When it comes to starting a campground franchise, there are a lot of important things to know. In this article, we’ll outline what you need to know about campground franchises and what’s required of you if you want to start one. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of running a campground franchise compared to an independent campground.
What is a Campground Franchise?
A campground franchise is a business that operates under an already-established brand. The campground franchise owner pays the campground franchisor an initial fee, as well as ongoing royalties. In return, the buyer receives the right to use the campground’s name and logo, as well as access to the brand marketing and operational resources. Running a franchise often allows an owner to bypass many of the expenses and responsibilities they would be responsible for if they started their own campground independently.
Requirements For Starting A Campground Franchise
In order to start a campground franchise, you’ll need to meet certain requirements set forth by the franchisor. The requirements may include:
- Having a certain amount of liquid capital available
- Meeting net worth requirements
- Submitting to a background check
- Signing a franchise agreement
Startup Costs For A Franchise Campground
Though you may avoid certain costs by starting a campground franchise, there are still some startup costs you’ll need to be aware of. These can include:
- Initial Franchise Fee: This is the fee you pay to the campground franchisor for the right to use their name and logo, as well as access to their resources. On average, this can cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000.
- Royalties: In addition to the initial franchise fee, you’ll also be required to pay ongoing royalties to the campground franchisor. These are typically a percentage of your campground’s monthly or annual revenue.
- Advertising Fee: As part of your franchise agreement, you may also be required to pay a monthly or annual advertising fee. This is used to help promote the campground brand and drive business to your location.
Pros And Cons Of Running A Campground Franchise
Like any business venture, there are both pros and cons to running a campground franchise compared to running your own campground.
- Access to an established brand: When you start a campground franchise, you’re able to tap into an already-established brand. This can give your campground instant name recognition and help attract customers.
- Proven business model: Franchises often have a proven business model in place that you can follow. This can help you avoid some of the mistakes that campground owners make when they’re starting up their business.
- Support from franchisor: When you start a campground franchise, you’ll have access to support and resources from the franchisor. This can include items like marketing materials, operational assistance, and more.
- Franchise fees and royalties: One of the biggest downsides to starting a campground franchise is that you’ll have to pay both initial franchise fees and ongoing royalties. These can cut into your profits and make it harder to turn a profit.
- Less freedom: When you’re running a campground franchise, you’ll have to adhere to the franchisor’s guidelines. This can limit your freedom to make changes and run your campground the way you want.
- Limited growth potential: It can be more difficult to expand a campground franchise compared to an independent campground. This is because you’ll need to get approval from the franchisor before making any changes or additions to your campground.
Campground Franchise Opportunities To Check Out
If, after reading this, you are interested in starting a campground franchise, here are a few options to check out:
- Kampgrounds of America: One of the most well-known campground franchises, KOA has over 500 locations across the United States and Canada. They offer a variety of campground types, from RV parks to cabins and cottages. The initial franchise fee for KOA campgrounds is $30,000 and requires a capital investment of $1M with liquid assets of 500. The revenue fee is 8% and the ad fee is 2% of registrations. Campgrounds must include 90 sites, with 75 built for RVs. Additional fees and regulations apply.
- Jellystone Park Camp Resorts: Jellystone Park Camp Resorts has over 80 locations across the United States and Canada. They offer a variety of campground types, including RV parks, cabins, and tent sites. The initial franchise fee for Jellystone campgrounds is $10,000 and requires a capital investment of $62,000 to 3.1M. The revenue fee is 3.5% and the ad fee is $1.5% of registrations.
- Escapees: A campground franchise that specializes in RV parks and campgrounds, Escapees has locations across the United States. They offer a variety of RV campground amenities. The initial franchise fee is $20,000 and requires a capital investment of $500,000. The revenue fee is 5% and the ad fee is 2% of registrations. Franchise length is 5 years.
If you’re interested in starting a campground, a campground franchise can be a great option. It’s important to do your research and choose a franchisor that is a good fit for you and your campground. Be sure to also consider the cost of starting a campground franchise and the restrictions that come with being part of a franchise. Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of campground franchises and what to expect if you decide to start one.