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  1. #1
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    Default Would like to develope new thru hiker hostel

    Hey, new at this, but have many years experience, blood, sweat, tears and all that goes along with parenting, relationships, and now developing womething for my dad and i to use some land, older hunting cabin with water,electric and 4 miles from unicoi gap in ga. Any sugestions and ideas would be helpful. My last lodgeing experience was on little stsimons island, lots of great memories and friends made at that wonderful place. Alex

  2. #2
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    Any experience hiking? I'd say the best way to find out would be to get on the trail in the area and talk to hikers coming through. Word of mouth up and down the trail is the best advertisement you can get.

  3. #3
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    Where or how do i advertise services or things like shuttels,meals etc. Free preferably?

  4. #4
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    Contact local meetup groups like AOC and GAG and other backpacking orgs....also the area outfitters hang fliers in their establishments if possible. Our group uses shuttles often for mulit day outings. Good luck and I will be looking for your business.

  5. #5

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    I will attempt to inject a dose of reality in this thread but I expect you will ignore it and attribute it to " bad vibes".

    Your best education is to visit other hostels and get the owners when they are not busy. If you only have to chose one, Bob at Kincora In Hampton TN is worth the gas to visit.

    You will rapidly find out that your compensation will be memories but at best break even and most likely you will be susidizing it every month. If you or your dad have any assets whatsoever do check into the ramifications of setting up a hostel. Even though you can try the "donation" system, if someone gets hurt on your property, you will be spending a lot on legal bills at a minimum and possibly a lot more. If you charge for services, then expect to spend considerable dollars renovating the camp to make it code legal and plan on writing checks for insurance. When you go on the "donation" system, realize that most folks will take this an opportunity to not pay a cent. If you are lucky, some folks may pay a bit more to compensate.

    Do yourself a favor and have some rules posted prominently and when folks ignore them tell them to leave. The 99% of the great folks you will meet will respect and follow them but you will remember the 1% who dont. I expect Lonewolf can give you a lot of feedback on how effectiuve rules at a hostel are with or without active enforcement. There is a small active community of folks that take advantage of whatever kind but naive person they encounter on the trail and unfortunately, you have now painted that "target" on your head. News travels fast and when there is a new provider on the trail, the folks not welcome at other places will end up on your doorstep. Reportedly there is a some sort of "early warning system" set up between hostels and service providers to give folks a heads up on troublemakers, but unfortunately being so close to Springer, you will probably be the one making the reports of problems versus getting the reports in time to be able to act on it.

    I am not in any way downing hostels or the owners, its great that they supply a service and the owners are generally truly committed to serving hikers , its just reality that the majority of them are just one law suit away from losing whatever assets they have.

    Be aware that if you shuttle into or out of a national forest or park that you legally need an "outfitter guide permit".

    If you are still serious, contact the authors of the various AT guides to get included in their trail guides, 95% of your business will come from them. If you are a legit operation, ATC will gladly list your services but be aware that reportedly in the past the USFS has used shuttle listings like this to bust folk without and outfitter guide permit.

  6. #6
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    Peakbagger offers good advice.

    Two points for your consideration:

    Hikers are mostly respectful and well mannered. For those few who are trouble, you need to be very visable. Trouble rarely happens in your presence.

    If you are looking to do better than break even, you need to appeal to another set of potential customers. Some hostels do this by attracting bikers, river rafters or snowmobilers. If you are looking to do this for enjoyment and "giving back" to the trail community be prepared for hard (but rewarding) work !!!!
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

  7. #7

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    Don't allow booze and you will cut out most of the problems.

  8. #8
    El Sordo
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    you are quite close to the Blueberry Patch hostel on U.S. hwy 76. Gary can give you lots of advice on hosteling. The Poteets run their hostel as a ministry and accept donations.

    Are you on the Helen side of Unicoi or the Hiawassee side?
    Dyslexics Untie!

  9. #9
    Registered User DeerPath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex123 View Post
    Hey, new at this, but have many years experience, blood, sweat, tears and all that goes along with parenting, relationships, and now developing womething for my dad and i to use some land, older hunting cabin with water,electric and 4 miles from unicoi gap in ga. Any sugestions and ideas would be helpful. My last lodgeing experience was on little stsimons island, lots of great memories and friends made at that wonderful place. Alex
    I suggest talking to Joshua and Leigh Saint at (770) 312-7342 www.hikerhostel.com . They have a great place, offer many services, and are in a "For Profit" business.
    DeerPath

    LIFE'S JOURNEY IS NOT TO ARRIVE AT THE GRAVE SAFELY
    IN A WELL PRESERVED BODY,
    BUT RATHER SKID IN SIDEWAYS, TOTALLY WORN OUT,
    SHOUTING "HOLY CRAP....WHAT A RIDE!"

  10. #10
    Registered User kayak karl's Avatar
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    run it as a business and know how to run a business
    I'm so confused, I'm not sure if I lost my horse or found a rope.

  11. #11

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    I would like to advertise camper RV for rent in Pearisburg area mile 663 also shuttles how do I do this?

  12. #12

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    Theirs plenty of Hostels in the south if you want this to work start one in the Mid-Atlantic States try Pennlsyvania, there's only a couple there.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by RED-DOG View Post
    Theirs plenty of Hostels in the south if you want this to work start one in the Mid-Atlantic States try Pennlsyvania, there's only a couple there.
    There are plenty of hikers in the south that still have money too.

  14. #14

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    Okay i didn't say hikers in the south didn't have money, in fact i live in W.N.C about 30 miles from the AT what i was referring to is competition between Hostels more Competition less money you will make less competition more money you will make, it seems every time you turn around on the AT in the south theirs a hostel, and every year for the last few years theirs been hostels popping up every where.

  15. #15

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    You might want to not use the word "hostel" in your business name

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