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Thread: Hard core commuter turns Bike friendly Holiday Park lease owner (Kai Iwi Beach)

  1. #1
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Hard core commuter turns Bike friendly Holiday Park lease owner (Kai Iwi Beach)

    250,000kms of commuting down Otaki to Wellington. Mostly on CBR1000RR's.

    Sold up moved to Kai Iwi Beach and took over the lease for the holiday park there. Figured we can get the cafe and chipper running and get the placing humming. There are really great roads all round Kai Iwi and Whanganui region. I love riding here and still have plenty of riding mates. I've some vague ideas and thought I'd throw it out there for comments. What would make a campground a good destination specifically for riders? All my riding has given me some ideas.

    - Ability to turn up with as little as possible (for example a back pack on a sports bike).
    - Place has various cabins but I like the idea of cheaper tent options where we put up a tent (rent a tent?)
    - Gear for cleaning helmets / visors
    - Place to keep the bike dry (option)
    - Maps and GPS for great day ride routes
    - Food
    - Thinking things like a fire pit sort of cook you own bbq option, lots of possibilities here
    - Drinks
    - Likelihood of being able to chat to other riders (we all love gobbing on about bikes right)
    - Free photos including drone footage and time lapse (examples of my amateur efforts on facebook)
    - Bike cleaning service?

    Is this shameless self promotion? I had some long threads on here over the years, still own 5 bikes, still keen to do some more track days (done maybe 40 so far). Rode summer / winter all year round for 6+ years into Wellington (so think wind, rain, hail, cold, dark, heavy various speed filtering. 10 hours a week (not including track days and other riding). Soooo up it totally is (shameless self promotion).

    It is always better to book groups for a camp ground but they don't have to be big. This way I can crap on about bikes and hang out with fellow bikers. Perhaps organised some rides, hire out bikes (you never now baby steps). It is a family camp ground so nothing to rowdy there are kids here at least in the good weather. Winter this year is mostly adults using campsaver (off season rates).

    So ideas? Anyone know the place and have any stories?

    From corporate stress, multiple clients, staff, commute to scrubbing toilets. Total upgrade, no regrets.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronPawz View Post
    250,000kms of commuting down Otaki to Wellington. Mostly on CBR1000RR's.

    Sold up moved to Kai Iwi Beach and took over the lease for the holiday park there. Figured we can get the cafe and chipper running and get the placing humming. There are really great roads all round Kai Iwi and Whanganui region. I love riding here and still have plenty of riding mates. I've some vague ideas and thought I'd throw it out there for comments. What would make a campground a good destination specifically for riders? All my riding has given me some ideas.

    - Ability to turn up with as little as possible (for example a back pack on a sports bike).
    - Place has various cabins but I like the idea of cheaper tent options where we put up a tent (rent a tent?)
    - Gear for cleaning helmets / visors
    - Place to keep the bike dry (option)
    - Maps and GPS for great day ride routes
    - Food
    - Thinking things like a fire pit sort of cook you own bbq option, lots of possibilities here
    - Drinks
    - Likelihood of being able to chat to other riders (we all love gobbing on about bikes right)
    - Free photos including drone footage and time lapse (examples of my amateur efforts on facebook)
    - Bike cleaning service?

    Is this shameless self promotion? I had some long threads on here over the years, still own 5 bikes, still keen to do some more track days (done maybe 40 so far). Rode summer / winter all year round for 6+ years into Wellington (so think wind, rain, hail, cold, dark, heavy various speed filtering. 10 hours a week (not including track days and other riding). Soooo up it totally is (shameless self promotion).

    It is always better to book groups for a camp ground but they don't have to be big. This way I can crap on about bikes and hang out with fellow bikers. Perhaps organised some rides, hire out bikes (you never now baby steps). It is a family camp ground so nothing to rowdy there are kids here at least in the good weather. Winter this year is mostly adults using campsaver (off season rates).

    So ideas? Anyone know the place and have any stories?

    From corporate stress, multiple clients, staff, commute to scrubbing toilets. Total upgrade, no regrets.
    drying wet gear makes things betterer, facilities for this

  3. #3
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    9th January 2005 - 22:12
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    my 2c is focus on the basics that make any campground good. SHOWERS - plentiful and lots of hot water. I dont give a shit if I have to pay if the shower is good.

    Maybe think about a spa pool too - some of us are old and decrepid and a spa helps especially if riding the next day.

    Your glamping idea is a good one (yes, its a thing).

    Try and get people who are personality suited for hospo. Lots of hospo operators seem to hate their customers. Just saying. ( like Basil and Sybil Fawlty levels of dysfunction).

    I wish you well with it. Two other businessy tips: pay the taxman. Particularly employees PAYE and kiwisaver. Never EVER be tempted to "borrow" it if you have cashflow issues. You can and people do get put in jail for that.

    Cashflow. The boom in domestic tourism hopefully will siphon itself your way... because there wont be any international tourists this year and likely next I reckon. so target your advertising.

    Good luck with it.
    In the white room, with black curtains, at the station

  4. #4
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    Big Concrete blocks with loops of rebar that a serious security chain could be hooked through
    it's not a bad thing till you throw a KLR into the mix.
    those cheap ass bitches can do anything with ductape.
    (PostalDave on ADVrider)

  5. #5
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    Sounds great good luck. Kids too young but maybe in future.
    I've been told. Dreaming`s free.
    Think I'll go, back to sleep.
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    Everybody listen, do yours say, what mine says?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDorsetCase View Post
    my 2c is focus on the basics that make any campground good. SHOWERS - plentiful and lots of hot water.
    Absolutely.

    Kai Iwi has touristy things nearby, certainly enough to make for some interesting ride options.

    I wish the OP well in his new venture and will mention this to other riders.
    There is a grey blur, and a green blur. I try to stay on the grey one. - Joey Dunlop

  7. #7
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    24th November 2015 - 11:20
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    As others have said the showering facilities need to be top notch.

    I also like your idea of ready erected tents, Eurocamp style. These work a treat in mainland Europe (I've used them myself a few times over the years) and they provide a cheaper option to your hardstanding cabins too.

    Good luck with it.
    Navy Boy

  8. #8
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by jellywrestler View Post
    drying wet gear makes things betterer, facilities for this
    Good idea. Wet and cold is hard work on a bike for any stretch of time. So on a cold day a warm destination to dry out would be good. There is a fire behind the wee shop with seating that will eventually become part of the cafe. If I light that fire ahead of any group it would be warn and then leave gear hung up in the same room it would dry. Otherwise a purpose setup tent with a heater and hanging things.

    Someone mentioned a hanging room for hunters also, bit tangent but I like the idea (for a small meat donation).

    Drying facilities I will add that to the list (beyond the existing dryer and washer standard setup).

  9. #9
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryDorsetCase View Post
    my 2c is focus on the basics that make any campground good. SHOWERS - plentiful and lots of hot water. I dont give a shit if I have to pay if the shower is good.

    Maybe think about a spa pool too - some of us are old and decrepid and a spa helps especially if riding the next day.

    Your glamping idea is a good one (yes, its a thing).

    Try and get people who are personality suited for hospo. Lots of hospo operators seem to hate their customers. Just saying. ( like Basil and Sybil Fawlty levels of dysfunction).

    I wish you well with it. Two other businessy tips: pay the taxman. Particularly employees PAYE and kiwisaver. Never EVER be tempted to "borrow" it if you have cashflow issues. You can and people do get put in jail for that.

    Cashflow. The boom in domestic tourism hopefully will siphon itself your way... because there wont be any international tourists this year and likely next I reckon. so target your advertising.

    Good luck with it.

    Very helpful lets look through

    - Showers are good here $1 coin 6 minutes gas headed so good pressure, water filtered so no hard
    Recently added a load of hooks and places to put thing (by recommendations) rubbish bin in lades etc so happy these work well
    Some complain they keep going once person is finished but not much I can do there in the short run (only a few mention this)

    - Glamping is great I did a Royal Enfield group tour in India and they did amazing Glamping in one spot, love to do this here.

    - We run the place ourselves for the most part but will get help. I totally hear this comment our reviews are good we are people people (my wife, kids and I)
    Prior owners where not so people focused and the numbers reduced quite quickly, helped make the lease manageable for us, we are building back up already
    We got here 2 days before lockdown (so interesting times)

    - Pay the tax man, sure we've done this all along with all our businesses its good advice
    - We are all in here but we had enough in reserve to run blow the line and survive for a good while so all good there for now

    - Covid - this place was traditionally 75% domestic a lot of which is local people (so advertise there first)
    NZMCA is currently by far our best advertising, good reviews, campsaver (so $20 powered site a night for two adults)
    We are in all the standard camping apps
    No point advertising for typical out of country tourists right now totally agree so domestic and by far our best tool is good reviews (so being good, clean, friendly, its a great location so that part is easy)
    People are getting out more right now its been busier than the app we inherited shows last winter being, somewhere a lot of Kiwi's have not been so fingers crossed

    - Domestic - This is also why I like bikes. It lines up with my personal interests and its NZ focused. Plus there are riding roads to die for all around here.

    Sounds like you know the business so thanks those are good comments and by all means add more.

  10. #10
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete376403 View Post
    Big Concrete blocks with loops of rebar that a serious security chain could be hooked through

    Ability to secure those $40,000 hogs huh. Yeah that makes sense. Once you are in the camp there is a security gate and cameras coming in and leaving the area but there is nothing like a bad ass chain and a big lock. I've some big posts that could be concreted into the ground.

    OK monster security makes sense.

  11. #11
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by F5 Dave View Post
    Sounds great good luck. Kids too young but maybe in future.
    I think we will be here for many years. I imagine a smaller version of the Wines or Tui Brewery type destination one day so it will only get better. One of those epic bike spots you can grab a beer / wine / feed and hey even stay the night. Its a family orientated camp but the cafe part is right down one side so far enough back from campers. Big parking area (its grass so it needs at least something for bike stands).

    Still anyone can rock up to a self contained cabin when the kids are big enough to handle bunks.

  12. #12
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by pritch View Post
    Absolutely.

    Kai Iwi has touristy things nearby, certainly enough to make for some interesting ride options.

    I wish the OP well in his new venture and will mention this to other riders.

    Cheers fella I really appreciate that. Each time I get a pic of some epic bike rolling in here I'm just loving it. Few examples (not sure they will work but give it a go / did not work I'll just add direct facebook links).

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    one of my bikes (my lovely Kai Iwi Katana)
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    I don't remember ever seeing a specifically bike friendly camp ground with things just for riders. If there are others I'd be keen to hook up with them also. See if we can make an NZ riders trail across the country.

  13. #13
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    Quote Originally Posted by Navy Boy View Post
    As others have said the showering facilities need to be top notch.

    I also like your idea of ready erected tents, Eurocamp style. These work a treat in mainland Europe (I've used them myself a few times over the years) and they provide a cheaper option to your hardstanding cabins too.

    Good luck with it.
    Cheers, yup I am warming up to those tents. Truth is we (my family) where (and I guess still are) tenters. We do epic tenting missions over holidays with the kids and I always long for my bike during them. Specially when you drive the boring cage through endless great riding country. I've a KR150R here I might well lend to longing riders stuck in the bus but surrounded in great roads here. Its a hoot to ride a 150cc two stroke around the windy bits.

    Fancy tents could be good. Also a big tent could be good for things. There is a hall and a bowls club right next to the grounds that can be hired (but not slept in).

    Yeah glamping is good fun.

  14. #14
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    7th February 2014 - 21:02
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    OK so some pretty up beat ideas etc. Nice and thanks.

    For friend face users I'm always posting stuff about the camp and any bikes that stray in here

    https://www.facebook.com/bruce.taylor.39501789

    Kai Iwi camp itself is here

    https://www.facebook.com/kaiiwibeach/

    I often think about squeezing my Katana into the branding along with that sweet Zeph Zodiac even if the period is a bit mismatched. Not much bike stuff here I generally think things out in my FB and put more organised things on that main page.

    Now life has some time (at this time of year) I can get back into a bit of Kiwibiker, maybe do the Cold Kiwi and such things coming up (winter being the quite time).

    The main way to get more bikes in the park is to get bikes in the park. They attract themselves. It is fun to go somewhere other riders are. So best we get on and open a cafe so there is something to do for people just doing day trips.

    Anyone in the area is welcome to just roll in and have a look around. We do have ice cream and fizzy etc but its worth a look and I'm always keen to discuss bike options here.

    Anyone riding in on a Katana (either pop-up or original not that horrible recent one) in the off season is welcome to a free night in one of our cabins (or a MK3 Zephyr) as long as they don't mind my taking some photos of it!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IronPawz View Post
    What would make a campground a good destination specifically for riders?
    A positive ratio of tall, shapely ladies in skin-tight leathers....



    But in seriousness, the only thing I can add would be to maybe have some form of guided ride/tour thing available - where you take a bunch of people out on a ride - maybe discuss with local businesses about some referral option(s) - namely 'I'll put your Pub as a recommended stop if you would give our patrons a 5% discount' or something similar.

    You mentioned Track Days - again same thing, take a group out for a scenic ride to the nearest race course, have a track day, come back. Possibly even bring along a Van big enough to take a bike back should one ride a little too spirited.
    Physics; Thou art a cruel, heartless Bitch-of-a-Mistress

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