|By Jeff Coy, ISHC
April 18, 2012
“When they piled on the requirements, I realized the cost of bringing utilities into my site would jeopardize the financial stability of the whole project,” exclaimed Carey DePalma, a Realtor and resort developer. “That’s when inspiration hit me. Now we’re off the electrical grid, self-contained and require no infrastructure. Now you can live anywhere, deep in the woods if you want, energy free.”
Here’s where the problem transformed into a solution --- a green solution, at that. And Carey DePalma entered a whole new business.
He started talking to manufacturers about park models, you know, the rental cabins you find in RV parks and campgrounds. He started talking to solar companies. He inquired about drinking water filtration systems and cleaning grey water. He uncovered the secrets to heating and cooling a lodging unit for year round use. Carey pulled all the pieces together to produce a new park model or, as he calls it, a wilderness cabin or lodge. He created a portable energy pack, which he called The Caboose because it fits at the end of the unit.
Manufactured Homes, Cabins & Lodges
Carey contracted with two manufacturers, one in Indiana, the other in Texas, to build the modified park models now being marketed as Wilderness Cabins & Lodges. You can order one in lengths of 26, 28 or 32 feet. Add 2 feet of breathing space along the I-beam and then add the 6-foot Caboose Energy Pack where the utility package is housed. You can order a 12-foot Caboose if you need extra storage, but you have to decide up front when you order the unit so they can make the I-beams the right length.
Self-Contained Solar Energy Pack
What’s in the Caboose Energy Pack? The Caboose is where Carey’s genius is housed: the off-grid, economical, eco-friendly utilities package that allows you to live just about anywhere you want --- especially in the secluded, remote sites where you have dreamed of building a vacation home or secret getaway. That’s what Dan Turner did!
Dan Turner of Fort Wayne IN decided to sell his business, get away and spend more time fishing with his grandkids. And he wanted to do it now! So he bought DePalma’s first Wilderness Cabin and plunked it down on his 40-acre lake wooded property in northern Indiana. DePalma outfitted the unit and delivered it in less than four weeks.
Inside the Wilderness Cabins & Lodges, there’s a variety of floor plans including 1, 2 and 3-bedrooms that sleep up to eight people. Features include full-size kitchens with appliances, central heat & air, full bath with shower/tub, incinerator and entertainment center with flat
screen TV and surround sound. For example, some models are 11.5 ft by 32 ft and others have double lofts. Remember, the secret to building an affordable vacation or second home is avoiding special permits --- that means by definition the park model must be less than 400 sf per base floor area. But you can add lofts (nearly doubling your space) and still meet the requirement.
Popular options include wind turbines, geo-thermal HVAC/hot water, outdoor showers, pull-out decks, awnings, keyless entry, outdoor entertainment centers, outdoor wet bars, wine chillers, hot tubs, cabanas and additional storage.
From your Smart Phone or personal computer, you can monitor all systems with Remote System Monitoring. You can also turn your appliances and lights on and off and even reset your thermostat. Motion sensors notify you if someone is on your site or in your unit.
How Much Does It Cost?
From $60,000 to the high $90,000s, depending on the floor plan, with or without lofts, and the sizing of the solar system. Average price is $75,000 to $78,000 for a comfortable unit. A great price for a vacation or second home. And you can’t beat the cost of utilities!
What Are the Target Markets?
The Wilderness Cabin or Lodge makes a great second home or vacation home anywhere. It is completely off the electrical grid and self-contained. Live anywhere you want to live! It is ideal for any remote or secluded location where utilities are not available, too costly or too difficult. It requires no infrastructure.
It can go where others cannot go! Now you can get back to nature without disturbing nature. From a mountain getaway to a beach front location, the Wilderness Cabin or Lodge with its caboose energy pack is great for resort owners wanting to expand and individual owners looking for:
Patents Are Pending
Carey is beefing up his manufacturing capacity and talking with resort owners worldwide. Currently, he is negotiating with an eco-resort owner in Belize to provide customized units that will be offered for sale as energy-free vacation homes in a resort environment. You can reach Carey DePalma by dialing 317-753-4684 or emailing email@example.com.
Jeff Coy, ISHC, is president of JLC Hospitality Consulting based in Phoenix-Cave Creek AZ. He is certified by the International Society of Hospitality Consultants. For more about market research, economic feasibility and design-development services for all kinds of resorts, waterparks, adventure parks, observation towers, tourist attractions and sports facilities, call 480-488-3382 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.jeffcoy.com.
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JLC Hospitality Consulting
Research & Consulting
PO Box 4090, 39401 N. 67th Place
Cave Creek, AZ 85327-4090
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