Many small towns have un-used space in their downtown. A local resident in Buffalo, Oklahoma, has used some of that space to create short-term lodging for hunters.
Julia Hinther runs a salon and gift shop. The space upstairs used to be an apartment for her sons. When one of her sons tried his luck with guided hunts, they used it to lodge the hunters. Her son is no longer guiding, but Julia is still renting the upstairs space to hunters.
She markets it only by word of mouth, and has it booked up for hunting season every year. The rest of the time, she just rents it nightly to people needing a night’s lodging in town.
Interestingly, the nightly renters cause less damage to the property than when they rented it out monthly. And the pay back has been better, too.
Credit Dan Carmody, fellow speaker at the Michigan Small Town Conference, for teaching me about this issue. Dan’s presentation Using the Spaces in Our Places is available for download.
What unused assets do you have in your business, or your town?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.