Jeff Hoffman’s family built the Sandusky/Bayshore KOA Holiday in 1968 and he has enjoyed being a part of the park and the outdoor hospitality industry in general since he was a teenager.
“It was originally a 34-site park with 20-amp electric hookups,” he noted to WOODALLSCM.com (WCM). “It eventually reached up to 500 sites and now has around 330 sites. We are pretty much at the size of what we would consider being a finished product.”
Hoffman has also been busy at the association level as a member and now serves as president of the Ohio Campground Owners Association (OCOA) and on the Board of Directors for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (National ARVC). Recently, he has expanded into another business venture by starting Jeff Hoffman Campground Consulting, a consulting business that aims to help park owners more efficiently run their parks. He also has experience in the hotel, retail, golf course and management fields.
“The one theme that I see all over is that small businesses, mostly small to medium-sized campground owners, work too much. They stress themselves out,” he explained. “They work 30 hours a day. They don’t know how to systemize their payments, savings and other systems, and they are always borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
“I guess my ultimate goal is to be a stress relief for those campground owners and to show them what’s possible,” Hoffman added. “I don’t have any get-rich-quick overnight plans, but I try to develop a five-year plan to push them forward, but also try to correct mistakes from the past and get them moving in the right direction.”
He noted to WCM that he keeps the park to have a good place to work on ideas and see what works.
“I like to try things first instead of telling a client something and having it fail,” Hoffman said.
He explained that every park has its own personality and clientele that it is aiming for.
“You have to embrace that, and you can’t force yourself on an area,” Hoffman said. “That is a tough lesson to learn, but I learned it.”
Hoffman said he isn’t an engineer but has expertise in market research and can tell clients if their site design is going to work or not.
“If your design is poor, you are not going to be selling sites,” he explained. “Campers want hundred-foot pull-throughs that are 50 feet wide so that they don’t have to see their neighbor, but they can also commune with others. They don’t want to be right next door and if you give them that, then they are willing to pay for it.”
Hoffman said that he tries to work with new buyers as they are working to secure a park.
“Most of the problems I see stem from the buyers paying too much for a park and having no idea how much capital they are going to have to put in once they buy the park,” he explained. “Once they buy the park they struggle to make it better and they have questions on how to improve cash flow, cut expenses, renegotiate debt and more.”
Hoffman says that he works with his customers over the phone for free initially to see what areas he is going to have to focus on.
“I can tell if I am going to be able to help them and if not, then I am not wasting their time or money,” he explained. “I am not going to charge them $5,000 and then just tell them to sell. My rates are going to be reasonable.”
Jeff just launched his new website at jhconsultingsolutions.net that includes his biography, experience in the industry, the services he provides and more.
To contact him directly, call 419-656-1921 or email [email protected]