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Need Advice/Input please

Need Advice/Input please

Old 07-26-2015, 06:06 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
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Default Need Advice/Input please

I have an opportunity to purchase an old 5 bedroom home that is in the family. I live in an area where the housing market is not strong, so the purchase will be reasonable. I would not be living in it, I would create a business out of it as a Quilt retreat house/weekend rental. The house has a lot of potential as far as enough space goes. I have several months to do my research to see if there is a need in my area for retreat homes and houses for things such as overflow for out of town guests for weddings and funerals. Is there a need for a place where a small group of women can just go and sew for several days at a time? It is located in a small town on the interstate, but not really anything to draw people like a lake or wonderful scenery. What are some things I need to consider? My motive is not to make money, but to keep the house in the family. I would be happy to break even and put sweat equity into the home for resale way down the road. Your input is appreciated.
SuzieQuilts is offline  
Old 07-26-2015, 06:09 AM
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Location: Mableton, GA
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I am surely not an expert, but are there zoning laws to allow what you want? Or not an issue where you are? Good luck with it, if you decide it is an option.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:11 AM
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Location: Southern California
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I think a number of factors have got to be considered such as your expense verses income (bookings). I know there is one up in Big Bear which is a popular mountain resort in So CA. I would contact other people who have these bizs elsewhere across this country and find out what facts they learned when trying this business. Good Luck
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:13 AM
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This place is about what you are doing. They are very friendly people that own it. I would give them a call and set up a meeting. http://www.robertscarriagehouseretreat.com/
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:51 AM
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Location: McKinney TX
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The Small Business Association (maybe bureau?) is a good place to learn and I believe they have a department dealing with women wanting to go into small business. It's worth a try. You don't mention your location and proximity to larger cities to draw customers from. Good Luck.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:10 AM
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Location: Wichita Falls, TX
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I don't know where your house is, but around here (Texas) quilters and scrapbookers are willing to drive several hours to get to a retreat. Marketing and maintenance would be my two concerns.

There are two places near me (near being a couple hours drive) in Texas that may be good examples for you. Hobby House Hill was created for scrapbookers and has added quilting to their schedule. They are heavily booked.

Sunset Retreat is a newer one that started a few years ago and focuses on quilters. They have a small quilt shop onsite (quilters always forget something!). When they were getting ready to open they came to our quilt guild with quilt kits (fabric and patterns). Everyone who made a twin-size quilt for them received a coupon free weekend. It was a win-win since they got quilts for their beds, quilters learned of their retreats, and we got a free weekend!

Maybe one or both of these could give you some inside information.

Again, marketing and maintenance would be my main concerns. I'm quite sure quilters would travel to your location if it was set up right.

Good luck with it.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:24 AM
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Are there restaurants near by or would you expect the attendees to do there own cooking? My fellow attended are not interested in cooking. Will you have housekeeping services?
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:49 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
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I go along with what AudreyB says. I've been to several quilt retreats at a 4-H camp during off season, and one to a church camp before the summer camp started. None of the places I know of are near a big city or on a main route, which made them more attractive. Do you have a great room where all the participants can set up tables for their machines and pressing stations, and still have room for a small lounging area? Will the septic or sewer system be able to handle all that flushing? With 5 bedrooms, how many twin beds will you put in? At one place the meals are prepared for us by an experienced cook. At the other place, the cooking was done by several employees who have other duties on site, so the "cooks" were out of their element. I'd go to that one again, but be better prepared with food I bring along. If you buy this house to keep it in the family, will you eventually live in it, or are you just trying to preserve it for memories sake?
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:14 AM
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Location: Louisiana
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There is a group of us from Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma that get together twice yearly to quilt at a somewhat central location in Texas. We cook our own meals and have a wonderful time. When looking for places for a retreat, these are some of the things we look for. We all (8-10 people) like to be in the same room and have room for each of us to have a conference table and a small sewing machine table for our use. The location we use was built specifically for retreats. There are plenty of electrical outlets and the building was wired to handle the load of several irons, sewing machines, lights, etc. There needs to be enough restrooms to accommodate the occupancy. I would have a contractor look at the house to see what you would need to do to make the house retreat friendly. We all love our retreats and call them "the most wonderful time of the year". Good luck on your research.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:17 AM
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Location: Illinois
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Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
This place is about what you are doing. They are very friendly people that own it. I would give them a call and set up a meeting. http://www.robertscarriagehouseretreat.com/
What a lovely place!----from website.......

To the original poster.....I wish you good luck in your possible plan of opening a retreat house........
Geri B is offline  
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