Starting a Seaside Campground in 7 Steps

Do you have a dream of starting an amazing seaside campground? It can be the perfect business opportunity. A campground positioned close to the ocean provides a spectacular experience for nature lovers and families who like to explore. Get started with our 7 steps to create your own seaside campground business:

1. Research Your Target Audience

Before setting up a campground, you’ll want to research the local market to determine whether there is enough traffic through your regional area to justify the need for the campground. If there are other campgrounds within the county or region of your seaside location, find out if the campground is typically full or if it is seasonal. Assess what the other campgrounds offer and the pricing models for campers on a daily and weekly basis. Carefully calculate local weather patterns if it could become too hot or too cold for camping. Most campers do not want to wake up to daily lashings of rain in their sleeping bags, so you’ll want to take the weather conditions seriously. Also, think about the seasonal effects of camping on the campers and if the campground could encourage enough campers to stay during long spells of windy, cold weather or humidity during thunderstorm season. Place everything into your assessment of your target audience and your competitors. 

2.  Develop a Business Plan

Creating solid business plan templates is a hallmark of a business that has been well-planned and well-constructed. A comprehensive business plan will include every element needed to present to lenders or investors for funding; including a marketing plan, mission and objectives, target audience and competitor research, and operations plan and full financial projections. Together, these elements create a comprehensive business plan. 

3.  Secure Funding 

The next step in setting up your campground is to secure funding, if needed. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may need to approach lenders or investors with funding requests. Because your seaside campground is family-oriented, you may also want to approach government organizations or charitable foundations for funds. If you want to know how to start a campground, the first step will be creating a campground-specific business plan. Finally, re-visit your funding needs to ensure they are accurate and reflect current pricing levels in your area. 

4.  Find the Perfect Location

Finding the right location for your seaside campground may take a considerable amount of time, as beachfront acreage is hard to find in most coastal areas. However, if you manage to find the right piece of property, you’ll want to consider the costs of building roads to your campground, if needed and ensuring all location regulations are covered for building and residing in the location of your choice. Because you are in a seaside location, you’ll also want to plan on building several windbreaks to provide relief for your campers while staying at the campground. You’ll want to consider building the main cabin for check-in and a small deli or grocery store, as well. Also, consider installing RV portals for water and sewer connections. After the location is selected, apply for the necessary permits and licenses before beginning construction. 

5.  Build the Facilities

Construct campsites with all the amenities families will expect; including campsites with picnic tables, cupboards, campfire pits, comfy chairs and defined camping spaces. Also, build restrooms and shower facilities, along with a main camp building, campground office, and living quarters for the employees who will live on site. Add custom features, such as a private ocean pier or other amenities. These add to the charm of the campground and are always appreciated by guests. Planning for groups in addition to single families will add revenue and create additional sales around the campground, as well, so consider building a group campground area with designated camping spaces.  

6.  Create an Organizational Chart

The employees of a campground are the most important part of any organizational chart for a campground, as several will live on-site or provide most of the interaction with guests. Hold several all-employee meetings when launching your campground to ensure all roles and responsibilities are fully recognized and implemented accordingly. Encourage group interactions and meetings with informal rules so that everyone can have a voice in administrating the campground. 

7.  Strategically Market Your Campground

The final step of building your seaside campground is found in effective marketing. Use the campground website to inform and direct campers and use social media callouts to make announcements, or changes in schedules. Use local newspapers to advertise the campground and spread the word among your friends and associates.  

Creating a friendly, seaside campground is an adventure and one that will be appreciated by travelers everywhere. Use your business plan to cement the details and your future projections; you’ll soon be positioned for long-term growth and continuing success.