Site Visit: Driving Recreational Opportunity
By Apollo Fuhriman, Region 10 Advocate
In meeting with the owner of the RV Concierge in Wasilla, our team from the Office of Advocacy saw the can-do entrepreneurial spirit where opportunity meets someone willing to say “yes” first. This business grew from extra space on a lot adjacent to another business; the owners leased this parking lot as storage for RVs.
One major difficulty with recreational vehicles is having them ready to go when they are needed, so they also offered to clean them while the RV’s were on their lot. As complimentary comments came in, they also started adding additional features to where they are now offer full concierge service (refueling, delivery of the RV to remote locations, detailing, maintaining, stocking the fridge and wine “cellar” and just about anything else) so that the owners/users just show up either at the lot in Wasilla or at a campground in Denali. RV Concierge now provides a connection for tourists to rent the RVs and receive the same treatment, which is a financial windfall for the RV owners, as well since most RVs sit unused for much of the year.
Some of the biggest regulatory burdens they face is in coordinating the national park and forest fees for their clients. Simplifying the registration process and fee structure across the parks and other federal lands would greatly reduce the time spent creating and renewing these basic processes. Additionally, making the process simpler for tourists from other countries (especially China) to enter and stay in the US would increase tourism and create a more stable market for this and other tourist-related industries.
It is fascinating to hear how businesses grow by listening to potential customers and actually meeting (and exceeding) their needs and wants. It seems like a simple and yet overlooked formula for success-provide services that the customers ask for, but it still works.
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Apollo Fuhriman serves as the Region 10 Advocate for the SBA Office of Advocacy, representing small businesses in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. Fuhriman works with small business owners, state and local governments, and small business associations to bring the voice of Region 10 to Washington DC. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.