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  1. #1

    Default Locations for new hostel, suggestions welcome


    Hey Guys! I need your help. I'm doing some research in hoping to one day start a hostel on the AT,.. but more importantly in an area where many hikers feel there is a definite need. I am reaching out to all trail clubs/groups associated with the AT and asking for any feedback that would be helpful. What areas would you consider to be best suited for this service, as well as what areas would be the most open and welcoming to this idea? Thanks,Dirk(Stinkus)
    I'm new to this sight so I apologize if this belongs in another forum.

  2. #2
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    Stinkus, you might want to consider being a member of this site for a year or so, especially since the answer to your question is 99% personal choice, and get the vibe you're looking for.

    Having said that, I think a really good hostel would be welcome at almost any trail-road crossing (and some other places) that doesn't already have a good one.

    You might consider asking other hostel owners? They tend to be a fairly tight-knit group, meaning they communicate fairly well among themselves, ... and see what they say.

    I think location is important in real estate, of course, but just as important or even more so is what kind of services you would offer and the cost and quality of those services.

    Whatever you decide, best wishes to you!!! The AT seems to lose more service-providers than it gains each year, so a good one would be welcome by most.
    Last edited by Rain Man; 03-02-2016 at 13:04.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  3. #3

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    Have you hiked any of the AT? If not, do a thru hike and you will find out first hand where the current hostels are located, what they provide and where you would have really liked to have found a hostel.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4

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    Good advice,Rain Man! Keep me in mind if anything specific comes to mind.

  5. #5

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    Hey Slo-go'en! hopefully one day I'll get to do a thru-hike.....until then I'm just going to count on other means to get my feedback. Thanks for the input though.

  6. #6
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    I'd look at Vermont. Very few hostels in 150 miles of Trail, and we could probably use some more.

  7. #7
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    also consider taking over an existing - if your time table is fairly long there will be current operators looking to move on and it would allow you to ease into it vs the all at once typical of new establishments

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    The Teahorse Hostel in Harper's Ferry is for sale for $250k. Not a bad price for real estate in that area. The ATC mag had an ad in the back for it in the last issue.

  9. #9

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    Yes, Laurel is going to hold on to it for another year and her son is going to run it.

  10. #10
    Registered User joshuasdad's Avatar
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    A hostel near the PA/MD line would be useful -- I needed to drive a NOBO flip flopper 10 miles into a bigger town to find lodging for her. You could probably make some $$ shuttling in the area as well. Keep in mind that you won't find Dayton, OH (Go Flyers!) home prices there...
    AT 2000 miler: 2011-2014 (via section hikes)
    Camino de Santiago -- April/May 2016 (Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santiago de Compostela)
    CDT New Mexico sections next???

  11. #11

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    (Go Flyers!)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #12
    Registered User Cotton Terry's Avatar
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    I agree with Slo-go'en. Hike the Trail. Not only will you have a better idea of where to put a hostel, you will have a better appreciation for the hiker culture (good and bad) and the personal needs of hiker, vis-a-vis hostel.

  13. #13

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    Thanks Jack! I love Vermont!!

  14. #14

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    Ud flyers!!

  15. #15

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    Thanks joshuasdad!! Go Flyers!!!

  16. #16
    Registered User jbbweeks's Avatar
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    Phat D - please contact me
    salleyskitchen@gmai.com


    Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    MA could use one or two.

  18. #18

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    Shady Valley, TN just south of Damascus two trail access points Rt. 91 and Rt. 421 no hiker services houses and land for sale very reasonable
    Warren Doyle PhD
    34,000-miler (and counting)
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  19. #19
    Registered User RayJ's Avatar
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    I would think attempting to locate every hostel along the route and plotting them on a map. Then look for gaps . Once you have IDed gaps focus in on a couple. What state would you rather live in .

    Cost of living , climate, realy rural/ remote or want to be near ( an hour or so ) to a large metro area. Also look at business laws and permits. Nothing wrong with fire inspections to operate a lodging establishment but take a look at the laws to make sure what they are and that you can function under them. Some towns might have a rule that prevents you from operating in their town. Ask early about what rules apply to this type for business and make sure you factor that in. You can and should talk to potential neighbors but make sure you ask at the Court house and city hall if they have one to see what aws if any apply.

    Once you focused in on several areas get with a rural real estate agent and a map of who owns what ( ask at he assessor's office at the county court house. You can look for listings but I suggest you look at what property or part of a property you would like to own regardless if it is listed. Then contact the person that owns it and ask if they would consider an offer.

    Not near the trail but I purchased two properties over the years neither was listed just stopped and asked / let them know I was looking. One was a recently ( that day a Monday ) divorced woman that was thinking about making some changes. She sold and I helped her move into her new apartment on Thursday. Had my stuff moved in that Friday. The other a small farm, they were thinking about listing - we closed on it that week and they rented it from me for 10 months until they were ready to move.


    I would think something at the end of a gravel/ dirt road county road would work well. Plan on building what structures you need. Focus on potable water ( if a well existor you put one in test it for bacteria on a routine bases) and what you will do with waste water. Waste water if allowed I would use the biggest septic tank I could get then hook it to a 300 gallon per day lagoon. That way yu could easiy accomidate 50 people and not have any issues. Check with the local Health department, Planning and Zoning if they have it and ask about building codes and inspections. Also many rural areas have volunteer fire departments that operate on a subscription service make sure if they do you pay your dues if not they will not respond. Could be the same for Ambulance and will be the same for air ambulance.

    Plan to obtain satellite internet, phone and TV. Many rural areas without satellite you got nothing. For electricity it varies greatly if you got power to the property great if not it is now cheaper to put in solar, batteries and a generator.

  20. #20

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    Good advise above...especially health dept, zoning etc.

    Many municipalities do not understand what a hostel is all about. Some want to lump you in with B&B or motel regulations. Some fire codes may want sprinklers, alarms and fire doors when serving a large number of guests. That's one of the reasons we choose to stay small and serve fewer hikers.

    It's still a fantastic endeavor....just do your homework.
    Order your copy of the Appalachian Trail Passport at www.ATPassport.com

    Green Mountain House Hostel
    Manchester Center, VT

    http://www.greenmountainhouse.net

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