrible name but a much more sophisticated film than any give it credit for.)
Just FTR, while we're on the topic, people who do the GAPs (very primal, real foods gut-healing) diet have often talked about how much they'd LOVE a place to spend the first few weeks, because when you're so ill (and getting worse temporarily from detox), it can be overwhelming to make all your food, which you really do have to do.
[QUOTE=drssgchic;843483]Actually, one of the instructors on the NOLS trip said that she'd love to do horsepacking with special-needs people. Obviously, not super-special needs, since it's hard work- but exposing them to nature and animals would be so very good for them. So I have in the back of my head to purchase land somewhere near a place you can pack in and kind of hand it over to her, mostly, to get it to pay for itself. Now to find the land for the initial purchase . . . Oh, and the money to purchase it :)[/QUOTE]
Okay, land - I highly recommend the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Especially the Canandaigua/Keuka/Seneca Lake area. Partly - beautiful farm land perfect for these ideas PLUS forests and trails and gorges and hiking PLUS the college I just graduated from has a tremendous Special Education department and the school requires students to spend basically a month doing a "Field Period" in the winter or summer so you would have a plethora of college students (some trained in nursing, outdoor education, special education, and occupational therapy) to help out during the busy summer period with the choice to pay a small stipend or have it be an unpaid internship. :)
Huh. I just posted that idea as a "wouldn't it be cool if . . ." but you guys really like it. OutdoorAmy- where are you in Colorado? If you're anywhere near the Springs, any interest in dealing with the *shudder* people part of it? :D
FabBecky- I'm not leaving the West, but you are right, college students would make great slave labor- er- summer help. I hadn't thought about using them as interns.
Not that I'm making solid plans yet, but . . .
Billp- I want to buy the land because I'm a control freak and I want to know that all the repairs I make will remain in place long enough to actually do some good. In the end, I'd be using the people to repair the land, not the other way around.
[QUOTE=Fabbecky;847856]Okay, land - I highly recommend the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York. Especially the Canandaigua/Keuka/Seneca Lake area. [/QUOTE]
The Finger Lakes always remind me of this:
[url=http://www.hulu.com/watch/363325/saturday-night-live-cold-opening-lawrence-welk]Hulu - Saturday Night Live: Cold Opening: Lawrence Welk[/url]
[QUOTE=OutdoorAmy;847893]The Finger Lakes always remind me of this:
[url=http://www.hulu.com/watch/363325/saturday-night-live-cold-opening-lawrence-welk]Hulu - Saturday Night Live: Cold Opening: Lawrence Welk[/url][/QUOTE]
Yeah :) that's slightly more Thousand Island/Adirondak region on the east side of the state :) Finger Lakes is more middle /western region. Similar attitude in many many ways though :)
[QUOTE=drssgchic;847887]Billp- I want to buy the land because I'm a control freak and I want to know that all the repairs I make will remain in place long enough to actually do some good. In the end, I'd be using the people to repair the land, not the other way around.[/QUOTE]
Then you buy the land for your own use separately and when you have both the available money and time. Buying instead of renting is no way to run a business, you need any extra capital as reserves and for setup costs. You need to clearly define with the landlord what you can do and what you can't do before you rent a site, but in general when you rent unimproved land they don't much care what you do to it, and especially the kind of things you would be doing are harmless.
You might prefer to do things by buying, but it throws a huge hammer into the workabilty of any project like this. For example, you don't [I]know[/I] what makes a suitable site before you've done it. Remote plots of land don't change hands like townhouses - it is an illiquid market, and the next possible use for land (which is a guide to what another buyer might pay) will be significantly less valuable to him than what you would be doing. So there would likely be a spread between what you pay to buy and what you get to sell when you discover that for whatever reason the current site is unsuitable (which is about a 50% chance). If you were renting that would only be the cost of moving your stuff and setting up a new site. For buying you could lose a major chunk of capital by having to move, and would lose access to the capital between moves while you were looking for a buyer.
Really, this is a great idea. But you have to compromise to get things off the ground. No investor is going to be interested if you propose to do property investment with a wacky theme. Whereas the very low capital requirements when you rent make the business much more plausible sounding.
1. You ideal home is something you can buy when you have made some money
2. Property investing is about buying unappreciated land, improving it and renting it out at a level that earns you a profit after mortgage and improvement costs, as well as possible long term appreciation.
3. An entrepreneur re-arranges existing resources into a more profitable formation. He does [I]not[/I] own those capital resources. His funds come from outside, his land and equipment is rented, and once he has it started he uses staff to operate it at a rate faster than he can do on his own it. An entrepreneur does not get caught up in the above two categories because [B]he actually wants to make some money[/B].
You need to decide which category you are in. From what you have said in this forum, you do not sound like you have the existing resources to be in either category 1 or 2. AFAIK they are your long term goals, but unless you can make some real money first you can't automatically just step into them.