Owning and operating a franchise may be a great way to fund your retirement. Yet for more and more people who take an early retirement, it’s become a way to ease into full-time retirement. Franchising has even become a vehicle for some semi-retirees to move to their desired retirement destination.
“The common perception of owning a franchise is that it becomes your life 24/7 unless you have deep pockets and can hire somebody to run your business,” said Peter Hans, owner of Resort Maps Franchise, Inc. “There are many franchise opportunities out there, like Resort Maps, that are cyclical or seasonal that you can adapt to your lifestyle and that’s drawing a lot of retirees who are not ready to completely slow down.
Resort Maps publishes customized travel maps in more than 95 communities across the United States, England, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico. Resort Maps are colorful, hand-drawn maps of towns and cities, distributed free to area visitors at rest and travel information areas, by advertisers and at other locations. The owners of the Charleston, South Carolina Resort Maps typify the new trend in franchisees.
Hailing from central Pennsylvania, David and Mary Kay purchased a second home in Charleston in 2006. Since that time, both David, a clinical psychologist, and Mary Kay, healthcare and retail sales, retired from their respective careers. Not quite ready for full-time retirement and looking for a way to assimilate into their new hometown, the couple purchased the Best of Charleston Resort Maps franchise from their then neighbor.
“Resort Maps is a great business opportunity for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a great product that provides a great vehicle for advertisers to showcase their businesses while offering invaluable service to people visiting Charleston,” said David McLane. “The other main appeal of the Resort Maps business opportunity is that it fits our lifestyle and gives us a chance to meet and know more people in the Charleston community.”
Allan Groves, 68, first became familiar with Resort Maps in the 1990s while living in Massachusetts. An economist and entrepreneur, Groves was semi-retired when he and his wife Camille relocated to Monterey to be closer to their two grown daughters. Faced with the realization that their nest egg might not be enough for full-time retirement, he purchased the Best of Monterey map in 2005 and the Best of Carmel map in 2007.
Besides providing an income, the Resort Maps opened other doors for Groves. “One of my passions is politics. As someone who has been deeply affected by the healthcare situation in this country it was very important for me to be a part of the most recent presidential election,” said Groves. “Because Resort Maps is seasonal, I had the flexibility to be a three-county volunteer coordinator for President Obama’s California efforts and I ended up overseeing 500 other volunteers. I don’t want to overstate my role in helping get the President elected, but I am grateful that the Resort Maps franchise opportunity offered the freedom to work for him.”
Resort Maps began creating and publishing maps in the northeastern U.S. back in 1986. In an effort to continue the company’s growth and simultaneously maintain the quality of the product, Resort Maps became a franchisor in 1993. Since adopting the franchise model, Resort Maps has grown steadily to more than 95 maps distributed across 20 states as well as towns and cities in England, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico.
Adds Hans, “We’re probably a little different than most franchise opportunities. It’s the charge of our franchise owners to find advertisers for the map in their territory. The time frame in which the franchise owner finds those advertisers is totally up to them. So they’re not stuck in the 9-to-5, Monday through Friday, 12 months a year grind. An opportunity like that fits into the lifestyle of many sixty-somethings as well as single mothers, couples, recent graduates or even current college students.”
About Resort Maps
Headquartered in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Resort Maps has been creating and publishing advertising maps in the northeastern U.S. since 1986. In 1993, Resort Maps expanded its reach by creating a franchise model for distribution of its colorful, hand-drawn maps of resort towns and cities. Today, that network of franchises has grown to over 95 Resort Maps in publication in the US and the UK, with several more in the process of being published. More than 20 million Resort Maps will be printed and distributed in 2009.
For more information on Resort Maps and/or the franchise opportunity, visit www.resortmaps.com or call 802-496-6277.
Resort Maps franchises serve cities and towns in California (Carmel, Monterey), Colorado (Boulder, Breckenridge, Cherry Creek, Colorado Springs, Denver, Eagle River, Estes Park, Fort Collins, Summit County), Delaware (Bethany Beach, Rehoboth Beach), Florida (Clearwater Beach and Gulf Beaches, Cocoa Beach, Daytona Beach, Melbourne, New Smyrna Beach, St. Augustine, Tarpon Springs), Georgia (Savannah/Tybee Island), Maine (Bar Harbor/Acadia, Boothbay region, Camden-Rockland, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Portland, York-Ogunquit), , Maryland (Annapolis, Eastern Shore, Ocean City, Solomons Island, St. Mary’s County), Massachusetts (Berkshires, Chatham-Orleans, Falmouth, Hyannis-Yarmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Newburyport, Plymouth, Sturbridge, Worcester), Michigan (Traverse City), New Hampshire (Franconia/Notch Region, Hampton Beach, Hanover/Lebanon , Keene, Lakes Region, Mount Washington Valley, Portsmouth), New Jersey (Barnegat Bay, Cape May, Hoboken/Jersey City, Hunterdon, Lambertville , Long Beach Island, Ocean Grove, Point Pleasant, Princeton, Sandy Hook), New York ( The Hamptons, Lake George , Lake Placid, Saratoga Springs), North Carolina (Asheville, Brunswick County, Hendersonville , Outer Banks, Salisbury and Rowan County, Sandhills, Wilmington,), Pennsylvania (Bucks County, Chestnut Hill, Delaware River Valley, Gettysburg, The Main Line), Rhode Island (Newport, Providence), South Carolina (Charleston, Hilton Head, Myrtle Beach), Tennessee (Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge), Vermont (Addison County/Brandon, Barre/Montpelier, Burlington, Killington/Rutland, Mad River Valley, Manchester, Mount Snow, Okemo, Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe, Waterbury/Richmond, Woodstock/Quechee) and Virginia (Northern Neck & Middle Peninsula) —as well as towns and cities in England (Chicester, Lewes) and Puerto Rico (Vieques, Culebra).