At the beginning of this year, I wanted to buy a mountain lodge. It was an old A-frame hotel in one of Slovakia's less popular ski resorts. With 11 rooms and a price tag of 500.000€, it seemed to be a good opportunity.
My idea was to convert it into one of the concepts/designs I saw in the US and Canada.
Make it still affordable, with a focus on team events and group bookings.
And I thought that with an additional investment €500k I could make an epic and cash-flowing business.
There are hundreds of such mountain hotels in Central/Eastern Europe.
They were typically built during socialism as hotels of state companies (well, all companies were state companies back then).
They were also used for school trips and gatherings of organizations like Scouts.
The quality of these constructions was low, and most haven't received any proper reconstruction since socialism fell.
So, there is plenty of room for building a scalable hospitality business as there are many of these hotels for sale.
It reminds me of a few hospitality companies in the US and Canada refurbishing old boring motels into trendy boutique hotels.
I hired an expert to visit this hotel and review everything.
The final report revealed all the risks and estimated investment (€380k). I decided to pass for three main reasons:
It has been a couple of years since I found Coachman. It's a mountain lodge at Lake Tahoe.
I scrolled through their Instagram and found this lodge's appearance before the refurbishment. It was an old inn.
👋 Do you want to do this in Europe?
Let me know. I want to be involved.
I have created a marketplace for business group travel. It's called Surf Office.
We help companies to organize offsites, we help hotels to bring group bookings. Almost 1000 hoteliers are subscribed to our Hotel Nuggets newsletter.
Before that, I created the first coworking and coliving space for digital nomads. It went well until it didn't.
Side projects 🛠️
Around 2019 I started to play with the idea of building a coworking cabin. It was my inspiration for Epic Monday - a site full of resources for people who are planning to start a cabin business.
Once I'm passionate about something, I deep dive into the topic, run tons of experiments, and sometimes come up with monetization ideas.
Hoodpicker started as a simple survey, then I created a comparison of neighborhoods in Lisbon, and now it's a set of tools for people who want to invest in real estate in Portugal.
Sharing ideas 💡
I have a small team researching ideas that combine hospitality, real estate, and tech. Some of these ideas I share on this blog.
But I share all of them in my personal newsletter. You can subscribe here:
Call for startups 🚀
Are you building something in niche hospitality? I would love to be involved.
I'm mainly interested in a) Designing hotels for offsites, b) Glampings for remote work, c) Apartments for nomadic families, d) Coworking villages, and e) Modern mountain lodges.
I can help you with funding and distribution. Happy to discuss your project over Linkedin or Twitter chat.
PS: If you live in Amsterdam, we can meet at the next hospitality coworking day.
"Hi Peter, I have subscribed to your newsletter for a while now and am loving it. The hospitality industry fascinates me and your newsletter always gets my brain to go prrrrrr brainstorming ideas."
"Really cool newsletter. Thanks for sharing. Too many interesting ideas to work on."
"Hey Peter, just wanted to reach out to tell you how much i love your posts here. I found out about you through a recent Jakob Greenfeld newsletter, and when i did, i spent hours to read through your previous posts/tweets."
"Just to say that your newsletter is my favorite of all time. I always get so inspired and want to have as many cool projects as you do."
"Very comprehensive. Not working directly on the space anymore, but following your content closely as it is so engaging actionable and without noise 🙏"
"Lovely newsletter again Peter! I’m a fan of your ideas and how your brain works.Always sees opportunities ad niche business. Keep up the good work!"
"Love your newsletter! The posts are very inspiring and I love how well you break down the business side of it."