Feedback BYOB Lodge Esperanza Inlet

Discussion in 'Saltwater Fishing Forum' started by Twinstrike, Oct 27, 2017.

  1. Twinstrike

    Twinstrike Member

    I have an opportunity to turn Rodgers fishing camp in Port Eliza inlet into a BYOB destination for both the general public and the independent guides that need accommodations. I am looking at developing a business similar to the way Critter cove is being run. I believe the fishing community needs more accommodations close to the fishing grounds in Esperanza Inlet. I would love to hear your feedback on the viability of this idea. Doug the owner of Rodgers Lodge will be moving his guides and business to the east coast of the Island offering guided fishing trips, whale and grizzly watching tours. They will soon be opening an office in Campbell River.
     
  2. pescador

    pescador Well-Known Member

    Make sure you have a good restaurant with good quality food and staff. You need to pay a cook above average salary to keep them in isolation for an entire summer. Nootka/Esperanza has limitations as to good places to eat. Focus on quality. The menu does not need be vast. Simple and good. This would attract clients.
     
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  3. Pippen

    Pippen Well-Known Member

    Just to ask a dumb question as I've only been there once to get fuel.....what is Critter's business model? No guides running out of there employed by the lodge, just BYOB?
     
  4. bigbruce

    bigbruce Crew Member

    Good food - continental breakfast, packed lunches and a decent dinner. Clean rooms, ice, fuel (Port Eliza is a bit of a run). And reasonable price - $150/night, say.
     
    Striper Sniper and Twinstrike like this.
  5. Twinstrike

    Twinstrike Member

    The lodge would not be running its own guides or boats out of the lodge. The only guiding would be by independent guides with their own clients. We would be offering rooms, bait , fuel, restaurant , ice etc.
     
  6. pescador

    pescador Well-Known Member

    Prices need to be competitive. Pretty hard to survive on a season that’s probably 8 weeks a year up there. Do your homework because under pricing your product is as bad as over pricing and you might drive youself out of business in a season. One potential “opportunity for improvement” in that market is staying open thru Sept. It seems most lodges start winding down late August. I’ve never been up in Sept but I hear the Coho are healthy and large. Also, my sense is it’s all about “repeat” clients. You need to ensure your clients return year after year. Treat them right. I’ll never forget the shitty service I got in Renfrew back in 08. I’d never go back and I told 10 people who told 10 people........and so on.
     
  7. Twinstrike

    Twinstrike Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I agree with everything you said. I have been guiding out of Nootka Sound for the last bunch of years so understand the business fairly well. I just believe we need a place to bring our friends and families for a reasonable price in one of the best places to fish anywhere on the westcoast.
     
    Bruce Lee likes this.
  8. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member


    I also have only been into Critters for fuel but they do seem to have a good system. Always hear of the byo boat folks having a good time and lots of return customers.
    Not sure that reasonable out there is $150/night? That would be leaving a $100-$150 a night on the table and if byob ers want quality food, accommodations and to pay above average to keep quality people out there that cost per night is most likely not possible. Not for long anyways! imho
     
  9. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    Your proposed business model is more in tune with how Chinootka Lodge used to run before it was sold and turned into a logging camp bunk house. I brought clients up each summer and booked the rooms required for them. Bruce & David charged my guests $200.00 a night which included 3 meals for the last couple of years they operated. They did have their own boats as well but sold off the extra space to independent guides. I paid $50.00 per day personally for a moorage spot, access to freezer space, showers and meals as well. I slept on my boat which was my preference. As Pescador stated the season is short...realistically the busy season when everyone wants to be there is 6 weeks..last half of July and August. June, early July and Sept you may not cover costs if open. I thought about buying Chinootka when it was on the market as I really enjoy fishing the area more than anywhere else...just couldn't see it being financially worthwhile. I don't gamble with my money...has to be a sure thing for me to jump in. Thats just me.
     
  10. blindmonkey

    blindmonkey Active Member

    Critter Cove is about $175 for cabin that sleeps 2 and $250 for suite which is a cabin that has a shower and small fridge and sleeps up to 3. There is on shore accommodation that is more expensive. Food is quite good and reasonable like $16 for dinner. Good tackle and supplies selection. The family operating it are very good people who know how to manage it well. It is a good sized operation with considerable moorage as well as fuel. The last 3 years after August long weekend the fishing has not been great on the inside and the commercial gill net openings starting about August 11 or so usually makes fishing quite tough.
     
  11. chris73

    chris73 Well-Known Member

    Ok, here is my opportunity to spill my thoughts again. I have tried this with another operation on WCVI but they listened only partly. What we are really missing on this coast, and this is confirmed by the majority of the comments above, is a fishing destination that is affordable for average Canadians. There are tons of 4 and 5 star lodges and while most offer a lot for their price, they mostly remain out of reach for the average fisherman/woman. Especially the destinations with inshore fishing opportunities such as Nootka or Barkley Sound are lacking places for small boat fisherman with a smallish budget. Places like Cougar Creek or China Creek are overrun every year and despite the fact that they don't offer much. Have some rustic but clean and functional cabins/rooms, a solid marina with fuel/bait, a spacious roofed fish cleaning facility at the dock (look at Moutcha), optional restaurant or self-cook facilities, lots of freezer capacity for each unit, if possible on-land walking to stretch your sea legs or let younger generations roam around and, and I am dead serious, a decent but reasonably priced rental boat fleet (again, see Moutcha but at half the cost). You will be surprised how many would gladly rent a boat for a weekend instead of hauling their rig from the Mainland or Victoria or US. But the boats got to be good, well equipped and it's got to be reasonable and not $500 a day. This is exactly the business model that many private fishing resorts in Norway operate on and there are hundreds upon hundred of them along their similar coast and they do well. They may not get rich but they make a decent living while living the coastal dream. And because they are reasonably priced, they attract middle class clients from all over mainland Europe or UK and don't fight for the few rich as do our BC 5 star lodges. Think about it and you may hit a jackpot.
     
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  12. Trophy

    Trophy Member

    I think chris73 said it well but the concept is not a great business model as we all know the costs of maintaining and operating our own boats. Not to mention the red tape with safety, insurance and gov’t. Twinstrike I wish you well in your endeavor.
     
  13. Trophy21

    Trophy21 Active Member

    I pay 260.00 a night to stay in a cabin in kyuquot. It has sleeping for 2-4 and its own kitchen facility as well as a freezer if you want. A restaurant is open for food sometimes. I love it and would consider other locations with the same set up. I think renting accomadation and morage for one price and then offering a restaurant with meals at a reasonable price could work. Key is keep it simple minimal staff and investment.
     
  14. Sea Surfer

    Sea Surfer New Member

    Chris73 is correct. I did the byob at this lodge for several years when it was $106/night in a group of two then we started fishing four with the wives and kids coming along and stopped due to cost. critter cove accommodates this and is still affordable for the average family. the above lodge doesn't offer this therefore reducing your market to guides
    and over 50. This market is dangerous as noted above they are looking for great fishing and not spotty or way offshore beatings every day.

    don't count on ferrer if open it will see more traffic than nootka now with the increased local lodge traffic.
     
  15. easydoesit

    easydoesit Member

    I think the feedback above is excellent.

    One of the challenges in going to a remote location is getting the fish portions home in good shape. It would help if an operation like this was able to provide licensed fish processing services on site or serve as a depot for an existing
    Licensed fish processor. Maybe even a common depot in Tahsis if there isn't already one.

    Fwiw, hope it helps.
     
  16. Twinstrike

    Twinstrike Member

    There is fish processing in Tahsis http://www.tahsisfishprocessing.ca/
     
  17. Trophy21

    Trophy21 Active Member

    Rogers is in a prime spot for me. I would most defiantly be a byob customer. Keep us posted!
     
  18. dmurph

    dmurph Well-Known Member

    I think keeping the family and modest budgets in mind would be a good idea. I find most places cater to the wealthy old boys club of a guys trips. The new era may be the younger generations of new families with young fishers. That is me for example, I can afford to have a nice boat and use it lots but can't afford to over do it on trips. We like the spots that we can just pay for nightly moorage and have access to some amenities like washroom, shower, fuel restaurant and tackle. We have stayed at critter and found it very reasonable. We just needed the moorage, slept on the boat and BBQ most meals but did spend money on tackle and the restaurant. We fueled up several times during our stay which was probably 500 or so on fuel. That would be the kind of thing that would get my family there
     
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  19. bigbruce

    bigbruce Crew Member

    Twinstrike you might want to come at this from a bit different way. There's no question Port Eliza is a great place to fish from. I've done it several times and done well. Doug kind of pushed the price to a spot where our group didn't feel comfortable given our fuel costs to get up there from Gold River. Anyway - you need to figure out what your costs would be to run the place for the season, and come up with a price for room, meals and moorage that will allow you to cover your costs and make a profit. Then put the question to the assembled multitude here - would you pay $x per night for a BYOB place in Esperanza? If the price is right, you will fill the joint and make money.
     
  20. profisher

    profisher Well-Known Member

    I think what he needs to hear is that you would go in June, early July or September. I will go up to the area again, but I will be there in late July as I have always done. Everyone is busy at that time so as an owner you will likely turn people away. You need to find a sure fire way to be at capacity from June through September to make it and stick around.
     
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