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Business Is Booming For “Horse Hotel”
Fifteen years ago Dave and Kathy Corder opened a horse boarding facility that they thought would be a small part-time venture. Little did they know that the 40 to 50 visitors that first year would grow to more than 450 a year by 2019.
“The business has grown bigger than we could have ever imagined,” Dave Corder says. Initially the Corders purchased the stables and some pasture land because it was adjacent to their home, not because they wanted a horse farm.
At first they just boarded for local people. But then a friend suggested turning their stables into a “horse hotel” because their property is located just off Interstate 70 in southern Illinois, an ideal resting stop for travelers with horses. Corder says it’s also perfect for north-south travelers coming from Interstate 57.
The Corders set up their business by browsing through the website for Horse Motels International, a directory of horse-boarding locations. Now they promote their Campground Stables mostly on social media, also listing on Horse Motels International and on Horsetrip.com.
“Word of mouth has really blossomed in the past few years, and so has our Facebook page,” Dave says. “Once a customer has been here, they start recommending it and post pictures and comments on Facebook and then all of their people pick that up. It just takes off.”
The Corders get many horse owners from Canada, looking for a mid-way over-night stay before traveling to shows in Texas and Oklahoma. In the past couple years he’s even had to turn away customers because they didn’t have a vacancy.
Campground Stables has 15 box stalls with ample room in each stall. The stalls were originally built for birthing, designed to give space for mother and foal. “That’s very attractive to people because the horse may have been traveling in a trailer for hours and here they can relax in a nice, big stall.”
The Corder family works tirelessly to keep the stables clean and orderly. “My kids tell me that horses don’t really need that, but I tell them it’s not the horse who writes the check,” Dave adds. “You want to impress the trainer or owner that comes here.”
The Corders provide the stall and the owners bring their own grain and hay. They charge $25 per horse. He’s heard from customers that some boarding businesses charge $40 or $50 per horse. “I think when we regularly have to start turning people away, that’s when we think about increasing the rate,” Corder adds.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Campground Stables, 2927 E. Campground Road, Altamont, Ill. 62411 (ph 618 267-6990; www.gohorse.com).



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2019 - Volume #43, Issue #6