PDA

View Full Version : What are your thoughts on a Texas Ski Ranch type facility?


jkski
12-29-2006, 08:42 AM
I wanted to get your collective thoughts on how well you think a Texas Ski Ranch type of facility does? I am looking into starting something similar, albeit in Ohio, and while it sounds like a "fun" business to be in, the question is would it truly be profitable.
What are your thoughts?
Also, do you know of any other similar facilities that I could take a look at to see what they have done to become successful.

Thanks and look forward to your feedback.

east tx skier
12-29-2006, 11:21 AM
I wanted to get your collective thoughts on how well you think a Texas Ski Ranch type of facility does? I am looking into starting something similar, albeit in Ohio, and while it sounds like a "fun" business to be in, the question is would it truly be profitable.
What are your thoughts?
Also, do you know of any other similar facilities that I could take a look at to see what they have done to become successful.

Thanks and look forward to your feedback.

The one time I was there, they had lots of folks using the cable park. The ski lake doesn't seem to get much use that day, and I didn't see anyone on the motocross track. The showroom was really nice, and unlike any other MC dealer I've ever visited in Texas (at least at the times I visited), they had a new 197 on the showroom floor.

I think it might take a while to make up the cost of digging the lakes if you're not selling boats on the side. I think we were there toward the end of the season, but it wasn't blowing up with people waiting to use the cable park.

jkski
12-29-2006, 11:49 AM
The cable park would make sense, however, it would also be very costly to put up, so at first, I would look to go solely with a boat-pull lake that has a slalom course as well as kickers, sliders, etc. to attract the wakeboard crowd.
Do you or does anyone else know of a similar type facility that exists? I plan on visiting TSR to get some ideas, but would like something to compare it to.

shepherd
12-29-2006, 11:50 AM
Also, do you know of any other similar facilities that I could take a look at to see what they have done to become successful.

Thanks and look forward to your feedback.

Last time I visited Orlando Watersports Complex (http://www.orlandowatersports.com/), the place was rocking. It was a Sunday afternoon a few months ago. Both cable lakes were full of wakeboarders. The skiboat lake was towing another boarder at the time, with a few others waiting on the dock for their turn. And the mini-motocross track was full of little critters racing around on their little motorcycles. They also have a paintball field, but I don't remember seeing anybody using it. They don't have a boat dealership, but they have an annex of Performance Ski and Surf, which is the most popular waterski proshop in Orlando area.

Leroy
12-29-2006, 11:51 AM
I think the cable park with rails would be great. Sad to say, but I don't see how a boat pull park can make money.

jkski
12-29-2006, 12:03 PM
I think the cable park with rails would be great. Sad to say, but I don't see how a boat pull park can make money.

I'm not sure it can either, however, what if it was operated more like a "ski club", but you rent-out the lake by the half-hour..kinda like reserving a raquetball court time at your local fitness center. You could allowa person to bring their own boat for one rate, or the acility can provide the pull for another rate.
Again, I do not have the details worked out, so I'm not certain this could even work, but I am open to suggestions.

All in all, "I think" the key to making any venture like this a success is to have multiple revenue streams, like the motocross track, and proshop, etc. Spread the cost out.

Keep the suggestions coming...thanks.

Leroy
12-29-2006, 12:12 PM
Do you have to buy land and build the lake and park or do you have something you can use already?

If you have to buy and build prices for that range from $1M up. Takes a lot of revenue to cover that investment.

Monte
12-29-2006, 12:18 PM
I'm not sure it can either, however, what if it was operated more like a "ski club", but you rent-out the lake by the half-hour..kinda like reserving a raquetball court time at your local fitness center. You could allowa person to bring their own boat for one rate, or the acility can provide the pull for another rate.
Again, I do not have the details worked out, so I'm not certain this could even work, but I am open to suggestions.

All in all, "I think" the key to making any venture like this a success is to have multiple revenue streams, like the motocross track, and proshop, etc. Spread the cost out.

Keep the suggestions coming...thanks.

I like the idea... You you need at least 4 SBU's (small business units).
Supply the boat (pull) 1 fee and/ or rent out time on the lake.

Arrange some type of accomadations (small cabins, B&B, dorm type facility, camping hook ups. whatever floats your boat)

Pro shop with a ski pro... (heck offer lessons)

Resturant and or snack shop..

Then advertise in vacation planning guides, ski/ wakeboard publications, etc... I bet big $$$ you'd be swamped with UMP type folks wanting to get out during the winter. All inclusive packages are nice, or build your own trip. It doesn't neccessarily have to be exclusively for locals in other words... But they can help keep you afloat during the offseason/onseason... The Travel/ Tourism industry is booming!

jkski
12-29-2006, 12:22 PM
Do you have to buy land and build the lake and park or do you have something you can use already?

If you have to buy and build prices for that range from $1M up. Takes a lot of revenue to cover that investment.

I would be partnering with a land owner that already has a large lake in place, so no digging would be required. Some re-shaping of shorelines and surrounding land might be necessary, however, those would be minor undertakings as compared to having to dig a lake. The largest outlay of capital, as I see it, would be building the motocross track and constructing any structures, granted, this all goes hand-in-hand with permitting, etc. Also, the insurance aspect is HUGE, but it can be overcome as is proven by the existence of similar facilities.
All in all, the land lends itself to this type of project fairly well, however, I am also aware that "build it and they will come" only works in the movies!

jkski
12-29-2006, 12:26 PM
I like the idea... You you need at least 4 SBU's (small business units).
Supply the boat (pull) 1 fee and/ or rent out time on the lake.

Arrange some type of accomadations (small cabins, B&B, dorm type facility, camping hook ups. whatever floats your boat)

Pro shop with a ski pro... (heck offer lessons)

Resturant and or snack shop..

Then advertise in vacation planning guides, ski/ wakeboard publications, etc... I bet big $$$ you'd be swamped with UMP type folks wanting to get out during the winter. All inclusive packages are nice, or build your own trip. It doesn't neccessarily have to be exclusively for locals in other words... But they can help keep you afloat during the offseason/onseason... The Travel/ Tourism industry is booming!

Great points. One thing to keep in mind, is that this would be located in Ohio. So, unlike TSR and Orlando, my season is somewhat limited to May-August (March-November for hardcore). The "other" revenue streams will be key to making this fly, as I would not be able to rely on the lake to carry me through the off-season months (granted I would hope to generate enough revenue during the peak season to offset the off-season, just like a vacation rental.)
Keep the ideas coming.

Harvey
12-29-2006, 12:27 PM
There are currently three in the US and a fourth under construction.

http://www.kcwatersports.com/ is in Kansas.

www.orlandowatersports.com/ obviously in Orlando.

www.texasskiranch.com/ in New Braunsful between Austin and San Antonio.

http://www.wakeboardoklahoma.com/ is being built north of Oklahoma City on I35.

They all have one big thing in common, diversity. They all have other money making avenues besides the cable park. I don't know if it is possible to make enough money from a cable park alone. The cost of the equipment alone is going to make you cringe. The new one in Oklahoma is looking for sponsorship money which is a vital thing to stay alive.

My personal opinion is these places are great but don't count on me selling my boat and buying a season pass if they build one in my backyard.

Monte
12-29-2006, 12:58 PM
Great points. One thing to keep in mind, is that this would be located in Ohio. So, unlike TSR and Orlando, my season is somewhat limited to May-August (March-November for hardcore). The "other" revenue streams will be key to making this fly, as I would not be able to rely on the lake to carry me through the off-season months (granted I would hope to generate enough revenue during the peak season to offset the off-season, just like a vacation rental.)
Keep the ideas coming.

My bad, looked at the title and skimmed through obviously missed the Ohio part..

A couple other ideas I would have:
Mtn bike trails for minimal fee
redneck as it may sound (pay fishing lake) some guys around here make big$$ with that..
you've already said motocross
Stage for local/ regional bands
horse trails???

If I can find it.. for my senior paper in College we had to do an entire business plan for a recreation based business... Degree is in Business Admin + Commercial Recreation & Travel Tourism Management. Mine was based on an outdoor ampitheater/ campground/ horse park..

Leroy
12-29-2006, 01:08 PM
If you have land and pretty ok water you have a great start.

I would work to get other clubs interested or created, University of Akron ski club, etc. Maybe even budget some money as seed money to start 5-10 ski/boarding clubs around the area. You are their sponsor, they ski and pay you. Talk with Water Ski USA leaders in OH.

Also local indoor soccer place here starting daycare business during the summer when it normally sat idle. I think they make more money from that than the indoor season during the winter. I would guess they have ~50 kids every day in the summer.

Good luck!

jkski
12-29-2006, 01:52 PM
You guys are great, I love the ideas as there are many that I certainly had not considered.
Monte72, I am a marketing and business admin guy myself. If you are open to sharing that business plan, let me know. I am building mine and it is always nice to see things I would never have thought of.

Monte
12-29-2006, 02:23 PM
You guys are great, I love the ideas as there are many that I certainly had not considered.
Monte72, I am a marketing and business admin guy myself. If you are open to sharing that business plan, let me know. I am building mine and it is always nice to see things I would never have thought of.

Just have to see if I can find it... It doesn't bother me to let you see a copy of it, I would like to open up the business as I described in the plan, but pulling the trigger is the biggest issue...

slalomskifreak
01-02-2007, 10:45 PM
If you have land and pretty ok water you have a great start.

I would work to get other clubs interested or created, University of Akron ski club, etc. Maybe even budget some money as seed money to start 5-10 ski/boarding clubs around the area. You are their sponsor, they ski and pay you. Talk with Water Ski USA leaders in OH.

Also local indoor soccer place here starting daycare business during the summer when it normally sat idle. I think they make more money from that than the indoor season during the winter. I would guess they have ~50 kids every day in the summer.

Good luck!

That type of place already exists here in Indy. It is the Fairland Exit, I have wanted to build a cable park there for years after visiting TSR. They can also accomodate boats, boat dearlership, camping (RV hook-ups) and swimming area. The killer is the winter. Although I have figured out how to put it under a dome, just alot more money.

Good luck,

Curt

Leroy
01-02-2007, 10:57 PM
Curt;

I joined USA Waterski last year and really meant to go out there for the Monday evening course sessions. Next year for sure as I'm working ~15 minutes from there now. I have swam the lake many times with their sprint Tri-A.

Do you own the place? Does it have a cable park?

Thanks
Leroy

slalomskifreak
01-03-2007, 08:37 PM
Curt;

I joined USA Waterski last year and really meant to go out there for the Monday evening course sessions. Next year for sure as I'm working ~15 minutes from there now. I have swam the lake many times with their sprint Tri-A.

Do you own the place? Does it have a cable park?

Thanks
Leroy

I meant to get out to either the Monday or Tuesday ski league last year, but never made it. I work at the DFAS building on old Fort Benn/Harrison, so I am pretty close also. I wish I owned Fairland! It was up or $1M. Not sure if it sold or not? It does not have a cable park, but could easily support one. Along with boat dealership, pro-shop, boat pulls, camping already there, etc. I wish I was a millionaire!!!!!!!!!

Curt

jkski
01-04-2007, 09:49 AM
I meant to get out to either the Monday or Tuesday ski league last year, but never made it. I work at the DFAS building on old Fort Benn/Harrison, so I am pretty close also. I wish I owned Fairland! It was up or $1M. Not sure if it sold or not? It does not have a cable park, but could easily support one. Along with boat dealership, pro-shop, boat pulls, camping already there, etc. I wish I was a millionaire!!!!!!!!!

Curt

For what it is worth, you may want to try talking to the owner of this porperty to see if he/she would be interested in working with you to make the land/water a profitable item. From my limited experience, and keep in mind I have not gotten this up and running, a lot of property owners will at least talk with you about your concept/idea, and if you have the right kind of person, they may see the long term financial benefit. All in all, what I am getting at is that you may not need $1 million to make the dream a reality, maybe the current owner will be a part of the project and bring the property as his/her portion of it, which leaves you to coordinate/operate the business end of things.

#47of100TeamMC
01-04-2007, 10:44 AM
If the lake is big enough for a slalom course and barefooting (roughly 2,000 feet long or more). what about getting together with your local Sled heads for the winter months and hosting Ice Drag races. Usually those guys do 1,000 foot drags. which would give you plenty of room to plow 1500-2000 feet for staging and cool down areas. A lot of sled guys around here have very few races to attend in the year. if they had a site for Testing and more regular events I think they'd be Extatic. Just a thought.

chudson
01-04-2007, 01:42 PM
Something else is a "Paint Gun Park" on the property near the lake they seem to be pretty popular now and don't require alot of space!!!

Ryan27r
01-05-2007, 12:33 AM
There were several great ideas in hear. I really like the idea of having Ice Drags in the winter taht would attract alot of people. You would attract people from lower Mich Indiana and Pensylvaniawitch have an ok sled market. How big is the lake? Large small or average man made lake size (enen though yours is there).

jkski
01-05-2007, 08:41 AM
These ideas are great, and I do like the idea of ice drags, which I'm certain the lake I am working with could handle, except for one small thing.......Ohio has somehow forgotten what happens when "winter" arrives. While I can't speak for all of Ohio, I can say that the part I am in has not had to worry about lakes freezing over, so maybe we could look at the open water races that I've watched on ESPN, or maybe the facility could be a year round thing. All depends on what mother nature decides to do.