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Warning – Don’t become a prisoner in your own paradise!

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14 Mar 2017 @ 19:12:24 pm
CaravanParks.com
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Warning – Don’t become a prisoner in your own paradise!

Buying a resort is not all about the financial investment or how much money it cost to buy it.

As crazy as it sounds, it really becomes more of a lifestyle for you and your family. Money is something fake and enjoying your life is what it should be all about in the very end.

Living and working on your resort property could easily become a 24/7 job, and now your home is but just an extension of your business. You better know how to be an electrician, a plumber, a builder, a marriage councillor and many other professions for this matter. But if you have the funds and good staff that share your passion, well then it becomes a lot easier living in this utopia.

You are not on holiday all the time just because you now own a resort. Yes, your kids and family and friends are, but you and your bank manager knows all too well, that this was a risky idea in the first place! Weekends and high season holiday periods have just become your busiest working time of the year, unlike a normal 9 to 5 job. February will become your time to recover, recuperate and regroup after a very long and hard slog of a season.

It's not a myth, resort owners also enjoy taking holidays, even if it appears that they are permanently living in one.

Holidaying in the out of season periods has its own advantages. Firstly, out of season rates apply at your favourite holiday destination with little to no holiday traffic 😊, no long queues in malls, etc 😊. But what if you have school going children while owning a resort?  You would now make most of your annual holiday vacations inside your own resort, every single year, every single Christmas for as long as you own this lifestyle that you bought into.

Owning a resort is tough and much tougher than an average camper will ever realize... Seriously now, you better be a people’s person! If you can’t do “people” or your spouse can't do “people”, then you don’t have the correct ticket to run a resort! As a resort owner, you need to go out of your way all the time, because ‘beyond the call of duty’ is expected all the time.... So, if you cannot do ‘people’, you are going to hate your new life as a resort owner and ultimately be trapped in your own paradise!

The challenge in owning a resort is that often it becomes a family affair and some extended family is also in on the mix of owning your resort and now your mother-in-law is running the front office, doing something only she understands.  If you are lucky this all works out extremely well in the end, because you split up the work load amongst everyone and share holiday leave days during the year. You can take time off and travel this beautiful country of ours, while learning new tips and tricks to keep customers happy and improve your own resort facilities.

Then you have family entertainment; obviously you get a variety of types of resorts,  you really need to cater for the whole family at your resort. You better have something for the 3-year-old kids as well as the 65-year-old kids... And yes, they will want to be entertained until bedtime too. Entertainment is what makes a resort a resort and not just another caravan park. You want your campers to re-book. Right now! While they are having the best holiday, they have had in years. For them to return to your resort or for them to recommend your resort to friends and family, they better have had that postcard-picture-perfect holiday they see on television.

You also need a well-located resort, even if it costs you a few million Rands more... You cannot afford to be that resort that only gets bookings from those campers who could not get into their first-choice resort and your resort was but a second or third option. If you buy a resort that is not a first-choice resort, you will also not benefit from that much needed out-of-season business, from those campers who camp all year round. You will also need to get those painting shoes on baby and you gotta put many months of building, painting, plumbing, landscaping and renovations into your resort to attract new business and campers. If not, then the return on your investment is going to feel long and hard and suddenly this lifestyle soon becomes something of a thing going wrong! -Fast.

And then you – Faaaaaiiiitt...

At the beautiful Villa Spa Resort (as referred in the Forum topic "Suidkus oorde te koop" on CaravanParks.com FAQ & General Chat by Oom Koos), Gail and Anthony (and many the men and woman who carried Villa Spa on their own backs), have dedicated their whole lives in making it the ultimate resort after many years of pumping cash back into the resort. Something that they can look at and say “We created that and it is spectacular.” It is a first-choice destination, Villa Spa gets all those out-of-season campers who would not even think of going to the resort over road.

I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a resort during most of my school days. My father, Willie, and my mother, Dot, managed two resorts in our younger years. I had it very easy because I was the kid taking the holiday girls for interesting walks along the beach. Teaching them “how to become something like a marine biologist” as we continued looking at those pretty fish in the ocean, and not always the actual result I was looking for.

For many years, I was responsible for arranging volley ball, pool and dart competitions, being the MC for Mr. & Mrs Kelso Valley, enjoying long days watching those potjie pots on a slow fire...

This was the easy stuff compared to what really happens inside the resort office, where a fax machine was something new and the weeks arrival schedules were your lifeline in keeping your head cool around this crazy months of high-season madness. This was not work for me, it was a way of life and so we all need to “Find a job you love, and then you will never have to work again.”

I hope you get to own your dream holiday resort one day, to finally enjoy this wonderful and beautiful life we have been given by someone higher than us, to hold tight when things are really bad and then to let go when it is time for someone else’s faaaaaiiiitt.

We LOVE you all thanks for making this CaravanParks.com so special.
 
"Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again!"
The CaravanParks.com Team
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15 Mar 2017 @ 06:41:04 am
Relaxed Camper
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Thank you very much for sharing your first class experiences....something to think about before doing that move. My wife also owned her own retail shop...this was at that time like a dream came true. But not for long...we never had a real family xmas holiday anymore...the shop became the middlepoint of our daily life....even after hours at home. We basically had to work when other people are "off". Weekends, holidays, public holidays, late after normal office hours. At the end we couldn't wait for the lease to expire...just to close down the shop and have a more enjoyable family life. Luckily we had a guy buying the shop and take over the lease. After this our family quality life changed dramatically. ....in a positive way. This experience was also a dream that turned out to be a nightmare....
Seems like it can easily be the same with buying a resort....refering to your topic title. Once again, thanks for your input!
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15 Mar 2017 @ 08:18:10 am
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Yep, most campers dream of owning their own caravan park and how they are going to make it the place to camp, the perfect one!   However, faced with reality, it will be a totally different story.  

I must admit, one camp I have been to seems to work for the family as a whole.  That is Dibiki.   The family give each other time off and they work very well as a team.   They enjoy their caravan park, with regular get togethers at the entertainment area with family and friends, such as birthdays.  They also socialize with the campers, who become their friends.  Almost as if they decided to treat their job like a holiday.

One thing I learnt from this thread, that I did not know, Gonnie is Willie's son.smile

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15 Mar 2017 @ 08:36:13 am
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Lol .... yea that is correct.... i started CaravanParks.com over 20 years ago... relocated my mom and dad to Pietermaritzburg 18 years ago as it became popular very quickly.. Altogether in the same office I worked my various other portfolios as well... Willie and Dot (my parents) managed this portfolio as if it was another caravan park they managed.. but one online for campers....

My dad is going to be 70 in a few days time... he should have retired years ago... but enjoyed this portfolio so much it was not necessary to retire... but my office is busy.. and we needed his desk for 2017... we have over 30 staff coming and going each day between my two separate business.


"Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again!"
The CaravanParks.com Team
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15 Mar 2017 @ 09:28:49 am
Campervan
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Interesting facts, very little fiction.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us...
On The Road Again
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15 Mar 2017 @ 16:12:33 pm
Chuck Norris
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Dankie Willie.

As jy wil he jou drome moet waar word, moet jy eers wakker word.

Die jonge Fransmannetjie. (Parys - Frankryk)
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15 Mar 2017 @ 21:37:42 pm
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Dankie Willie.


Chuck Norris...it is Gonnie .. nice to have met you at the Beeld Holiday Show..
Cape Town see you in September for the Report Holiday Show
"Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again!"
The CaravanParks.com Team
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16 Mar 2017 @ 11:46:06 am
The RETIRED Boring Camper
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Thanks Guys - it's been fun!

What Gonnie says about owning and running a resort - caravan park - is true.

I've talked more people out of buying a resort than I can remember! Most people who have asked me if I know of a caravan park for sale say they want to buy a park so that they can retire!

The bad news is - You DO NOT retire when you acquire a caravan park - Your work BEGINS then! 

The good news - it IS a great lifestyle.

Yes - you're on call 24/7 but if you run your resort properly, it will be fun - most times. That is - until the sewerage system backfires!

Would we do it again? 

Honestly - I do not know! 

but

I HAVE RETIRED!!!!

 

Regards.
This is how we spent the last fifteen years - working our buts off!
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16 Mar 2017 @ 12:16:17 pm
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Good to hear from you again Willie.  Hope you are enjoying the retirement.

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16 Mar 2017 @ 20:55:28 pm
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This old man of mine don't know retirement... go build HO Guage train sets...
"Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again!"
The CaravanParks.com Team
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16 Mar 2017 @ 21:18:12 pm
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Gonnie, is jy net so kwaai soos jou Pa?   wink

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16 Mar 2017 @ 22:54:00 pm
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Ek is meer soos my ma... maar ek werk soos my pa..
My vrou is kwaai.. maar sy kan nie Afrikaans lees nie..
"Find a job you love, then you will never have to work again!"
The CaravanParks.com Team
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20 Mar 2017 @ 01:37:51 am
Danie-SLK
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Thanks for letting us all in nto the family affair. :)
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27 Mar 2017 @ 20:10:13 pm
Bostoe
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Ja julle dis waar Willie dis baie werk en hard maar ek wil nog steeds n oord oopmaak nie meer as 25 staanplekke nie in die laeveld wat bekent is vir sy matige weer innie winter maar ja vir eers van die baan
Haak daai wa kamp bly koning
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