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ricalls

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i am in the reasearch stages of starting a railroad adventure camp in carthage, Indiana. part of the camp is to house guests in vintage cabooses. as i am trying to educate myself on lodgeing laws and regulations, i am finding it difficult to find a definition of what my guest accomodations would be considered as. is it a B and B or a motel. the rooms are only for the guests of the camp. there are meals provided but most likely via caterer. the property is zoned commercial as it is a railroad yard. at this point there is nobody in formal residence at the camp site but there will be someone attending. can anybody help me to find definition here? can anybody turn me toward a consultant? thank you very much.
 

trishany

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You're not serious, are you??!! You are going to put guests in a caboose?
Okay, everyone, it's very hard, but I'm holding my tongue here, or else I'll be banished from this site. lol!
 

Morticia

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There is a place my parents pass on their vacation trips and I wish I could remember where it is. Everytime they go by they stop in to see if the railway car is open for them to book, so far it's been booked everytime they've been thru that area.
It's a great idea. Like sleeping in a lighthouse here. It's a novelty and it brings back the days gone by of REAL sleeper cars on trains. There's a real romance to it.
You really need to check out the regs where you live. Maybe you can fit the biz into the regs that exist rather than creating a new category.
 

egoodell

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Take a trip to Strassburg, PA. There is a motel there that is caboosses. Check out their operation. We almost stayed there in the 1980s.
http://www.redcaboosemotel.com/.
In the Napa Valley there is a train and each car is a bedroom. I don't know if it's a B&B or just part of a hotel. Looked cute - I never saw inside the rooms though. It's in Yountville, where the famous French Laundry Restaurant is located.
Riki
 

trishany

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There is a place my parents pass on their vacation trips and I wish I could remember where it is. Everytime they go by they stop in to see if the railway car is open for them to book, so far it's been booked everytime they've been thru that area.
It's a great idea. Like sleeping in a lighthouse here. It's a novelty and it brings back the days gone by of REAL sleeper cars on trains. There's a real romance to it.
You really need to check out the regs where you live. Maybe you can fit the biz into the regs that exist rather than creating a new category..
I was thinking does the caboose have heat/ac?
 

swirt

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Hi Ricalls and welcome to Innspiring.com What classification you fall under is likely going to depend on state and local laws. I'm not familiar with Indianna Laws but I'll give you a similar example.
I have cabins (not a stretch to picture them as traincars minus the wheels) that I run as a B&B in NY state. What you call yourself on legal papers does not have to match how you market yourself. The law in this county is that a B&B has no more than 5 bedrooms as part of the house and that an innkeeper must live in the house. Since ours are cabins, the legal health code applied to us is "transient lodging" but that is separate from marketing our approach and even calling ourselves a B&B. We live on the property and serve Breakfast (only to our guests) in our house.
Quite likely your train car cabin idea could play out VERY well if executed right. People love the idea of a B&B but they also love the idea of having their own space. You of course would want to offer ensuite baths for each car as well as heat/ac. Queen or King beds if going for the romantic market (popular) or even bunks (within reason) if you were going for family friendly. The most likely issue you will run into is the health codes related to fire (emergency exits have to be in certain locations and sizes), health codes related to water and septic, and health codes related to serving food.
In Ithaca NY there was a restaurant in an old train station that also had 3 cars outfitted as overnight accommodations. The rooms as far as I know were always booked. Unfortunately the restaurant was a different story and lost money. The three cars were not enough to support the restaurant so the venture collapsed, but it was not due to the lodging in the cars.
 

swirt

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Hi Ricalls and welcome to Innspiring.com What classification you fall under is likely going to depend on state and local laws. I'm not familiar with Indianna Laws but I'll give you a similar example.
I have cabins (not a stretch to picture them as traincars minus the wheels) that I run as a B&B in NY state. What you call yourself on legal papers does not have to match how you market yourself. The law in this county is that a B&B has no more than 5 bedrooms as part of the house and that an innkeeper must live in the house. Since ours are cabins, the legal health code applied to us is "transient lodging" but that is separate from marketing our approach and even calling ourselves a B&B. We live on the property and serve Breakfast (only to our guests) in our house.
Quite likely your train car cabin idea could play out VERY well if executed right. People love the idea of a B&B but they also love the idea of having their own space. You of course would want to offer ensuite baths for each car as well as heat/ac. Queen or King beds if going for the romantic market (popular) or even bunks (within reason) if you were going for family friendly. The most likely issue you will run into is the health codes related to fire (emergency exits have to be in certain locations and sizes), health codes related to water and septic, and health codes related to serving food.
In Ithaca NY there was a restaurant in an old train station that also had 3 cars outfitted as overnight accommodations. The rooms as far as I know were always booked. Unfortunately the restaurant was a different story and lost money. The three cars were not enough to support the restaurant so the venture collapsed, but it was not due to the lodging in the cars..
I might add, start with the health department and see what they would classify you as. If they waffle and don't have a classification, switch to the code enforcement for fire, they may give you a classification and then you could go to the health dept and say, the fire code people say I am this....you might get the others to play follow the leader.
 

seashanty

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i have always wanted to travel on the orient express (of like the 1940's) sounds like it could be awesome! even though the train isn't moving .... reminds me of the tv show in the 60's ... wild, wild west. i didn't see the movie but in the show they lived in a train car and it was very plush.
 

swirt

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i have always wanted to travel on the orient express (of like the 1940's) sounds like it could be awesome! even though the train isn't moving .... reminds me of the tv show in the 60's ... wild, wild west. i didn't see the movie but in the show they lived in a train car and it was very plush..
I loved that show... I blame it for my love of gadgets.
(thanks for the memory)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I think it is a great idea!
Have you first of all searched the internet to find others like this? I have seen a couple online, which slip my mind at teh moment, one may be in Paint Bank Virginia. But there are a couple out there. In fact I do recall posting a news item on here about it once!
I sure hope it is for families not just couples as you will have plenty of young conductors eager to stay there!
I googled it and here is the first answer they even have online reservations.
Zoning etc would be down to the local level of whatever the city/town/county you are in. But if you look at others and see what they have done it may help how you approach your local guv with this idea.
Oh and look there is even a directory of caboose B&B's!
I would contact them and find out what loops they had to jump through.
ALL THE BEST WITH THIS FUN IDEA!
 

Copperhead

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First of all I love the idea of traincars, neat! One thing I keep going back to in your post is the constant use of the word CAMP. Adventure Camp! What OTHER than accommodations are you proposing to do at the "camp"?
I would first look at the fire code regs. to find what best meets the type of business you are wanting to do. Then I would contact my district zoning board member to discuss the proper steps for your city/county/state, they ususally are a great source of information.
 

Samster

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You're not serious, are you??!! You are going to put guests in a caboose?
Okay, everyone, it's very hard, but I'm holding my tongue here, or else I'll be banished from this site. lol!.
There are several B&Bs throughout the country that have used some type of restored vintage train car as a guest accommodation. Some are quite luxurious. They all have private bathrooms and heating/air conditioning. There are a lot of railroad buffs out there & many towns/cities have restored their old train depots and re-purposed them. Our beautiful downtown train depot is now our Chamber of Commerce. If you Google "railroad car bed and breakfasts", you'll probably find some that you can look at.
 

mooseberry

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You're not serious, are you??!! You are going to put guests in a caboose?
Okay, everyone, it's very hard, but I'm holding my tongue here, or else I'll be banished from this site. lol!.
Actually, there is a B&B in Fairbanks, Alaska, and they are very popular. Whenever I want to make a rez they are booked..but they close in the winter.
here is a link to their site. Gives you an idea...very nice place http://www.fairbanksalaskabedandbreakfast.com/
 

Morticia

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i have always wanted to travel on the orient express (of like the 1940's) sounds like it could be awesome! even though the train isn't moving .... reminds me of the tv show in the 60's ... wild, wild west. i didn't see the movie but in the show they lived in a train car and it was very plush..
I loved that show... I blame it for my love of gadgets.
(thanks for the memory)
.
swirt said:
I loved that show... I blame it for my love of gadgets.
(thanks for the memory)
Me, too, loved that show. Which led to loving Mission Impossible and then James Bond (was it Q who made the gadgets?) and MacGyver. But I'm not a gadget person, I'm just in love with gadget people!
 

EmptyNest

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The wife of the Pres of the Indiana B & B Association checks in here from time to time..mayb she can steer you in the right direction. Or just go to their website and send them an email.
Here in VA we have some innkeepers who have restored trains for guests to sleep in. Check it out.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The wife of the Pres of the Indiana B & B Association checks in here from time to time..mayb she can steer you in the right direction. Or just go to their website and send them an email.
Here in VA we have some innkeepers who have restored trains for guests to sleep in. Check it out..
catlady said:
The wife of the Pres of the Indiana B & B Association checks in here from time to time..mayb she can steer you in the right direction. Or just go to their website and send them an email.
Here in VA we have some innkeepers who have restored trains for guests to sleep in. Check it out.
I was right, it was Paint Bank! I still have a wee bit of memory left.
 

EmptyNest

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The wife of the Pres of the Indiana B & B Association checks in here from time to time..mayb she can steer you in the right direction. Or just go to their website and send them an email.
Here in VA we have some innkeepers who have restored trains for guests to sleep in. Check it out..
catlady said:
The wife of the Pres of the Indiana B & B Association checks in here from time to time..mayb she can steer you in the right direction. Or just go to their website and send them an email.
Here in VA we have some innkeepers who have restored trains for guests to sleep in. Check it out.
I was right, it was Paint Bank! I still have a wee bit of memory left.
.
Yes, but their website is too weird. I hadn't looked at it in a while. I really never found a page that talks about the rooms..other than the reservation page. And they have all these links to other places that leave their site and it is a pain going back and forth. I also hate having to scroll through the pages to read it :-(
 
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