The American Dream

THE BUSINESS Looking for a way to strip your complicated corporate life to the bare minimum? Try a "clothing-optional" bed-and-breakfast inn. There's not much difference between running this and any other inn...all right, there's one big difference. Still, all those guests in their birthday suits are part of the booming specialty-resort biz. This Mediterranean-style inn has been completely renovated by its owner of the past four years. Located behind high walls in Southern California, the inn comes with 12 rooms, a pool, and a "misting" system to keep its grounds cool. The growth prospects are more than the inn's owner and his wife want to handle.

PRICE $525,000

OUTLOOK Granted, taking it all off isn't for everyone. But there are at least 50,000 card-carrying nudists in the United States and around five times as many occasional vacationers-in-the-buff. Relying until recently on word-of-mouth recommendations, this inn is a favorite with the doctors, lawyers, and educators who make up the bulk of its repeat guests, who account for 85% of its business. Another plus: although California and Florida host most of the country's 635-plus nudist vacation spots, local competition for this B&B's business is sparse.

PRICE RATIONALE The naked truth? You've got to be either a nudist or a business enthusiast with a taste for absentee management. Also note that experts typically price B&Bs at $50,000 to $100,000 per guest room. Reserve one unit for yourself (or a clothing-optional manager); that suggests a fair range of $550,000 to $1.1 million. Stick to the low end, and set aside some cash for suntan lotion.

PROS You may never come closer to finding a business Garden of Eden.

CONS A cool breeze (or a colder political climate) could scare off your customers. --Jill Andresky Fraser

Financials 1995* 1996* 1997*
Gross Revenues $77,816 $108,632 $125,110
Recast Earnings** $19,256 $47,636 $56,875

*Fiscal year ends June 30
**Before depreciation, interest, taxes, and owner's compensation

Inc. has no stake in the sale of the business featured.
The magazine cannot confirm the accuracy of financial or other information offered by the seller. Inquiries should be directed to Ken Smelker at 760-325-2668.