Saturday, January 5, 2013

Future Resort Redux (p1) - Intro

"If I had a clean slate and some seed money, here's how I would build my future venue."  That's how I started my popular "Future Resort" series four years ago.  After some more experience since then, I'd like to offer an alternative approach.

Going over my list of requirements from before:
1. Seclusion -- So nobody can peek in, and to avoid trouble with the laws.
2. Sunshine -- Just because it makes us happy.
3. Space -- We need room to run around.
4. Accessibility -- It should be easy to get to.
5. Comfortable -- Few bugs, clean air, good weather, etc.

Last time, I never really contemplated how each of those should be weighted.  Is Accessibility more important than Space?  Is Sunshine more important than Comfortable?  If they are, then how much so?  The market will eventually fine-tune the ratios based on the demand.  If a venue has a bug problem, they may start spraying them regularly.  If a venue isn't easily accessible, people will prefer going to one that is.

I previously made some assumptions about how, in general, things should be weighted.  My starting point was lots of acres of cheap rural land.  This made Seclusion, Sunshine, and Space more abundant than Accessible and Comfortable.  Although I very much enjoy venues like this, there is a flip-side that may also be appealing.

Perhaps I didn't elaborate on the importance of Accessibility last time.  I was thinking of it more as a measure after the venue is built instead of a driver for where it should be.  It was a lower priority item.

Perhaps I didn't elaborate on Comfortable quite enough last time either.  In order to stay at a venue, my basic requirements are a place to sleep, available food and water, and internet.  Why is internet on this list?  It's not required in order to survive, but many younger Americans depend on it to check in with work or school, socialize, and rely on it as an information resource.  Although smartphones can do a lot, many people don't have them yet and internet typically isn't free from the cellular network.  Perhaps that will change in the next 10 years, and my requirement for internet will be obsolete.

In part 2 of the series, I accidentally limited my scope with the first word: "land".  While I was oogling rural land with lots of undeveloped acres, and dreaming of a nudist tour boat, I was too quick to dismiss another viable option.  I'll start part 2 of this redux in this direction.

Buying up land and developing a resort isn't a bad thing.  There are a lot of resorts that have taken this path.  The successful ones will keep growing, and the less successful ones will keep dying out.  Getting into the market will be increasingly difficult.  The big resorts are a little like big-box stores, which make it difficult to open a competing successful small business.  Let them dominate their market -- it's time for us to start something new.

I'll be putting my money where my mouth is this time around.  If you're thinking of opening a venue which satisfies much of the criteria in this series, I'm willing to help out.  I'm interested in a business partnership.  (Don't leave comments about opportunities here -- instead please post to the General Feedback page.)

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