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?
New to SmallBizSurvival.com? Take the Guided Tour. Like what you see? Get our updates.
- Rural tourism trends say small towns are still cool - March 27, 2023
- Move Your Money and Bank Local - March 22, 2023
- Using a building as a warehouse or storage in a small town? Put up a sign - March 13, 2023
- How to get customers in the door of small town and rural retail stores - February 19, 2023
- Check your small business website for outdated pandemic changes, missing info - January 31, 2023
- Rural Tourism Trend: electric vehicle chargers can drive visitors - January 15, 2023
- 2023 trends for rural and small town businesses - December 26, 2022
- Local reviews on Google Maps drive enduring value - December 17, 2022
- Extra agritourism revenue from camping, cabins and RVs with HipCamp - December 12, 2022
- Harvest Hosts attract vanlifers and RV tourists, Boondockers Welcome - December 2, 2022
We have so much unused upstairs space downtown in our two county towns. With the entrance of the “big box” retailer years ago alot of the downtown business went the way of the world. People like convenience. I wish you could see more of this “good use of space” in other towns across the country.
If its a building code issue, then the appropriate cities and towns need only to make a small change to their codes to allow it. I am handicapped and in a wheelchair and know alot of these spaces would be unavailable to me, but I do find it a shame that they go to waste year after year, not to mention the “Live after 5” aspect they bring back to many of our historical downtown areas.