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  1. #21
    mountain squid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skymom View Post
    What are your thoughts on hostels and where needed?
    My thought is for you to be 100% certain that this is something you really want to do. Hikers are VERY demanding. I always suggest to someone with this notion to be a caretaker at an already open hostel for several seasons and gain valuable experience. You'll find out beforehand if you really want to invest money into this endeavor.

    You mention opening up your home to "a bunch of stinky, undernourished, dirty unknown people" and that you "love the hiking community and all it's stories, quirks, and personalities", which is all good and fine. But it is so much more than that. Just imagine spending all day catering to the needs of a bunch of hikers and just when you think you'll get a moment to yourself, another hiker arrives . . . 'Where's my maildrop?' 'When's the next town run?' 'Can I pitch my tent in the back yard?' 'Do you allow work-for-stays?' 'Do you slack pack?' etc, etc . . . . and, of course, there is some other 'emergency' with the original group of hikers which doesn't give you time to answer any of the new hikers questions . . . .

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Good Luck and again I highly suggest being a caretaker prior to spending alot of money . . . you might find out it is not as 'glamorous' as it seems.

    See you on the trail,
    mt squid

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain squid View Post
    My thought is for you to be 100% certain that this is something you really want to do. Hikers are VERY demanding. I always suggest to someone with this notion to be a caretaker at an already open hostel for several seasons and gain valuable experience. You'll find out beforehand if you really want to invest money into this endeavor.

    You mention opening up your home to "a bunch of stinky, undernourished, dirty unknown people" and that you "love the hiking community and all it's stories, quirks, and personalities", which is all good and fine. But it is so much more than that. Just imagine spending all day catering to the needs of a bunch of hikers and just when you think you'll get a moment to yourself, another hiker arrives . . . 'Where's my maildrop?' 'When's the next town run?' 'Can I pitch my tent in the back yard?' 'Do you allow work-for-stays?' 'Do you slack pack?' etc, etc . . . . and, of course, there is some other 'emergency' with the original group of hikers which doesn't give you time to answer any of the new hikers questions . . . .

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Good Luck and again I highly suggest being a caretaker prior to spending alot of money . . . you might find out it is not as 'glamorous' as it seems.

    See you on the trail,
    mt squid
    Good advice. Almost has to be a "calling". Experience in LDH and hospitality required.

  3. #23
    Registered User skymom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountain squid View Post
    My thought is for you to be 100% certain that this is something you really want to do. Hikers are VERY demanding. I always suggest to someone with this notion to be a caretaker at an already open hostel for several seasons and gain valuable experience. You'll find out beforehand if you really want to invest money into this endeavor.

    You mention opening up your home to "a bunch of stinky, undernourished, dirty unknown people" and that you "love the hiking community and all it's stories, quirks, and personalities", which is all good and fine. But it is so much more than that. Just imagine spending all day catering to the needs of a bunch of hikers and just when you think you'll get a moment to yourself, another hiker arrives . . . 'Where's my maildrop?' 'When's the next town run?' 'Can I pitch my tent in the back yard?' 'Do you allow work-for-stays?' 'Do you slack pack?' etc, etc . . . . and, of course, there is some other 'emergency' with the original group of hikers which doesn't give you time to answer any of the new hikers questions . . . .

    Anyway, just some thoughts. Good Luck and again I highly suggest being a caretaker prior to spending alot of money . . . you might find out it is not as 'glamorous' as it seems.

    See you on the trail,
    mt squid
    Good points mt squid. Definitely would be a lot of work. But living in corporate cubicle world has driven me to the point of insanity. I'm currently in the process of working away from my office job which has sucked the life and soul out of me. Gettin back to what has always kept me grounded in life. I'll look into checking out how others operate and helping out to get a better feel. I love the great advice on this site!

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by skymom View Post
    Hmmmm, now my wheels are really turning. Looks like I need to take a roadtrip this weekend and do some exploring/scouting around.
    If you get around my area, I would be glad to show you around or answer any questions(If possible)you may have.

    Lost Acoustic Blues
    (clickable)

  5. #25
    Registered User The Gambler's Avatar
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    great advice squid....currently a hosel for sale in NH....and i think the hiker hostel in georgia is looking for a couple to run theirs for a year
    "Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do." Dale Carnegie

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by skymom View Post
    Good points mt squid. Definitely would be a lot of work. But living in corporate cubicle world has driven me to the point of insanity. I'm currently in the process of working away from my office job which has sucked the life and soul out of me. Gettin back to what has always kept me grounded in life. I'll look into checking out how others operate and helping out to get a better feel. I love the great advice on this site!
    Is it possible to make a living running a hiker hostel? I've always assumed not given the seasonality and low rates typically charged. A hostel with capacity for ten hikers charging $25/night and at full capacity for three months of the year (which might be generous) would gross around $22,000. And of course there are expenses involved... and there is liability if ancillary services like shuttles are provided to earn more money.

    I've casually looked at properties in Front Royal near the trail so this is an interesting topic.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by skymom View Post
    Good points mt squid. Definitely would be a lot of work. But living in corporate cubicle world has driven me to the point of insanity. I'm currently in the process of working away from my office job which has sucked the life and soul out of me. Gettin back to what has always kept me grounded in life. I'll look into checking out how others operate and helping out to get a better feel. I love the great advice on this site!
    Your thoughts and feelings are interesting, skymom. I would visit a hostel for sure and find out how they operate. I would visit the Hostel in Hot Springs.. I can't remember the name of it... Not Elmers the other one in Hot Springs.....

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblingHiker View Post
    Is it possible to make a living running a hiker hostel?
    hell yeah! 'ol keith shaw made a buttload of $$ off hikers

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    hell yeah! 'ol keith shaw made a buttload of $$ off hikers
    Didn't he get a lot of business from nonhikers as well - hunters, trappers, snowmobilers, all of whom stayed later than hikers. And maybe fishermen in the spring?

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lone Wolf View Post
    hell yeah! 'ol keith shaw made a buttload of $$ off hikers
    These days this is doable. Location, attitude, business sense, and an otherwise stable financial condition will be major factors. A whole lot of hikers these days enjoy escaping the trail every few days as much as they enjoy being on it. They have the money to take 6 months off, or they wouldn't make it to Damascus, much less points North.

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmaybix View Post
    Your thoughts and feelings are interesting, skymom. I would visit a hostel for sure and find out how they operate. I would visit the Hostel in Hot Springs.. I can't remember the name of it... Not Elmers the other one in Hot Springs.....
    The one run by Chuck Norris and Tigger.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cookerhiker View Post
    The one run by Chuck Norris and Tigger.
    Yes, Cookerhiker.. that one. Hostel at Laughing Heart Lodge... I had to look it up! I heard that one is really run well.

  13. #33
    Registered User Tuckahoe's Avatar
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    The first mistake would be placing the focus of a hiker hostel on thru-hikers, over that of weekenders, section hikers and other sorts of outdoor/eco-tourists that are more likely to spend more money.
    igne et ferrum est potentas
    "In the beginning, all America was Virginia." -​William Byrd

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuckahoe64 View Post
    The first mistake would be placing the focus of a hiker hostel on thru-hikers, over that of weekenders, section hikers and other sorts of outdoor/eco-tourists that are more likely to spend more money.
    Some thru-hikers are "loaded"... just have to make sure you cater to "those" thru-hikers!! Just kiddin!! I agree with what you are sayin...

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shmaybix View Post
    Some thru-hikers are "loaded"... just have to make sure you cater to "those" thru-hikers!! Just kiddin!! I agree with what you are sayin...
    If you cater to all prospective paying customers, and you are far enough up the trail to avoid the penniless wannabees, you got a shot.

  16. #36
    Registered User hobbs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Gambler View Post
    great advice squid....currently a hosel for sale in NH....and i think the hiker hostel in georgia is looking for a couple to run theirs for a year
    Your right the Hiker Hostel in Georgia is looking for a Couple to rum it for a year..Call it an internship and you can see if you like it without a commitment of your own finances skymom..
    My love for life is quit simple .i get uo in the moring and then i go to bed at night. What I do inbween is to occupy my time. Cary Grant

  17. #37

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    I was really looking forward to the pancake and bacon breakfast at Harrison Camps in Maine on my thru. When I got there they did not serve breakfast to the thrus that day. It was the FIRST DAY that entire season that they had no regular paying customers staying at the camp, so they took the day off and enjoyed themselves.

    So what I'm saying if you want to open a hiker hostel cuz you like to hike you may not find yourself doing much hiking.

  18. #38
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    good place for a hiker hostel on the trail is where the AT crosses that bridge over the Interstate Hiway near Bland, VA. There's some kind of retirement home looking building and a church right next to the trail, near a long roadwalk.

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Praha4 View Post
    good place for a hiker hostel on the trail is where the AT crosses that bridge over the Interstate Hiway near Bland, VA. There's some kind of retirement home looking building and a church right next to the trail, near a long roadwalk.
    That area is also served by Trubrit and his "Fort Bastian". Mixed reports from hikers this year, but you can't beat his price...$0.00.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by max patch View Post
    I was really looking forward to the pancake and bacon breakfast at Harrison Camps in Maine on my thru. When I got there they did not serve breakfast to the thrus that day. It was the FIRST DAY that entire season that they had no regular paying customers staying at the camp, so they took the day off and enjoyed themselves.

    So what I'm saying if you want to open a hiker hostel cuz you like to hike you may not find yourself doing much hiking.
    Very true indeed. Keep in mind during the 3 month thruhiker season you work 7 days a week/18 hour days.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

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