You may consider your camp a sacred space meant for camp alone. However, renting out your space has many advantages that make the extra work worth it. These are our top three reasons why you should consider using your camp for rental groups.
1. Off-season cash flow
We’ll start with the most obvious reason to rent out your camp space: cash. More people paying to use your space means more money at your camp’s disposal.
This revenue can be used for everything from building upgrades to hiring more staff to expanding marketing efforts. It also gives you the opportunity to work with more local vendors and strike deals that could be beneficial for camp season. For example, your food supplier may give you a discount if you start doing more business with them during the off-season.
2. Year-round maintenance
No more pre-season scramble. If you’re offering your space year-round, you’ll be constantly maintaining the property.
The extra cash flow could also give you the means for renovations and other improvements beyond simply maintaining the property. Keep in mind that the upkeep will cost more than usual because of how often you’re using the space, but if you budget well, it will be more than worth it.
3. Work with parents of potential campers
Bringing in rental groups means working with more adults, many of whom will be parents. This gives you a unique opportunity to advertise to a captive audience. If the parents enjoy your camp space, their children might too.
When you host rental groups, have your camp brochures handy and display them in areas where people will congregate. For example, place a table of promotional materials by a water cooler or food table.
What to do before you rent out your camp
Using your camp for rental groups is not an easy undertaking. You’ll need some extra money and resources, but you’ll hopefully make all that back and more.
Determine your market
What kinds of rental groups do you want to target? What are their needs? What is their budget?
Ask yourself these questions before you put anything out there. For example, say you want to target small (10-25 people) corporate groups with moderate budgets that need enough space for team-building activities and meals.
Get specific with your offerings and start pricing them out to add to your website. You could even get in touch with local businesses that fit this description to see if they’re interested.
Set rental sales goals
How many rental groups do you want to host? Set a specific goal for the number of groups and how much money you want to make.
Add it to your budget
Using your rental goal as a baseline, start budgeting for the extra supplies and maintenance you will need. Expect it to be very different from your usual camp budget.
Use a different advertising approach
When you advertise your camp, you’re likely targeting parents on platforms like Facebook or going directly through schools. Businesses and other rental groups are different.
A company looking for a place to hold a leadership retreat is less likely to look on Facebook and more likely to be on LinkedIn or click a Google ad.
Your camp doesn’t have to just be for camp. It might be nerve-racking to try something new, but offering your space to rental groups can open up a whole new world of revenue and improvements. If you make the move to open your space to rental groups, our Conference and Retreat module offers a great place to start!
With the Conferences and Retreats module, you can rent portions of your facilities or the entire property out as desired. You can set capacities, and quantities of your facilities and equipment so you know what’s available on what dates. On top of that, you can group popular facility features together to create personalized or commonly used rental packages.