How to Sell a Campground For Top-Dollar

Posted On: / By: Brian Knoderer
Selling A Business

Like many related industries, campgrounds and RV parks are experiencing a decline due to widespread travel regulations. The future of travel, especially within this small sector, is very uncertain. RV and campground businesses rely heavily on older market segments, which are slowing down to the increased risk of COVID-19 exposure. Plus, as fuel prices could rise in the United States, more may be turned away from camper travel. You may be wondering if now is the time to sell a campground. Keep reading to learn how to effectively market to prospective buyers and earn top-dollar for your park.

How to Sell a Campground or RV Park For Top-Dollar

Before you list your campground for sale, consider the four following points to earn the most in your transaction.

  1. Plan Your Exit

    The first step you should take, even before you’ve decided to sell, is to create an exit plan. Doing so will help you earn the most money for your park and ensure a smooth transition between you and the new owner. Map out a clear strategy that will allow you enough time to tidy up, renovate or replace any equipment, and care for any outdoor areas. Many campground owners assume they’re able to sell quicker than they actually are, and the volatility of the market doubles down on this pressure. Take time to make enhancements ahead of time, so you’re not scrambling to do so when you’re ready to sell.

  2. Gather Financial Records

    camper at nighttimeAny (qualified) potential campground buyer will want to see how you arrived at your asking price. You’ll want to have the financial data on-hand to back up this figure. Some of the paperwork you’ll want to have ready is last year’s cash flow statement, balance sheet, profit and loss statement, tax returns, etc. Before listing your campground business, you’ll want to have a professional valuation conducted to learn how much your park is worth. So, you’ll need to prepare this information ahead of time to present to a financial advisor.

  3. Timing is Everything

    Most campsites have a busy season and an off-season, with the former usually falling in the summer months. Those looking to buy an RV park could make their purchase at any time in the year. As a seller, you should start preparing your business at least a year before you intend to sell. Ideally, you should begin in the early spring or summer a year before you’re looking to sell, as you could find a potential buyer during the summer ahead. Whether or not buyers stagger in as quickly as you’d like, you want to have your RV park and resort prepared so that you don’t miss out on an excellent opportunity.

  4. Consider Your Post-Sale Involvement

    Many campground owners decide they’d like to wipe their hands clean of the business, while others choose to stay on and help their buyer get adjusted. Whether you’re looking for some post-sale involvement – or have decided it’s time for you to relax and enjoy the great outdoors – you’ll want to determine your plans ahead of time. Prospective buyers want to know the type of seller arrangement that will happen post-transaction. Once you decide your involvement-level, you may also want to consider aligning your goals with the types of buyers you look for.

While a good start, this is by no means an exhaustive list of all the items you’ll want to consider when selling a campground. If you’re starting to think about stepping down from your park, let Sunbelt Business Brokers step in for you. Contact your local Sunbelt office for more information on selling a campground!

Brian Knoderer is the President of Sunbelt Business Brokers. He has over 20 years of experience as a business owner and managing business transactions. As a seasoned intermediary, Brian has successfully represented companies in a broad range of industries helping business owners achieve their desired exit strategy or growth initiative.

Brian is also co-owner of Sunbelt Indiana and Managing Director of MMI Capital Partners, a franchisor focused investment banking firm.

Previously Brian was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures as well as having held corporate roles in Franchise Development for Prime Hospitality and Choice Hotels.

Brian is a graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Management Information Systems and earned his MBA from Butler University. He has received the Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA) designation, holds both the Series 7 – General Security License and the Series 63 – Uniform Securities Licenses, and is a licensed Real Estate Broker. He has been affiliated with several organizations including the Entrepreneur Organization, a Member of the International Business Brokers Association, Venture Club, and a Board Member of The Entrepreneur Institute.

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