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
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
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,”
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Campground Stables, 2927 E. Campground Road, Altamont, Ill. 62411 (ph 618 267-6990; www.gohorse.com).