Kathleen and her team help hosts and owners of outdoor hospitality focus on their budgeting, site designs, marketing and resort management.
Start-Up Advice For Leisure, Tourism And Eco-Resort Owners
In this episode, I have a conversation with Kathleen Walsh from Advanced Outdoor Solutions about land choice, site profitability and sustainable ecotourism.
This industry works differently everywhere, from country to country and state to state. In fact, there’s so much to learn from anyone who has worked on both large and small projects across the world.
With a big team and an impressive portfolio, Kathleen has much to share and is a font of knowledge for anyone wanting to start-up in the world of leisure and tourism. We talk about:
- The number one mistake new business owners make when planning their leisure resort
- How important it is to get advice from experts at the earliest opportunity
- The importance of great accounting and robust budget setting from the start
- The unexpected and often hidden obstacles that can have a huge impact on start-up budgets
- Understanding how the layout of a site can impact its revenue generation in a big way
- New trends emerging in the US
Today’s episode is brought to you by the Start Up And Grow Club, which offers an accelerator program for those who want to set up their unique holiday rental or glamping businesses quickly.
The Glamping Business Podcast Shownotes
Additional Resources And Links Mentioned
- Contact Kathleen here: Advanced Outdoor Solutions
- Sewers drive everything
- Contact Sarah Riley through Inspired Courses
- The Ultimate Glamping Business Guide
- Guest Booking Success Marketing Masterclass
- The Glamping Business Facebook Group (+ Unique Holiday Rentals)
- Tools and resources in the Inspired Courses VIP Lounge
- How To Start A Glamping Business
Listen to the podcast here:
- iTunes (Apple)
- Stitcher (Android)
- Libsyn (App for smartphones)
- Spotify (Smart Player)
- Soundcloud (Smart Player)
Want To Feature On The Business Of Glamping And Unique Holiday Rentals Podcast?
If you have something inspiring to offer the world of Glamping and Unique Holiday Rentals then get in touch with Sarah Riley and share it on the Podcast. For more information contact Sarah here.
Listen to previous episodes here:
Sarah Riley: In this episode, I have a conversation with Kathleen Walsh from advanced outdoor solutions about land choice, site profitability, and sustainable ecotourism. This is vital startup advice for leisure and tourism resort owners. So welcome to episode 38 glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver an experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work-life balance. How do you build a strong business like this that gives you the life you need and a great investment. I’m Sarah Riley. And I want to share what I’ve discovered after being immersed in this industry for over 20 years, to inspire you to find out more about what’s going on. Welcome. This is the business glamping and unique holiday rentals, and welcome to the show. It’s really great to have you here. Thank you for joining me.
Sarah Riley: I’m getting slightly hyped up. It’s almost 2021. When I’m recording this, when you were listening, it’s probably going to be 2021. And I don’t know about you, but I have high hopes for what this year is going to bring, certainly in comparison to what we’ve experienced in 2020. So, you know, keeping my fingers crossed that things are going to get good and to start the year off, right I’ve got experts, Kathleen Walsh in to talk to us about all things vital in terms of startup advice for leisure and tourism resort owners. This industry works differently everywhere from country to country and state to state. There’s so much we can learn from anyone who’s worked on both large and small projects across the world. And Kathleen and her team have an impressive portfolio and they have so much to share. And so in this episode, we talk about so much and some of the things that we talk about, the number one mistake, new business owners make when planning their leisure is all.
Sarah Riley: For example, what’s the one thing they get wrong in most cases and how simply this can be put, right We also talk about how important it is to get the right advice from the right people and to think about your numbers and having a robust set of figures in a budget from the start, but there are often unexpected and hidden obstacles that can have a huge impact on those budgets. And so we touch on this as well and understanding how the layout of a site can have a major impact on revenue generation in a big way. And one of the things you really have to think through to try to avoid that, but there are lots of emerging trends coming out of the US where Kathleen is based and other countries and Europe, we touch on these two. And that means that this episode is stuffed full of great content.
Sarah Riley: And today’s episode is actually brought to you by the startup and grow club, which offers an accelerator program for those who want to set up their unique holiday rental or glamping businesses quickly. In fact, I’ve just come out of a session with the club just now. And I’m feeling really energized by everyone in the group, the stories they’re sharing, the wins they’re having, and things that were starting to unpick around their specific issues. When setting up a new business in any field, in any industry, it really is no cookie-cutter template that you can use. And that is never more relevant than in the glamping and unique holiday rental industry because the offers being made are different. The structures are different, their location, the business is in is different. And that means that you can’t copy what others are doing. Certainly not without copying their mistakes too.
Sarah Riley: So the best way to get through that is to get answers to your specific questions. And that’s where the club helps out. And of course, when we have experts like Kathleen in the group, then her reputation proceeds her. She is absolutely brilliant. And I was so honored to have her on the show, chatting to me about all things, glamping, leisure resorts, and all that kind of biz. So if that’s what you’re into, you’re going to love this interview. And I can’t wait to share it with you. So I’m going to hop over there right now.
Kathleen Walsh: I usually start with my clients around the time when they’ve identified a piece of land, or they’re wanting to buy a piece of land and we start walking them through all of the decisions they need to make, and some of the challenges that they might face in that process.
Sarah Riley: So tell me a little bit about that, because that sounds really intriguing.
Kathleen Walsh: Well, I like to say that unfortunately, I’m the one that tends to bring them down to earth, because understandably so everyone’s quite excited to get into the outdoor hospitality business and, and get into the glamping world. And, I’m very excited to meet clients, who are headed in that direction, but I tend to be a numbers girl and the pragmatic one. So we have a lot of conversations around what does this look like as a business Okay. We, we, we know what the vision in your head is, but how does this work as a business And so I start walking them through that process. and I say that that’s really where the rubber meets the road. And is this going to be viable as a revenue-producing business
Sarah Riley: Absolutely. And I suppose that your background, you were telling me before in accounting really helps with that because knowing the numbers is essential, as we know,
Kathleen Walsh: Yeah. My background for 20 years, I was a chief financial officer for a large developer, and I was also in charge of his construction projects. So it had to make financial sense for us to do it. we never really became emotionally connected to our properties. They had to make financial sense. And I find in the glamping world, it’s, it’s often the opposite. There’s a romanticism attached to it. And maybe the hard truth of the numbers and the challenges with developing haven’t been explored. And so I tend to be the one that brings that dose of reality.
Sarah Riley: No, absolutely. And it really does need to have someone doing that, but if people do get so passionate, don’t they about this industry and why they want to set up this type of business. And I can understand that to a point, but it does need to make money. And so when you’re going through this whole process with them, as you said, you would help them first understand what type of land they might need and then even help them go out and actually find and source the land. Is that, is that what you would do
Kathleen Walsh: I do. Yes. And the reason is because the number one mistake we see our clients make is overpaying for land. And if you overpay for your land, then you’ve put yourself in a hole before you’ve even gotten started. So overpaying for land immediately puts pressure on the business to perform in a way that maybe that area is not set up to perform in that manner. So buying your land at the right price is key to the financial success of the property. So we try to get involved with our clients very early on. maybe they’ve identified a piece of land and in the us they’re ready to put in an LOI or what we call a letter of intent, which is sort of like a promise ring. You’re interested in the property. You may buy the property, but you haven’t married the property yet. It gives us a study period time where we can see, does it make sense for what you want to do
Sarah Riley: And so when you were going through that, what types of things would you be looking for that in the area, how much, that type of service can command on a nightly basis Would you be looking at the style of options, the type of business model, the style of glamping are these all things you would then be investigating during that time
Kathleen Walsh: We would, because, it might be a great area and it may have the demand factors that you need, but it could be that actually building it is outside the scope of what your budget would allow. And I’ll give you a great example from here in the U S we were recently working with a client and still working with this client and they identified a high demand area. And the average daily rates would have been fantastic. the demand drivers were there, but as we dove into the core issues and what the local governments would allow, we realized that they would never be able to get the density or the number of units that they needed to be able to make it a viable business. So some of the parts of it were very attractive, but then, it was too steep of a Hill to climb and we couldn’t make it work in that location. So we’ve identified another location that we’re very excited about, but we had to forgo the first location.
Sarah Riley: So do you often find that that there are hidden things attached to either a piece of land or an idea or the owner that may have some really significant influence on the outcome of a project
Kathleen Walsh: Almost all the time Almost always. There are factors that we need to take into consideration, whether it be, how do we get utilities to your site what is the cost of getting those utilities there That’s a big factor and I’m, I’ll put in a shameless plug for my blog, because I blogged about this yesterday on my website where taking care of your wastewater or your black water can be, challenging in a glamping resort. And so we look at everything from access to utilities. Grading is a big one. How much dirt do you have to move to make this a viable location You know, what, what are your, challenges when it comes to getting it infrastructure to your property And then, of course, what are the code issues and the governmental issues facing you with the land, and then what are your demand drivers So almost always there are challenges. I don’t think I’ve ever had a client come to me with a project and it was just a hundred percent smooth sailing.
Sarah Riley: Yeah, absolutely. So in the UK, we have a lot of problems around, planning, permissions, and how central government guidance is interpreted by local agencies. So do you have a similar thing because of the way the U S is, is divided up and, how the different interpretations of maybe coding and zoning and all that kind of thing, does that have a big influence or is that, does that change from place to place or is it similar across the board How does that work
Kathleen Walsh: It is a major driver, probably the same way it is in the UK and in the U S it’s very interesting because sometimes you have federal law, which covers the whole United States. Sometimes it’s state law, which covers that individual state. And then oftentimes it’s more local where it’s either County or even the town. So we actually have Ken have four layers of government approvals to go through. And so it can be quite challenging. And then you get into other States where it’s still what I like to call the Wild West, where there’s very little government oversight. And that sounds like a wonderful place. Everyone thinks, Oh, I want to be there because I don’t have government oversight, but you have to be careful what you wish for because sometimes government oversight means that next to your beautiful glamping resort, you can’t build a place where 18 wheelers are coming in every night. So sometimes the governmental codes are put into place to make sure that the character of the area remains consistent. So there are some upside and some downside to governmental oversight, for sure.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. Who, so when you are working with people on a piece of land, and you mentioned something to me the other day, there’d been any kind of glaringly big issues that have kind of come up unexpectedly. There was one you mentioned about utilities and somebody having to speak to their utility provider because there were some unexpected costs. Is, does that come up a lot
Kathleen Walsh: It comes up often. And if you are not used to the world of utilities, you may not be familiar with, words such as, or phrases such as impact fees, impact fees in the U S are the fees that a municipality utility provider will charge you to connect to their service. So for instance, one of our properties just paid in pact fees to the tune of $1.2 million. So we’re not talking hundreds, we’re talking thousands or millions for a large property. And so those are the things you have to look at, particularly when it comes to Blackwater or wastewater. And I always joke that I, I know way more about wastewater than I really ever planned to know, but when you get into this world, it really becomes almost the driving force of what you can do. So you have to educate yourself whether it be, if you’re disposing of your wastewater privately on your own property, then you have to set aside valuable land for the drain fields or the drip fields.
Kathleen Walsh: If you’re building your own plant or your own processing plant on-site that comes with its own set of challenges and expenses. The very first one I ever built, the client thought it should cost $500,000 and it costs 1.9 million. So that was an eye-opening experience. And that was 20 years ago. And then of course, if you’re going to connect to the municipality, then you do have the impact fees and then the monthly flow fees that you will have to pay for the usage show. Clearly, that’s a large number that many people don’t account for in their original budgets.
Sarah Riley: And so does this happen to every piece of land in one way or another Or is this something that can be avoided
Kathleen Walsh: no, if you’re going to dispose of wastewater, it’s going to happen at every piece of land, you have to decide, how am I going to treat my wastewater Because let’s be honest, if you have humans, you have wastewater. And so how are you going to deal with that Because wastewater is an environmentally sensitive issue. it has to be processed properly in order to protect the environment. And so we want to do it in a responsible way. And so you have to decide, is it onsite Is it a municipality, or do I have to build my own processing plant The only other way around that in the glamping world is composting toilets or incinerating toilets. And, I just read a great article last night that stated that glamping clients are looking for modern conveniences and many are not going to consider composting toilets or incinerating toilets, a modern convenience.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. That’s certainly something that we’re seeing here in Europe that if a business wants to set up with longevity, so they’re going to continue to command the highest prices in this industry. Then it has to be flushing, toilets and showers and running water. And it’s is possible to run a really amazing sustainable eco-focused site with composting toilets, but you have to target it at a certain market and that market will change. And so yes, totally can understand that, but there are variable things here. And so do you think that because of, of, of this, do you think that glamping is attracting, business owners and people who want to maybe look into the more off-grid sustainable ecotourism services Is that something you’re seeing more of
Kathleen Walsh: I see it in the us, being actually sort of right down the middle and by that, I mean, I see corporate, investment groups coming in and wanting to be in the industry, but they do want to offer a unique experience and they want to be environmentally friendly. There’s a, unfortunately, there’s this notion in the, in the U S and I’m not sure about the UK, that corporate means, destructive to the environment and really nothing could be farther from the truth in most cases, because these developers understand that if they destroy the environment that are bringing the people there, to begin with, then they’ve pretty much killed the goose. That’s laying the golden egg. And so they want to, they want to build and design these resorts in a sustainable way. but they do want a higher average daily rate. And for them, that means putting in the more modern conveniences that at least the more, discriminating, guests here in the U S are desiring.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. And so it sounds like you work with a lot of larger resort developers. And do you find there’s a lot of people say the smaller family-owned maybe five or six units coming into the market at the moment, or is it more in the U S about big resort sized developments
Kathleen Walsh: I really work with both. I would say that, the majority of my clients are larger groups, but I certainly have my share of families that are getting into the industry. And I love working with both the challenge I have sometimes with the smaller, groups or the family groups is that they haven’t looked at it from that financial perspective. They’ve looked at it as, you know, something that they want to get into because they’re passionate about which there’s nothing wrong with that. But again, it has to make financial sense. I’m working with a group, a family group, a lovely, lovely couple, here in the U S and as we sat down and talked through, their resort, they have a wonderful idea of not wanting, vehicles into their sanctuary. They want everyone to have to park at a central place and either, or be shuttled to their accommodation. And that’s great, but keep in mind that people are going to be showing up at 10 or 11 o’clock at night. So who is going to shuttle them if you’re running it yourself and you want to be home with your family at 8:00 PM, that’s not going to work. So I help them see that you are starting to run a resort and you can’t turn the lights off at 8:00 PM and then, you know, put your phone on silent. It doesn’t work that way if you’re running it as a family.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. Yeah, we see similar and in the UK, particularly because the weather we have is so varied, there’s been some really amusing stories of people saying that they would turn up at the fixed time for the owner. The owner has stated a fixed time, and then they turn up many hours later in the middle of the night when it’s raining and there’s mud everywhere. And then they expect to be taken with their luggage to this, area whereas you say, hasn’t really been, prepped in a way that they can easily get there at that time of night in those weather conditions. So it’s, it’s, it’s, there are challenges for sure. And one of the things that we like to do is to actually walk through those challenges and, and to say in this situation, in this scenario, what would happen so it sounds very similar as if you do exactly the same kind of thing
Kathleen Walsh: We do. And, and that’s where your vision and reality are on a collision course. And so we like to walk through those things, as you stated, way ahead of opening. I hate surprises. I just don’t like them in the hospitality world. We like to prepare and plan for all of the different nuances that are going to happen. So we do walk through our client, we walk our clients through those scenarios, if you’re going to be owner-operator, when you get to the point that you can bring on some staff, then that changes the dynamic. But if you are owner-operator, then you are on call 24 seven because you’re running a, if you’re a larger resort, you’re running a small city. the first resort I ever managed was 400 units. any given time, I had 3000 people on site. And so I had to be prepared for everything. And that really was my Bootcamp for what we do today.
Sarah Riley: Mm gosh. Yes. That’s an awful lot of people. And so are you seeing at the moment, any new trends coming into this industry and the glamping industry may be influenced by what’s been happening in 2020 with the pandemic Are you seeing anything else coming in terms of new or new approaches, new services, a different way of attracting guests How, how, what are you seeing in the market that’s of interest to you
Kathleen Walsh: Well, certainly I always say I, I was, there’s a song in the U S I was country before country was cold while I was outdoor hospitality and glamping before it ever became popular. I started in a way almost 20 years ago, way back in, 2003. And so I had to be sort of ahead of the curve back then and do some things that now are becoming commonplace, for instance, all of the technology that we use now so that the experience can be contactless. So, using technology to make, not only make the reservation but maybe check the guest in, make sure their payments are taken, check them out, remotely, give them things like access codes, wifi codes, all of those things electronically. it sounds rather cold and sterile because there’s not a lot of interaction, but actually, in this COVID world, it’s, it’s been a great help to people.
Kathleen Walsh: so we’re seeing that we’re seeing the clients differ. our, our clients used to be almost exclusively families and mom and pops. And about four years ago, that changed drastically to more, investor groups, large, larger groups, wall street groups. So the client or the, our client has changed and then making the guests feel comfortable that in this COVID world, they’re entering an environment that’s been, properly maintained and sanitized. it was starting to happen prior to COVID where you had the touchless paper towel, dispensers, the touchless soap, but in this COVID world, it’s just really important that your guests feel like they’re in a sanitized, safe environment where they can enjoy their experience and not be at risk.
Sarah Riley: Hmm. And, and absolutely something we’re seeing as well. And more to the point where with finding that actually cleaning and those kinds of processes have never been used as a marketing tool. And now they are. And now, you know, people want to know that before they’ll buy from you. It’s one of those conversion tools now, as in marketing that we can use to help secure new guests. And is that something you’re seeing in the U S too
Kathleen Walsh: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. We’re seeing that. And I travel a lot for work or I’m usually traveling every week and it always amuses me that hotels or traditional lodging they’re using COVID as an excuse to not come into your room, not clean your room, not give you extra services. And, and I think that that’s hilarious. If any time you should be cleaning my room every day it’s during COVID. So it’s quite irritating to me that many in hospitality have used COVID as an excuse to offer subpar services, wherewith our clients, we do the opposite. We let them know we are cleaning. We are maintaining, we are going to take extra good care of you because of the situation we’re in. And, and that has gone a long way and keeping our glamping units rented during a time when indoor hospitality is really suffering.
Sarah Riley: Mm. And we have seen that too, over here in Europe, the hotels and other types of shared indoor hospitality really are struggling to keep their occupancy to a high level, that they are able to, you know, maintain profitability. And yet it seems that self-catering and glamping and units, which allow people more space and an ability to feel safer in this COVID world. It seems to be producing dividends for occupancy again. And, you know, profitability is obviously down to how an op businesses run, but nevertheless, occupancy is key. And so we’re really seeing that too. So I couldn’t agree with you more. Yeah,
Kathleen Walsh: It’s fascinating. Isn’t it. And really, I found even before COVID, if I could get someone out of a traditional hotel room and get them into one of my glamping units, I never lost them back to a hotel because they had an outdoor space. They often had an area for a campfire. We provided, grills so they could, you know, grow their dinner. I don’t know if you guys do outdoor grills that much in the UK, but of course it’s a religion here in the us. And so having that outdoor space was key and I really never lost them back to her traditional lodging. And that was way before COVID COVID has only accelerated that.
Sarah Riley: Mm. And did you find during the worst times for lockdowns in the U S I don’t know if you’re still going through that, we’ve just come out of our second lockdown in the UK, but have you found that during, maybe at the beginning of the season, the media were picking up glamping as an option for people to, to use instead of maybe their regular holidays that they might’ve gone abroad, or they may have gone into a hotel and things like that. So we had a lot of media coverage over the benefits of glamping during the pandemic. Is there something you’ve experienced too
Kathleen Walsh: Well It’s interesting in the U S because, we do not abide by federal rule when it comes to each state has their own regulations, and that’s great, but it’s been so challenging for us. We have properties in almost every state. So we, our heads have just been spinning, trying to keep track of what we can and cannot do at each of our different resorts. But having said that, here in Florida, where I’m located, we’ve hardly been locked down at all. We had maybe a month and ever since then we’ve been wide open. So there’s a couple of things that happened in the U S first of all, glamping or outdoor hospitality in most States was deemed an essential service. So we were never shut down. And then because of that, and the, and people feeling like I’m safe outdoors, they, definitely started traveling to glamping resorts and yes, the media, particularly wall street, media picked up on that almost immediately and, and publications like the wall street journal or Forbes, you know, very highly respected, financial publications, brought the industry to investors and put it on their radar.
Kathleen Walsh: And I think that’s why we’re seeing so many investment groups come in. I’ve been in it again since 2003. And I can tell you, honestly, I’ve been through the recession of 2003 high gas prices and now a global pandemic, and I would never use the word recession-proof, but I’ve seen it be pretty recession-resistant, which is, and you know, but we were on it every day. I mean, you can’t just open your doors and expect that it’s going to happen. You know, we work hard every day to make sure that we’re successful.
Sarah Riley: Absolutely. And I think that you know, this is definitely time to learn from the past and during the recessions of the past, certainly campaign has been seen to be robust in the face of a declining economy, and then glamping came in. And in fact, it was one of the U S journals, which highlighted that glamping was an area in need of more research because it seemed to be so strong in the face of recession. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened because as we know, research costs so much money and that’s just not been invested in by our governments. But I think it’s definitely an area for act some kind of academic research now, because of the way is now seeming to be, looking in this new world so that we find ourselves in now, is this something that you know much about, have you had any, contact or information or been given access to any data sharing or any research around glamping and the industry
Kathleen Walsh: Yes, I have. We have a couple, publications here or groups here that do some pretty in-depth research. I was, I read one of them last night, actually. And they were saying that outdoor hospitality venues were down across the U S not significantly. And that flies directly in the face of what our portfolio did. Our portfolio as a whole is up about 30%. So I’m not quite sure. I’d love to say, you know, of course, it’s our team and everything we did and meant that our portfolio was up. And I believe that, that there is an awful lot of truth to that, but maybe there were some areas that were harder hit, than some of the areas our portfolio was in. So there is some data, but I’ll tell you, I came out of the hotel world out of Marriott, and this industry is starving for data in the indoor hospitality world. And you can get data delivered to your inbox daily. Whereas in this industry, you sort of have to go hunting and pecking and scratching for it, and you have to do an awful lot of work yourself. So, in… still in this industry, it tended to depend on who you talk to because there’s just not a ton of data out there for us.
Sarah Riley: and so in terms of, structures, in terms of glamping in the U S have you seen any new trends come in recently about the types of structures that are being focused on buying new owners, new business owners in the glamping industry This is something you were saying,
Kathleen Walsh: Yes, I’ve, I’ve see a lot of diversification. It used to be because of the price of admission that, you know, a Safari tent was pretty much the way to go. If you were starting to tip your toe into the waters. And it still is in many cases, because it has a more attractive price point. but I’m definitely seeing diversification into more, more stable roofed accommodations, whether it be, cabins, cottages, eco pods, definitely tree houses, are coming into for, in a lot of areas. And we’re getting ready to put some in, at one of our parks in the state of Maryland. So I have seen people, really play with the different accommodations and the different HDRs that they can get based on how solid the structure is. I’m working with a client in Montana, which is a very cold location, and he’s actually playing with Safari tents with heated concrete floors. And I’m fascinated to see how this is going to work because that area can get negative 40 Fahrenheit. I don’t know what that is in Celsius, but trust me, it’s cold. And, he actually went to a Canadian Arctic Explorer tent manufacturer. And so he, I will, I will keep you posted on how that’s working because he just received his approvals. So we’re seeing some very inventive things here in the U S
Sarah Riley: Yeah, there’s… interestingly, you mentioned that because in the UK, I worked with a client who had the same thing under floor heating in a Safari tent, and it was a two-story Safari tent. So I’m sure it would have been, you know, a bit chilly away from that heated, base in the very, very cold weather, but also in Canada, another client who, uses is the domes. So these are the the dome tents with the big large windows at the front. And again, they’re using the heated floors and they are very cold in their parts of the world. So that’s really interesting that they survive and thrive during those colder months. So I’d be also very interested to hear about your client and, and find out whether they had to introduce other elements to keep people warm, or whether that was good enough using the base. I mean, is it a very strong heating system
Kathleen Walsh: It is. Yes. And the thing about radiant floor heating is it, and you might hear my dog sniffing and snorting. the one thing about radiant floor heating is it’s very pervasive. I mean, it’s every inch of the structure that’s heated. And so we’ve used it in homes here forever for, particularly for, the bathroom areas. But, this is the first client I’ve had in such a severe environment that we’ll be using this. And in this client is actually interesting because his, his project has been put on hold for about a year and a half now because of utilities. he ran into some real challenges with neighbors who fought him on how he was getting utilities to his project. So he finally has received all his approvals. And so, we will know shortly how well this is going to work in the winter.
Sarah Riley: Well, that’s good news for him. I hope his project works out really well. but as a final question to you, because I’ve kept you long enough, it’s been fast, fascinating talking to you, but as a final question, how important do you think it is when people are actually thinking about the layout of the best sites to consider things like the sun and where the sun rises and sets and to consider things like views, but also in terms of how large and area should people be living in between units I have my own views on this, but I know that in the U S it’s a bit closer, it seems to be closer. So how do you think it’s important there in terms of sun views and spacing
Kathleen Walsh: Well, I’ll, I’ll mention, views first because when I was walking 500 acres with one of my clients, I walked to certain areas where it would affect average daily break. So views are important to me because of views in my mind equal revenue. So if I have this section over here that has fantastic views of a mountain range, that price point per night is higher than one that might not have, such a great view. So for me, views equal dollars, always have always will because that’s what a lot of people are paying for. So if you can lay out your resort in a way that maximize views, then you can get a higher average daily rate by marketing the view, whether it be waterfront, mountain ranges, ski slopes, anything, sunsets, anything that’s going to, really capitalize on the views.
Kathleen Walsh: So that’s one of the reasons views are so important to me. the sun, absolutely because you can take advantage of, not only, views from the sun rising and setting, but also the warmth and any solar factors. So if you’re going to be using solar, that’s key, of course, to be able to get the most bang for your buck. And then spacing comes down to what we started talking about at the very beginning. And that is the cost of land. If you pay X number of dollars for your land, then you have to have so much density in order to make that work. So if you’ve got a good price on your land and you have 500 acres, we might be able to spread people out so that they never even see one another. But if you have overpaid for your land and you have a smaller area, then we’re going to have to get people in there enough so that you get a return on your investment. And I’m not talking about on top of one another, because that will affect your average daily rate. But I am saying that if your idea was two people per acre, but your land costs were high, we might have to go with five people per acre. So that’s why when people ask that question, investors will ask me that question. There’s no, there’s no right answer. We have to look at the numbers. You can tell I’m a numbers person, everything in my is about numbers. And so, it has to work from a numbers perspective.
Sarah Riley: It’s such a key piece to get, right And it’s so hard to get right, in some ways, but this is why it’s so important to ask the views of the experts. And it’s just been absolutely fascinating speaking to you, Kathleen, a real pleasure. I know that you are, you are greatly respected in the industry and you know, it, it does work differently everywhere, but there actually are so many similarities as well, and there’s so much to learn from each other. And so, yes, a really fascinating conversation there. Thank you so much, Kathleen. Thank you,
Kathleen Walsh: Sarah. And I really hope, as our, post COVID a world gets into a place that I can actually come over to the UK and do some of the shows in the UK because, I absolutely love traveling and, have had several trips to your, course canceled because of COVID. So I not only look forward to, COVID being passed, but I look forward to traveling to the UK and actually getting to meet some of your clients and yourself in person.
Sarah Riley: Yeah, that would be fantastic. We’ll certainly make sure if you do manage to do that this year or next year that you give me a shout and I will make some really excellent recommendations on where you can stay at and check out, check out some of the European hotspots in terms of glamping. There’s some fascinating places. I’m sure you’ll want to go and check out.
Kathleen Walsh: Oh, absolutely. And I really appreciate the time today and, and thank you and your audience for tuning in.
Sarah Riley: Thank you, Kathleen. Take care. All right. Talk to you soon. Oh, that’s absolutely fantastic. Thank you so much, Kathleen. Really wonderful that you gave your time to us and thank you for listening, lovely listener. I really do love the fact that you’ve joined me. It’s fantastic to see your refuse, to hear your comments for you to make contact with me after the show. All of that is possible, and I really love every single element. So please do carry on and certainly do, please give reviews and show your love to Kathleen for being on the show and sharing her expertise. It’s fantastic. I’m sure you will agree if you want to make contact with me, you can do that through inspire courses.com. And if you want to see any of the links shared in this episode, click through to them. The easiest way you can do that is to go to the show notes and you can do that by going to inspired camping.com forward slash zero 38. As this is episode 38, all the links are over there. You can listen to it over there or on all your favorite platforms and do please join me again throughout the year. For more inspiring case studies, lots of expert interviews, and some really juicy content I’ve got planned. Look forward to you joining me again soon. Bye