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Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 09:29
Crazy Larry's Hostel new price is $50 per person per night now. This includes lots of food and snacks, best Wi-Fi in Damascus-that's a fact, Smart TV in the Hiker Room-you have to be smart to operate the thing and I am not, breakfast, laundry, mail drops-anyone can have their mail sent to pick up-there is no requirement to stay, free parking for guests who want to take off hiking for a bit, HVAC.

I edited this from the original post.

Price is sometimes negotiable as well depending on how well you can haggle for a doable budget that you have set for yourself......

Attention druggies and alcoholics find another spot..........
Hope I get a good and fair discussion about this......

Lone Wolf
04-08-2018, 09:50
doing "drugs responsibly" will turn potential guests away. alcohol too for that matter

The Cleaner
04-08-2018, 09:53
+1. I still meet hikers who are hiking w/o sufficient funds to hike. Many still expect to cook on a fire, stay in shelters every night and work for stay at hostels. More hikers on the trail and many have no idea of how things used to be.

Coffee
04-08-2018, 10:02
That's about twice the typical rate for hostels. In my opinion, alacarte pricing is better - let people who only want a bunk pay only for that instead of bundling in food and other services. the only service I'd bundle in is wifi which is a baseline expectation today.

lonehiker
04-08-2018, 10:02
Are you wanting a good and fair discussion about responsible drug use or the subject of the thread?

MuddyWaters
04-08-2018, 10:08
I may be out of touch
And i dont know what you really offer

But $60 seems too high for any hostel ive ever been at. And ive stayed in really nice ones. About $38 has been tops, with great breakfast. Laundry ala carte. Food...if its in town...thats where i want food, not from hostel.

Ill confirm wolfs statement. Responsible or not, open alcohol use, and drug use, will leave you with much smaller potential customer base. Many simply avoid.

rickb
04-08-2018, 10:34
Responsible or not, open alcohol use, and drug use, will leave you with much smaller potential customer base. Many simply avoid.
Crying shame that some that some Hostels have felt a need to prohibit all alcohol on their premises. Heck, even the AMC doesn’t do that.

I get why some church and town facilities feel a need to keep their places dry — but is it really all that common for others places to be so draconian these days?

rocketsocks
04-08-2018, 10:44
Crying shame that some that some Hostels have felt a need to prohibit all alcohol on their premises. Heck, even the AMC doesn’t do that.

I get why some church and town facilities feel a need to keep their places dry — but is it really all that common for others places to be so draconian these days?would no smoking be considered draconian?

MuddyWaters
04-08-2018, 10:45
Crying shame that some that some Hostels have felt a need to prohibit all alcohol on their premises. Heck, even the AMC doesn’t do that.

I get why some church and town facilities feel a need to keep their places dry — but is it really all that common for others places to be so draconian these days?
Theres a difference between a few people drinking a beer.
And what tends to happen when party people show up. Things get loud, infringing on those that want a quiet time.

Youll never satisfy everyone.

Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 10:48
doing "drugs responsibly" will turn potential guests away. alcohol too for that matter
Good point think I will drop that

Shrewd
04-08-2018, 10:48
I read responsible drug use as enjoy a joint on the back porch butttttt I agree, it would probably be best to be tolerable of it but not specifically mention so.

An important thing for lots of people here to consider is that this is in Damascus, which certainly sees its share of drunken lunatics.

When I was in town last year the majority of hikers, myself included, went to the Fiddle because t was the only place that was ok with booze. I didn’t want to party like a 20 year old but I wanted to have a few beers sitting in a warm room after 4 days of frigid rain.

I remember thinking Damascus is a strange place...

Anyway, I get why you’re pricing it as you are, and suspect you’ll still sell out in peak season, but I’d never pay 60 buys for anything less than a hotel room

Lone Wolf
04-08-2018, 10:48
Crying shame that some that some Hostels have felt a need to prohibit all alcohol on their premises. Heck, even the AMC doesn’t do that.



AMC hut users don't stay up til all hours getting trashed and crappin'/peeing and having sex in full view of neighbors

Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 10:50
That's about twice the typical rate for hostels. In my opinion, alacarte pricing is better - let people who only want a bunk pay only for that instead of bundling in food and other services. the only service I'd bundle in is wifi which is a baseline expectation today.It is always cheaper if you do not want all that

Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 10:53
Crying shame that some that some Hostels have felt a need to prohibit all alcohol on their premises. Heck, even the AMC doesn’t do that.

I get why some church and town facilities feel a need to keep their places dry — but is it really all that common for others places to be so draconian these days?
I don't drink nor do hardcore drugs unless you think pot is hardcore. I really do not have a problem with those who want to partake of those things but be cool about it

Slo-go'en
04-08-2018, 11:23
60 bucks, even with food is significantly higher then the other options in town. That's in the ball park of the B+B's in town.

At that price you'll drive out all but the most affluent hikers or those who are desperate for a place to stay at any price since everywhere else is full up. That will keep the riff raft out for sure, but could limit your clientele.

Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 11:30
60 bucks, even with food is significantly higher then the other options in town. That's in the ball park of the B+B's in town.

At that price you'll drive out all but the most affluent hikers or those who are desperate for a place to stay at any price since everywhere else is full up. That will keep the riff raft out for sure, but could limit your clientele.Good point...........

Okay I am going to drop the price to $45 and be done with it....

Puddlefish
04-08-2018, 11:31
From a business viewpoint $60 is a fair to low price for a bunk, laundry, shower and meal and snacks given the property values in Damascus. With the no tenting rule, every full paying customer is valuable, and if you want to work for more than minimum wage after paying your taxes, utilities, supplies and such, then that's the route I'd take. Full service, full price.

The other route, is the loss leader in the cheap bunk and nickel and dime them with laundry fee, detergent fee, overpriced snacks and drinks to actually make a profit. The hostels that offer such pricing are usually more remote, where there aren't a lot of other options in the area. That crappy frozen pizza for $10 will sell, because they can't walk down the road and get something better. In a town like Damascus, there are lots of other options for food purchase, so the nickel and dime method wouldn't work for you all that well.

Just do the math, and provide quality enough large portions of food, so that you aren't losing money on the food part of it. I'd also sell the snacks separately just to keep starving hikers from eating non-stop all day at your expense.

Crazy Larry #1
04-08-2018, 12:24
From a business viewpoint $60 is a fair to low price for a bunk, laundry, shower and meal and snacks given the property values in Damascus. With the no tenting rule, every full paying customer is valuable, and if you want to work for more than minimum wage after paying your taxes, utilities, supplies and such, then that's the route I'd take. Full service, full price.

The other route, is the loss leader in the cheap bunk and nickel and dime them with laundry fee, detergent fee, overpriced snacks and drinks to actually make a profit. The hostels that offer such pricing are usually more remote, where there aren't a lot of other options in the area. That crappy frozen pizza for $10 will sell, because they can't walk down the road and get something better. In a town like Damascus, there are lots of other options for food purchase, so the nickel and dime method wouldn't work for you all that well.

Just do the math, and provide quality enough large portions of food, so that you aren't losing money on the food part of it. I'd also sell the snacks separately just to keep starving hikers from eating non-stop all day at your expense.

I have a lot of support on it but I edited my original post and we will just keep it at $45 this year. I will have a good bookkeeping system this year that should help me figure where I am losing money at. I know my biggest culprit is none other than myself......

D2maine
04-08-2018, 13:44
charge as much as the market will support, its supply and demand and you have a right to maximize your earnings.

kestral
04-08-2018, 14:15
[QUOTE=Lone Wolf;2203581]doing "drugs responsibly" will turn potential guests away

”drugs responsibly “ might bring unwanted attention from law enforcement or folks looking to buy said drugs. Possibly not the environment you are looking for.

good luck with your venture! Always great to have options.

steady123
04-08-2018, 14:27
Maybe a curfew of some sort would make Larry's more attractive. $45 a night with actually getting a good night's sleep would be attractive. When I was in Damascus, Larry's was loud and pot stenchy at night. We stayed at Woodchuck. If things could damper down in the evening, lodgers could have a beer, enjoy comraderie, or smoke the occasional joint (assuming the place does not get busted). Those of us who have responsible jobs and are simply hiking a section can't afford to get crosswise with drunk or stoned kids. Folks can afford the increased rate for decent quality of service. Cheaper than a hotel room

Coffee
04-08-2018, 14:49
charge as much as the market will support, its supply and demand and you have a right to maximize your earnings.

I think that's the point of his question, if I'm understanding correctly. It's the age old business question - what's the shape of the demand curve. And it is a hard business because the more affluent older people, like many retirees, will opt for private accommodations and the younger people are very price sensitive. One thing going for him might be a location early in the trail for NOBOs so most will still have money.

Personally I will stay in well run, clean hostels and I'm willing to pay around $30 at the most for a bunk, wifi and shower and expect to pay more for laundry, shuttles, food, and everything else. If I have to pay substantially more than $30 for a shared lodging, I'm very likely to seek a private room even if it is twice the cost or more. In other words, I have the money for private lodging but like to save some money when I can, but it has to be substantial enough to make sense.

$45 isn't bad if it is a well run hostel and you get laundry (worth $5) and a very good breakfast (worth $10+). In that case, the bed itself is valued at around $30 which is fine for a climate controlled clean hostel that isn't terribly noisy. IMHO.

MuddyWaters
04-08-2018, 18:32
I think that's the point of his question, if I'm understanding correctly. It's the age old business question - what's the shape of the demand curve. And it is a hard business because the more affluent older people, like many retirees, will opt for private accommodations and the younger people are very price sensitive. One thing going for him might be a location early in the trail for NOBOs so most will still have money.

Personally I will stay in well run, clean hostels and I'm willing to pay around $30 at the most for a bunk, wifi and shower and expect to pay more for laundry, shuttles, food, and everything else. If I have to pay substantially more than $30 for a shared lodging, I'm very likely to seek a private room even if it is twice the cost or more. In other words, I have the money for private lodging but like to save some money when I can, but it has to be substantial enough to make sense.

$45 isn't bad if it is a well run hostel and you get laundry (worth $5) and a very good breakfast (worth $10+). In that case, the bed itself is valued at around $30 which is fine for a climate controlled clean hostel that isn't terribly noisy. IMHO.

Pretty much my thoughts.

Even great place like the bivvi in breckenridge is $49 this yr. And they will discount 10% if you call and ask i recall.

I frequently get hotel rooms instead of sketchy hostels. $ isnt a real concern, id rather enjoy myself.

John B
04-09-2018, 08:12
Maybe a curfew of some sort would make Larry's more attractive. $45 a night with actually getting a good night's sleep would be attractive.... Those of us who have responsible jobs and are simply hiking a section can't afford to get crosswise with drunk or stoned kids. Folks can afford the increased rate for decent quality of service. Cheaper than a hotel room

I agree with this. I'm 57, and I don't want to party with 20 yr olds or risk my job being in a place that condones illegal drug use. I don't have anything against those who want to smoke marijuana, but I don't want to be around it. Similarly, I don't want to be around drunks. I try to avoid trouble like the plague, and if I sense that i'm at a place that can get rowdy and invite attention from the police, then I don't go.
Guess it depends on what type of crowd you want to attract.

Starchild
04-09-2018, 09:12
The feedback about the price, and I never stayed at your place, though stopped by on my thru in 2013 and again in 2015 ending a section and waiting for a pickup at your place, chatting and eating on the porch.

It, even at $45pp seems very high for a bunk hostel. In the range for a single room, high for a double room ($45x2).

Now I know supply and demand and also that the number of hikers are increasing, so that may account for some of that. Also perhaps the prices for thru hiking accommodations is approaching that of regular accommodations, I don't know. I also have not looked at the alternatives in Damascus since my thru.



Now if you want to make your place a more high end place, which it seems to be with the bundled services, and if I'm reading it correctly, snacks, dinner and breakfast, that does add value. However that all in all BnB style may not fit well in Damascus due to the numerous alternatives around that soem may want to explore - the model you propose may be better suited to a more isolated hostel, not one in one of the most well known trail towns on the AT.

I have also since hiked the Camino (in Spain) and stays there are a bit cheaper then that on the AT.

Also as I spoke with you, you mentioned your faith and how hiking has helped you, and there are hikers that need a helping hand extended, need to hear your stories, and it would be a shame if they were priced out. Is the hostel more of a business or your mission? That's a question for you and God to work out or to have worked out.

Perhaps a dual level model may work with a lower priced bunk style stay and a higher priced private, semi private room setup. That one seems to work well in many hostels.

George
04-09-2018, 09:23
IMO a hostel would be priced like airlines, most chain hotels etc - supply and demand

- during peak times charge the full 45 and mostly sell out, also no work for stay, why give away what can be sold out - if you can hire a hiker for a week or 2 at a time during the rush that is different, you get a much better value than the usual work done for stay

- in the slower times go slow as 30 and allow work for stay, if you will unlikely fill up

- basically do not ever expect to make money on a business that is run like a hobby

gracebowen
04-09-2018, 10:11
Larry I will stop by and visit you for sure. Will I pay 45 to stay? Probably not. If it's a double occupancy room maybe. A bunk with a bunch of people? No.

I've read a lot of trail journals and one thing that stands out is people regretting paying for a hostel. Why? Too noisy from either people being loud or having a loud snorer sharing their sleep space.

Gambit McCrae
04-09-2018, 10:29
I would pay $45 if it were a double. As in $45 for a room with 2 single beds, or if I were to take my wife I would pay $45 for us to share a double bed. I would not pay $50 though and I would probably not pay $45 if it were just a single room.
IMO:
$10 for tenting
$20 for bunk
$35 for private
$45 for double
These would be my max prices for stay. You cant not bundle in wifi and TV because you will have a common room with these things in it.
Itemize all purchases per amenity that each hiker needs.
$5 for laundry, snack items paid for individually.

I would not promote any drug or alcohol use as it could turn away possible customers. A drunk isn't going to be turned away by a no drinking sign. He will do what he wants. A non drinker may keep walking if he sees a bunch of drinkers laughing it up with the hostel owner on the front porch.

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:06
Crazy Larry's Hostel new price is $45 per person per night now. This includes lots of food and snacks, best Wi-Fi in Damascus-that's a fact, Smart TV in the Hiker Room-you have to be smart to operate the thing and I am not, breakfast, laundry, mail drops-anyone can have their mail sent to pick up-there is no requirement to stay, free parking for guests who want to take off hiking for a bit, HVAC.

I edited this from the original post. I will not charge $60 a night but I am increasing by $5 this year and another $5 next

Price is sometimes negotiable as well depending on how well you can haggle for a doable budget that you have set for yourself......

Attention druggies and alcoholics find another spot..........
Hope I get a good and fair discussion about this......
I know one thing I am just going to play this by ear for a bit.................

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:07
60 bucks, even with food is significantly higher then the other options in town. That's in the ball park of the B+B's in town.

At that price you'll drive out all but the most affluent hikers or those who are desperate for a place to stay at any price since everywhere else is full up. That will keep the riff raft out for sure, but could limit your clientele.
The heck you say, bs.............. yeah it will keep the bad apples away and that is exactly what I want. I have spent years reaching out to these troubled souls and I will continue to do so but not at my business

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:17
charge as much as the market will support, its supply and demand and you have a right to maximize your earnings.
Yep I agree.......

Besides artist David Hunt painted a pic of Crazy Larry's and it is sweet, ask Lone Wolf. We are going to make prints and sell them. Osprey packs and the town of Damascus may help me market them. David painted my buddy Barb's Osprey into it and I attempted to make contact with them today. I cannot share it publicly right now

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:20
[QUOTE=Lone Wolf;2203581]doing "drugs responsibly" will turn potential guests away

”drugs responsibly “ might bring unwanted attention from law enforcement or folks looking to buy said drugs. Possibly not the environment you are looking for.

good luck with your venture! Always great to have options.
Let me inform you of one thing that you may not be aware of the cops can and have walked in here anytime they wanted too. This is a public business they have that right. Besides I am known to bring on unwanted attention to myself pretty dang good so I am use to it. And I might run for council one of these days so we can work on legalizing pot!

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:28
Maybe a curfew of some sort would make Larry's more attractive. $45 a night with actually getting a good night's sleep would be attractive. When I was in Damascus, Larry's was loud and pot stenchy at night. We stayed at Woodchuck. If things could damper down in the evening, lodgers could have a beer, enjoy comraderie, or smoke the occasional joint (assuming the place does not get busted). Those of us who have responsible jobs and are simply hiking a section can't afford to get crosswise with drunk or stoned kids. Folks can afford the increased rate for decent quality of service. Cheaper than a hotel roomThings have changed since you have been here..... But since there is lesser of a possibility of running into stoned and drunk kids at my place than there are in the woods that you walk in it maybe safer at Woodchucker's

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:32
I think that's the point of his question, if I'm understanding correctly. It's the age old business question - what's the shape of the demand curve. And it is a hard business because the more affluent older people, like many retirees, will opt for private accommodations and the younger people are very price sensitive. One thing going for him might be a location early in the trail for NOBOs so most will still have money.

Personally I will stay in well run, clean hostels and I'm willing to pay around $30 at the most for a bunk, wifi and shower and expect to pay more for laundry, shuttles, food, and everything else. If I have to pay substantially more than $30 for a shared lodging, I'm very likely to seek a private room even if it is twice the cost or more. In other words, I have the money for private lodging but like to save some money when I can, but it has to be substantial enough to make sense.

$45 isn't bad if it is a well run hostel and you get laundry (worth $5) and a very good breakfast (worth $10+). In that case, the bed itself is valued at around $30 which is fine for a climate controlled clean hostel that isn't terribly noisy. IMHO.
And we did the math and $45 ain't cutting it if I am going to pay for good help and run a clean joint..... while putting money in the bank. This boy is tired of living under the poverty line. And this ain't the only rod I got in the fire, I also [plan on opening a couple of other hostels on the Trans Am bike route.....something to do until I kick off of this bucket of rocks we call earth

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 15:34
Getting my B&B license Thursday, upgraded from Hotel.......

lonehiker
04-10-2018, 15:49
And we did the math and $45 ain't cutting it if I am going to pay for good help and run a clean joint..... while putting money in the bank. This boy is tired of living under the poverty line. And this ain't the only rod I got in the fire, I also [plan on opening a couple of other hostels on the Trans Am bike route.....something to do until I kick off of this bucket of rocks we call earth

Well, if you can't make it on $45 why are you planning on charging $45? Did I miss, or have you edited, a post?

Crazy Larry #1
04-10-2018, 17:09
Well, if you can't make it on $45 why are you planning on charging $45? Did I miss, or have you edited, a post?Just shooting the crap about it right now but I have settled on $50

George
04-10-2018, 17:27
And we did the math and $45 ain't cutting it if I am going to pay for good help and run a clean joint..... while putting money in the bank. This boy is tired of living under the poverty line. And this ain't the only rod I got in the fire, I also [plan on opening a couple of other hostels on the Trans Am bike route.....something to do until I kick off of this bucket of rocks we call earth

so you are losing money operating one hostel and the plan is to open more........

to somehow make money?????

you state "this is the price unless you haggle"

again, as I said before in this thread - if you want success do not run a business like a hobby

Lone Wolf
04-10-2018, 17:28
this is very confusing...

Hikingjim
04-10-2018, 17:36
Crazy Larry's Hostel new price is $50 per person per night now. This includes lots of food and snacks, best Wi-Fi in Damascus-that's a fact, Smart TV in the Hiker Room-you have to be smart to operate the thing and I am not, breakfast, laundry, mail drops-anyone can have their mail sent to pick up-there is no requirement to stay, free parking for guests who want to take off hiking for a bit, HVAC.

This is standard stuff, other than the breakfast/laundry and other foods. I personally would make those extras.
If someone doesn't want food or laundry... $50 will be way too expensive for a hostel.
If they do, they'll pay for it a la carte and you'll get your $50 that way.

Coffee
04-10-2018, 17:40
And we did the math and $45 ain't cutting it if I am going to pay for good help and run a clean joint..... while putting money in the bank. This boy is tired of living under the poverty line. And this ain't the only rod I got in the fire, I also [plan on opening a couple of other hostels on the Trans Am bike route.....something to do until I kick off of this bucket of rocks we call earth

By all means, charge what you want and think maximizes your profit. You asked for feedback and I gave mine.

George
04-10-2018, 17:40
this is very confusing...

is larry smoked up when posting?

George
04-10-2018, 17:46
By all means, charge what you want and think maximizes your profit. You asked for feedback and I gave mine.

feedback was asked for and given - basically no one said they would pay 45 for a hostel - so he said he will charge 50

not at all a plan to maximize revenue

oh, and a b+b license changes nothing for hikers

Coffee
04-10-2018, 17:48
feedback was asked for and given - basically no one said they would pay 45 for a hostel - so he said he will charge 50

As others have said, this whole thread is getting weird and confusing.

John B
04-10-2018, 17:54
feedback was asked for and given - basically no one said they would pay 45 for a hostel - so he said he will charge 50

not at all a plan to maximize revenue

oh, and a b+b license changes nothing for hikers

Not to quibble over $5, but in point of fact, he said $45:



Good point...........

Okay I am going to drop the price to $45 and be done with it....

John B
04-10-2018, 17:55
But maybe it's $45 if you get a room without weed, $50 with... :)

lonehiker
04-10-2018, 18:06
Not to quibble over $5, but in point of fact, he said $45:

Well he did. But, he has edited his post to $50.

IslandPete
04-10-2018, 18:29
We lose money on every transaction. We’re gonna make it up in volume...

putts
04-10-2018, 18:38
My first experience at Larry's was 2012, I needed something that he had for sale (No, not weed) and he gave it to me for free, brewed a pot of coffee, and we had a conversation for a half hour or so before I hiked on. Great guy.

I stayed with him in January of 16 on my thru hike. The breakfast was very good, the bathroom was stocked w/ all supplies needed and then some..(epson salts, floss, etc..) and the bathroom was memorable as being extremely clean and the shower had great pressure and didn't run out of hot water. It was a full house that night w/ 3 thru hikers, a section hiker, a traveler, and I think a couple other guys. Larry made sure that everyone was considerate, and knew that it wasn't the place for a party, but to enjoy ourselves. I had a good experience there and nothing but good things to say about Larry and his place.

That being said, I do not remember what I paid but I know it was less than 45-50 bucks. I would not be able to bring myself to pay that much for any hostel on the AT.

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:11
The heck you say, bs.............. yeah it will keep the bad apples away and that is exactly what I want. I have spent years reaching out to these troubled souls and I will continue to do so but not at my business I lied I am already helping folks

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:14
Getting my B&B license Thursday, upgraded from Hotel.......
Done...........................................

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:15
Well, if you can't make it on $45 why are you planning on charging $45? Did I miss, or have you edited, a post?
Yeah yeah I just figured I am a bit confused and you all have noticed that

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:19
so you are losing money operating one hostel and the plan is to open more........

to somehow make money?????

you state "this is the price unless you haggle"

again, as I said before in this thread - if you want success do not run a business like a hobby
Read it the way you see it. To break it down I am charging more so I can make more money. I have not lost by any means. My business is building pretty good. The days at living on everyone's budget but mine are gone.....

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:19
this is very confusing...
I just said that

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:22
feedback was asked for and given - basically no one said they would pay 45 for a hostel - so he said he will charge 50

not at all a plan to maximize revenue

oh, and a b+b license changes nothing for hikers
Does for me buddy, I ain't worried whether the hikers stay or not. I want them to stay but they are not my only ticket here.....

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:23
But maybe it's $45 if you get a room without weed, $50 with... :)For that price I look forward to smoking all of yours

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:23
is larry smoked up when posting?
When am I not is the question pal

Crazy Larry #1
04-13-2018, 00:26
My first experience at Larry's was 2012, I needed something that he had for sale (No, not weed) and he gave it to me for free, brewed a pot of coffee, and we had a conversation for a half hour or so before I hiked on. Great guy.

I stayed with him in January of 16 on my thru hike. The breakfast was very good, the bathroom was stocked w/ all supplies needed and then some..(epson salts, floss, etc..) and the bathroom was memorable as being extremely clean and the shower had great pressure and didn't run out of hot water. It was a full house that night w/ 3 thru hikers, a section hiker, a traveler, and I think a couple other guys. Larry made sure that everyone was considerate, and knew that it wasn't the place for a party, but to enjoy ourselves. I had a good experience there and nothing but good things to say about Larry and his place.

That being said, I do not remember what I paid but I know it was less than 45-50 bucks. I would not be able to bring myself to pay that much for any hostel on the AT.
And you know that is okay, no argument here........Thank you for the compliment

Starchild
04-13-2018, 08:29
OK, looking over you last posting it it appears that you are doing this to make money and not so much as your calling or mission, as you find that elsewhere. This is well and good and wish you well on it.

The question as to how to turn it profitable. What I see is you have 2 models, a high capacity hostel or a private room BnB setup. The BnB setup seems to be the way you want to go, and most likely is the better one to get into. This especially since The Place does the high capacity hostel already and it's hard to compete with donation based.

But in order to get to a level where hikers are willing to part with $60/night+ it really needs to be stepped up a notch or 2. As stated WiFi is not a extra it's a standard, it is a detractor if it is not there, but not a plus if it is. Is the laundry a service or self serve? Some hostels have mandatory laundry, yes they demand it upon entry - this keeps things clean , along with town clothes to wear in the mean time. In your place I would also have loner bikes, as Damascus is spread out for hikers and you are on one side of town. Shuttle to the supermarket, perhaps that can be farmed out and on call for a small fee. Slack packing opportunity, especially if possible to pick up the pack at the place before which I don't recall if there is any such place, but if there is and you can set up this service it may help get the higher $ hikers in.

As stated I think you will have a difficult time getting hikers or anyone to part with your proposed $50/night for a bunk, $30/night is more the high end limit, and even rich hikers don't want to pay too much, by Damascus they will know the prices and won't want to feel taken advantage of, so the value really has to be stepped up to justify what you want.

And if you are successful you could attract competition which could end up hurting you as others undercut your prices for private rooms if you make it profitable. During my thru I ended up staying in a private guest house in Damascus, it was spectacular very clean, a very high bar to meet, and it worked out to $12.50 pps / night in 2013.