OT: Running a hotel

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Perhaps a few of you recall a post I made several weeks ago about making a career switch. Well, recently, my wife and I were talking during dinner out/a few beers when an idea struck. Her father is a jack of all trades kind of guy: He is a doctor but has dabbled in many other fields including building and running his own hotel. It was quite a success for some time but the past few years have not been as successful and it has kind of fell by the wayside for various reasons.

Any way, what my wife and I talked about, since I am very eager to get out of teaching, is trying to revive the hotel. It is technically in her heritage which, by marriage, is suddenly mine too (my wife's words), but I actually want to do something/put in the work, you know, because I didn't do anything to earn that! At least if I put in the work it will feel deserved. Well, we have a lot of ideas on how we can help to revive it and how the space can be utilized in many different ways other than just for people to stay. For example, a place to take wedding photos, film commercials, a quiet retreat for artists to paint or writers to work on a book, etc. In fact we have two pages full of ideas on how we can use the hotel. It is located in the countryside outside of a major city in South America. Honestly it is not the easiest place to get to but it is just so tranquil, so beautiful once you are there.

Any way, I wanted to see if there were any BY'ers with experience in the hotel and tourism industry who might be able to offer advice on running/reviving a hotel. It is quite the undertaking, I know, and we are still thinking about it, not even sure if we will do this but want to explore all options just the same. At the very least, it is in her home country. She still needs to talk with her dad, but I think both of her parents are open to it.
 
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Honestly ... my recent rubbing shoulders with that continent scares me.

It isn't that the long term growth and prospects - global travel + tourism etc etc - is a big negative. It is simply that the situations in Venezuela & Columbia are so bad (then Ecuador + some Central America) that it bleeds over into the entire region. You could be Disneyland in the sub-continent and the kidnapping/bad vibe is going to arrive in the form of those running away. Farther you are from that hot mess the better.
 

pj

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The biggest issue will be marketing to Americans and wealthy locals (expect half your revenue to be spent on marketing), and finding local employees you trust to deal with both the business, and with corruption and crime.

If you can handle those, then the improvements you make to the hotel, like a place for wedding photos, can make a difference. They give you a handle to market around. But you have to have the marketing channels leading into a sales pipeline.
 

CCSUblue

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How big are we talking? Any idea on the state of the buildings and grounds? Understanding the property and your established clientele is probably first and foremost. That way you can develop a plan to grow.

It's one thing to jump into a b&b property without much experience, but a bigger property comes with bigger headaches. Like the employees.
 

ClifSpliffy

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social media. and here's an example. if you can pull off one awesomesauce, throwdown quinceanera to work, cuz that's a big thing where you live, well, then you know, teenagers and their phones and all that--'omg....travelman's hotel is the bestest place anywhere!'
 
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Do a business plan! Base it heavily on due diligence (yes, I know you said it's already in the family, but do your due diligence anyway) and good market research.

I agree with Pudge, in that part of the world you should want to understand political risks to the greatest extent possible.

If you're not really sure how to go about a business plan and due diligence, find someone to help you, but do it!

Best of luck.
 
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How big are we talking? Any idea on the state of the buildings and grounds? Understanding the property and your established clientele is probably first and foremost. That way you can develop a plan to grow.

It's one thing to jump into a b&b property without much experience, but a bigger property comes with bigger headaches. Like the employees.
It is pretty small, about 6 bedrooms. The building is in great condition as her dad had hired a guy to take care of the grounds and the inside plus he is always there just improving it. Everything is already fully equipped (the bedrooms I mean). The clientele part is what we need to work on. They've had limited success with air b and b in the past but haven't utilized it as much as they could have too. The biggest thing is the place, though in a beautiful place, is just so out in the middle of nowhere. The roads kind of nearby are well maintained and developed/paved but the final 10 to 15 minute stretch are windy dirt roads that can be daunting for someone used to the developed roads of the city.

Employees, yes, that worries me. But my wife has human resources experience and is excellent with people, thankfully.

Do a business plan! Base it heavily on due diligence (yes, I know you said it's already in the family, but do your due diligence anyway) and good market research.

I agree with Pudge, in that part of the world you should want to understand political risks to the greatest extent possible.

If you're not really sure how to go about a business plan and due diligence, find someone to help you, but do it!

Best of luck.
Thank you. Yes, the good thing is I have three years of living experience down there, in the past, and the hotel is located far from any political messiness that sometimes tends to happen.

social media. and here's an example. if you can pull off one awesomesauce, throwdown quinceanera to work, cuz that's a big thing where you live, well, then you know, teenagers and their phones and all that--'omg....travelman's hotel is the bestest place anywhere!'
I am going to talk to my wife more about that. I know she is not the biggest fan of the idea. She wants an older crowd (well, 20+) but I think it would be a good idea.

(expect half your revenue to be spent on marketing),
Thank you, that is the kind of advice I was looking for! I never would have imagined that!



Thanks for all the great advice everyone.
 
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It is pretty small, about 6 bedrooms. The building is in great condition as her dad had hired a guy to take care of the grounds and the inside plus he is always there just improving it. Everything is already fully equipped (the bedrooms I mean). The clientele part is what we need to work on. They've had limited success with air b and b in the past but haven't utilized it as much as they could have too. The biggest thing is the place, though in a beautiful place, is just so out in the middle of nowhere. The roads kind of nearby are well maintained and developed/paved but the final 10 to 15 minute stretch are windy dirt roads that can be daunting for someone used to the developed roads of the city.

Employees, yes, that worries me. But my wife has human resources experience and is excellent with people, thankfully.


Thank you. Yes, the good thing is I have three years of living experience down there, in the past, and the hotel is located far from any political messiness that sometimes tends to happen.


I am going to talk to my wife more about that. I know she is not the biggest fan of the idea. She wants an older crowd (well, 20+) but I think it would be a good idea.



Thank you, that is the kind of advice I was looking for! I never would have imagined that!



Thanks for all the great advice everyone.
Bilingual human resources people can make BANK in the states if you find the right gig. Not sure how much income is a factor with you guys, but worth considering if you're going for all the options.

My gf and her siblings are all bilingual. Grew up near Boston with a Puerto Rican mother. Her oldest sister (30) does HR for a medical company in Jersey for a cool 120k. Big reason why she got it is because she's bilingual and well-educated.
 

CL82

July 1, 2020 - Let the countdown begin!
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It is pretty small, about 6 bedrooms. The building is in great condition as her dad had hired a guy to take care of the grounds and the inside plus he is always there just improving it. Everything is already fully equipped (the bedrooms I mean). The clientele part is what we need to work on. They've had limited success with air b and b in the past but haven't utilized it as much as they could have too. The biggest thing is the place, though in a beautiful place, is just so out in the middle of nowhere. The roads kind of nearby are well maintained and developed/paved but the final 10 to 15 minute stretch are windy dirt roads that can be daunting for someone used to the developed roads of the city.

Employees, yes, that worries me. But my wife has human resources experience and is excellent with people, thankfully.


Thank you. Yes, the good thing is I have three years of living experience down there, in the past, and the hotel is located far from any political messiness that sometimes tends to happen.


I am going to talk to my wife more about that. I know she is not the biggest fan of the idea. She wants an older crowd (well, 20+) but I think it would be a good idea.



Thank you, that is the kind of advice I was looking for! I never would have imagined that!



Thanks for all the great advice everyone.
Have any pictures?

I'm not sure that 6 bedrooms justifies all the accessory services that a hotel offers. Maybe this is really best marketed as a rental/event property?
 
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You really need to research this. I would seek out entreprenuers in the travel industry and a lawyer in the same industry.

Visit a travel agecy and ask a manager if they know of any contacts that run properties overseas.

The concept, in my opinion seems like it could be very lucrative to high paying socialites that value privacy, the hollywood sort or executives that want to escape from public eyes.

You want to keep the exact location private.

You do need to put a business plan together and try to get investors behind you.

1 Write a one page business summary

2. Build an investor pitch deck detailing your offer, your ask and what you will provide in return. You might not be asking for financing, it might be someone's expertice

3. Form an LLC

4. Get a website, business cards and marketing materials with beautiful photos of the property, maybe ariel drone images. Build a dream

5. Get some help. Find team members with financial, travel and legal experience.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any thoughts. I really like the idea, but you need more help than what the Boneyard can offer.
 
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