Sunday, January 31, 2010

And the Survey Says...

I want to extend a HUGE thank you to everyone who contributed to the lodging survey and especially those who shared the survey with others in your personal riding group.

We had contributions from all over the USA, Asia, and Western Europe, the latter thanks to Gary France who posted the link on his USA Tour on a Harley Davidson blog. Gary is a retiring Brit planning a 14,000 mile tour of the United States that begins on June 22 (or 22 June, depending on which side of the ocean you call home). Ahhhh, the open road...that's what it's all about!

Actually, it's journeys like Gary's that created the calling for Thunder Road. Whether it's a lifelong dream or a mid-life medical crisis that makes one Live Like You Were Dyin', as Tim McGraw so aptly put it, a multi-day motorcycle tour has a way of cleansing the soul like no other.   

So what did we learn from the survey?

I'm pleased to note that the survey confirms many of the business tenants on which we are building Thunder Road - a preference for lodging that supplements the journey experience, value for your hard-earned money, and a clean, comfortable private space in which to relax and refresh after a long day's ride. Amenities are important, but you're not looking for a spa experience.

We also confirmed that you are passionate bikers, with the vast majority of respondants taking multiple trips per year, most of which are 2-5 days in duration and involve group rides. And we validated that the touring locales we are targeting are the places you want to go...or go again. I'm eager to introduce the concept to the Europe market, as our family across the pond is equally as passionate!  I will continue to let the survey run through the remainder of the 30-day open period, but I believe the trends provide a good indication of what you expect when making your travel plans.

What's next?

We're in the funding stage and have entered into preliminary negotiations for properties in several of the target markets. As things progress, one of them will emerge as the right opportunity for the flagship property. Stay tuned, as the announcements will be shared here first!

Meanwhile, if you need route or accomodations ideas, drop us a note and we'll provide some ideas. As an example, here is a route from Ashville, North Carolina to the Texas Hill Country that I recently shared with a member of the Harley Davidson Forum

See you on the Road!

© 2010 TRHG Holdings LLC

Sunday, January 17, 2010

What's This About a Motorcycle Lodge?

Over the last six months, I have shared some tales of the Road and provided insight into what the Thunder Road Motorcycle Lodge concept is all about, hopefully providing a few interesting stories along the way.

Now I need your help.

It’s time to “Road” test some of the concepts we have envisioned. I need your feedback so that I can refine the concept, select the site for the flagship property, and put the final plan into action. Not only do I want your feedback, I want the feedback of at least 10 bikers with whom you regularly ride….and even more feedback from 10 of their riding buddies. So if you find the Thunder Road Motorcycle Lodge concept compelling, help get the message out. After all, Thunder Road is all about building a community among those who share a passion for the road.

To help collect the information, I have added some survey questions in the sidebar to the right. Vote once, vote often – I want to tap into your passion for the Road. I also encourage your comments to this blog entry - tell me more about what you want, need, and expect while touring. 

So here goes…


Cruisin' the Backroads

Most bikers take one or two multi-day rides per year. If you are among the few who make time for more, consider yourself blessed. What are your favorite overnight destinations?

When taking a multi-day ride, do you prefer to ride alone, with your significant other, or with a group?


Candidate Property
Piney Woods of East Texas

I envision Thunder Road Motorcycle Lodge to be a rustic lodge setting with amenities that cater to the biker crowd. For example, the lodge will offer a restaurant with food like Mom used the make, a bar that Pops would be proud to call his own, and an entertainment venue for small live performances (after all, who wants a dead performance). It will have a large outdoor patio with a fire pit that we can sit around while smoking our cigars and tellin’ lies about the roads we’ve traveled…while sippin’ tequila or your favorite cold one. We'll also have an outdoor entertainment venue for hosting concerts and rallies for up to 5,000 people. Are you in?


The Great Room


Patio view of the lake


55 acre spring fed lake

Now, for the important stuff.

We all know we need to make Momma happy. To that end, we'll have over 50 cabins that cater to the biker and your significant other. The log or stone cabins will be tucked away in the woods overlooking a mountain view or lake; and include covered parking for your most prized possession; a king-size bed for, well, you know; a storage area for your leathers and gear; a boot and glove dryer for those days when you couldn’t get to the bar soon enough; free internet access; and in-room entertainment to help put you to sleep. What are we missing?

2-Bedroom Cabin - Exterior


2-Bedroom Cabin - Interior

We’re all on a budget these days, so when selecting lodging, what most drives your decision – price, ammenities, location, safety of your bike, internet access? When traveling with other couples, would you prefer 2-bedroom cabin so that you can share with another couple? When travelling without a significant other, do you prefer to stay in your own room or do you bunk up with a friend?  

Oh, and one more thing. To make it truly Thunder Roadworthy, would you prefer a chocolate mint on your pillow or an ice cold beer at check-in?

© 2010 TRHG Holdings LLC