This is an abridged summary of steps necessary for the creation of the Olympus Campground Resort, and our current progress toward attaining these goals. For a detailed checklist of milestones and tasks required for their completion, please see the Business Plan (available to potential investors upon request).
Current stage of progress:
Initial Research and Development
We are currently in the research and development phase. Mel has taken a few small business courses from Tidewater Community College and is currently taking online courses related to starting a business and small business funding from the Small Business Administration (SBA) and through Lynda.com.
Online research into similar LGBTQ, Pagan, and other campgrounds was completed in the Fall of 2016. Mel has previously visited Four Quarters Interfaith Sanctuary in Artemis, PA; Wisteria Campground in Pomeroy, OH; and Big Bear Family Campground in Windsor, VA. Mel is also looking to visit Thor's Hollow in Cross Junction, VA and to visit an LGBTQ specific campground or two in PA and / or WV. Mel has attended gatherings such as the Earthweaver's Festival; Cophi Nia Gathering for Gay and Bi Pagan Men; and Between the Worlds Gathering for Gay and Bi Pagan Men.
An initial business plan has been completed as of February 2017. The plan has been revised to a simpler and less expensive "bare bones plan" as of July 2018. The newer plan will be easier and cheaper to implement. This will continue to be tweaked throughout each stage of development.
A website for the campground resort was created in May 2017. This will be used to generate interest among potential investors and customers. Some intermediate events including fundraisers and gatherings will be promoted on the site to cultivate interest.
After the initial research and development stage, the remaining stages have been broken into milestones. Milestones allow each stage to be broken into manageable action steps, and for each stage to mark completion with the attainment of a tangible goal.
Milestone #1: Land Purchase
This phase will be marked by the purchase of a suitable parcel of land to create the campground resort. A number of counties in central Virginia will be researched and visited to determine an appropriate location. A second partner will be sought who is interested in co-founding and co-managing the business. The land itself will be purchased by the owner(s) who will secure personal loans or other means to purchase the land. Initial land preparation measures such as clearing, drilling a well, and installing a septic tank may take place at this stage.
Milestone #2: Incorporation
After the land is purchased, Olympus Campground Resort will incorporate, secure a business license, establish a bank account, and take other actions necessary to become a business.
Milestone #3: Reach Fundraising Goals
Once the land has been purchased and the business incorporated, funds will be needed to establish initial buildings and land features, and to market the campground and its events.
Fundraising efforts may include seeking small business loans and grants; selling shares in the business; crowdfunding; soliciting donors; hosting fundraising events; and selling charter memberships to the campground resort. Once the resort is within 6-months of the grand opening, we will begin taking reservations for camping, special event weekends, gatherings, and outside group events.
If we should decide to sell stock, a financial advisor will be consulted to determine the best way to sell stock and distribute dividends. Stock prices will be set at this stage.
To find out how you can help, please visit our Investor page.
Milestone #4: Buildings and Grounds
With funds in hand, initial buildings and land features will be constructed. Essential buildings will include a gate house, bath house, and dining pavilion. In addition to a well and septic tank, essential land features will include a gravel parking lot; some cleared campsites; a small number of RV spaces; one or two outdoor stage areas; a fire circle; and a handful of sleeper cabins. Additional buildings and land features that are not essential at first, but highly desired, include a main lodge with restaurant, a recreation building with a snack bar; a pool; a couple of bunkhouses, and a handful of deluxe cabins. Desired recreational facilities include a pool, sauna, hot tub, and recreational field.
Milestone #5: Grand Opening
A grand opening will take place at the start of the camping season in the spring. By that time, the buildings and grounds should be mostly in place and furnished (some buildings and land features can be added later); reservation, security, payment and other systems should be in place; a food vendor should be contracted; staff should be hired and trained; the first season of events should be planned; marketing and promotions should have been done; memberships and reservations should be taken.
An opening festival with prizes and giveaways will take place.
Milestone #6: Turn a a Profit and Pay off Investors
This milestone only applies if we decide to sell stocks in the company. It is hoped that the campground resort will start turning a profit within the first couple of years of operation. Once the business becomes self-sustaining and profits are made, the business will begin to pay investors their dividends on a set schedule. Within 10 years of opening, it is hoped that the business owners will be able to buy back the remaining shares in the business from the shareholders.