In this article, we have selected 40 of the most popular and profitable mountain business ideas that are usually the best way to make money in the mountains. We have compiled here many valuable business ideas for small and medium sized mountain towns, ski resorts and areas near popular mountain destinations.
TOP MOUNTAIN BUSINESS IDEAS
1. Hot tea, coffee & chocolate stand
Popular mountain resorts and well-known mountain towns are great places to run a small business. One of the best such businesses are hot coffee, tea, chocolate and treat stands. A hot drink warms up perfectly on a cold winter day, so many people are willing to pay a lot for it. The advantage of this type of small business is that it can be located in various places – especially in the busiest ones, and it is also easy to stop such business when the season ends.
2. Mini-buses for tourists
Tourists who go to the mountains often need transportation. Many people, for example, want to get to a mountain trail quickly, or get to a ski slope, a hotel, store or to a nearby transportation point. In such mountain resorts, both mini buses and cabs can be a viable business.
Mountains are usually associated with physical activity, and physical activity increases appetite. For this reason, one of the best mountain business ideas is to open a restaurant or inn in a suitable, busy location. If there are already a lot of restaurants in the area, think about starting a niche restaurant that is not in the area, such as Italian cuisine, Mexican cuisine or a sushi restaurant.
4. Grocery store in crowded location
Grocery store is a type of business that is profitable and needed in any location where there are a lot of people and not a lot of competition from other stores. If there are no such well-equipped stores with the most needed groceries in a given mountain town, it is really worth considering opening such a business.
5. Hotel in mountains
Hotels can be a very profitable business and can generate a lot of revenue, depending on their location, the level of competition and the quality of services offered. Opening such a hotel in the mountains is a particularly good business idea in popular places where many tourists come. The best way to see where such a business will be profitable is to check out how the surrounding hotels apartments and houses for rent are doing. If they have masses of customers and there is almost no room available, it is almost certain that your hotel will also find many customers. To be successful in this type of business, it is very important to have proper marketing, advertising and visibility on the internet.
6. Fast food point or food truck
In many popular places in the mountains you can find real crowds of people. This is often the case near well-known ski resorts, large hotels, popular mountain trails or in the vicinity of the most famous mountains that are visited by masses of tourists every year. Many of these people are hungry and often want to snack quickly on something tasty. For example, many skiers sometimes like to eat something quick during a quick break on the slope to continue skiing or snowboarding after a while.
7. Conference center
It is forecasted that the conference and event industry will soon return to the time before 2020 and the demand for this type of service will increase significantly. Many organizations, companies and other entities like to organize conferences and events in unique places such as the sea or just the mountains. Such conferences are often combined with leisure and mini-vacations for participants who combine their work duties with leisure.
8. Snack cafe
Cafe with hot tea, coffee and snacks is the perfect place to warm up on a cold day in the mountains. Tourists who get cold like to stop in such places because it is too cold outside in winter and a warm place to sit is ideal to feel better and protect yourself from the cold.
9. Ski lift
Skiing and snowboarding are some of the most popular winter sports that are loved by millions of people around the world. Attractive ski slopes attract a lot of tourists who in return generate a lot of income. The most attractive are ski lifts on long slopes that allow for long rides. The gentle ski slopes for children and beginners are also quite popular. If such a slope becomes popular, its immediate vicinity becomes a very profitable place to open a hotel, restaurants and stores.
10. Sauna + food point
Sauna is an ideal attraction that will make a winter day more pleasant. Sauning is not only warming up, but also healthy, which perfectly suits the winter aura often found in the mountains. Many people like to combine sauning with food, such as a barbecue or bonfire or eating some snacks during breaks from the sauna or afterwards.
11. Ski & accessories rental
Another business idea in the mountains near ski lifts and popular slopes is to rent skis, snowboards, helmets and ski poles. This type of business is not the easiest, because the key is to be located in a really great and very popular place near the ski slope, which is used by many people. It’s a good idea to sell some food, drinks and other attractions that will generate additional income, in addition to renting equipment.
12. Store with skis, snowboards and ski accessories
The bigger a mountain town is and the more slopes, hotels, tourists and customers there are in the area, the more profitable such a store should be. Such stores must be located in really good locations to be profitable. In order to increase profits, it is also worth developing a good quality online store.
13. Store with ski, mountain, sports clothes and survival accessories
A ski sportswear and mountain accessories store can also be a good business idea in the mountains. Many people who go to the mountains want to buy missing boots, T-shirt, warmer jacket or accessories for their mountain trip. These types of stores are a good idea in bigger mountain towns where a lot of tourists come.
Every small town, settlement, and mountain town needs a pharmacy. Both residents of such places, tourists and people who work in the area sometimes fall ill and need some preparation from the pharmacy. Such a pharmacy, in a good and busy location can generate fairly large profits.
15. Apartments for rent
One of the most profitable of the mountain business ideas is renting apartments. Owning such an apartment is not only a long-term investment (and you can always sell it), but also an opportunity to earn often really big money. If such an apartment is located in an attractive location, you can count on an attractive income throughout the season.
16. Mini-houses with a view for sale or rent
Depending on the popularity of a particular town in the mountains, building small houses located in attractive locations can be a very attractive business idea. Such houses can be sold with high profit or rented to tourists. To increase the attractiveness of such business you should think about a unique design and attractions such as these tiny houses in this video.
17. Summer camp for kids
Summer camps for children and teenagers are a business that is often able to generate large profits. In case of well-managed summer camps, profit margins usually reach 25-40% (source). The more attractions you offer, and the more attractive (and popular) the location you will choose, the more profits you can expect.
18. Horse drawn carriages & animal related entertainment
Offering horse-drawn carriage rides and contact with animals (e.g. a mini zoo, the possibility of taking a picture and petting a sheep, feeding the animals, etc.) are interesting business ideas that fit well in many mountain towns. Tourists need attractions for themselves and for their children and such mini attractions often fit this need perfectly.
19. Snowmobile or quad rental
Another good idea among the mountain business ideas that you should consider are snowmobile and ATV rentals. Snowmobiles are a great attraction and convenient means of transportation in the winter, while ATVs are a good counterpart for the summer. Jeep ATV rentals can also be offered at these types of places.
20. Parking lot business
A good idea for an easy business in an attractive tourist place in the mountains is a parking lot. There are many places which are visited by many tourists who need such parking. Assuming that parking lot earns 10$ per one space per day and it has 50 such places, it gives $500 a day in gross revenues or $15,000 a month.
21. Vending machine business
A business worth considering that can work perfectly in the mountains (e.g. at the entrances to the slopes, next to cable cars, hotels and restaurants, etc.) are vending machines. Modern vending machines are much more advanced than their older ancestors and are able to sell various products (even soups, burgers, pizzas or gloves and scarves) which can be in demand in such mountainous regions.
Read also: 75 TOP Vending Machine Business Ideas
22. Aqua park & jaccuzzi
A great type of business that usually does well in mountain tourist towns are aqua parks pools and hot tubs. Whether in summer or winter, these are the perfect place to relax after a day hiking or skiing.
23. Hiking tours & mountain travel agency
Mountains and nature have many lovers who are willing to pay for interesting and well prepared trips. Many of these people need the advice and knowledge of someone who has much more experience in the mountains than they do. Such organized expeditions should be well advertised in social media – uploading photos, videos and posts from such expeditions to the internet.
24. Local delicacies and beverages tour & sale
Many popular mountain regions feature not only incredible scenery, but also delicious food and interesting local drinks such as wines, spirits, meads and ciders. This is a particularly good business idea in popular mountain tourist towns – where tourists want to have a good time and are looking for attractions of this type.
25. Live music bar or club
Places that are full of tourists are also usually great locations to open a bar with music or a club. Many tourists want to have a good time, have fun, dance and do exciting things. In addition to earning from the sale of alcoholic beverages and snacks, such places can also organize various events (e.g. meeting with a famous traveler, new year party, etc.).
26. Kids’ toy store
It is common for whole families to go to the mountains, together with children. As you know children love toys, so if in a given mountain town is a lot of tourists it is worth considering opening a store with toys. A good location in the busiest place will be very important here, so that as many tourists as possible passed by with children. A colorful large and well visible banner and good advertising on the Internet will be a big plus here.
27. Chalet localized high in the mountains
People love unusual attractions. Undoubtedly, such an attraction is spending the night high in the mountains, or having lunch and sitting with tea on the top of the mountain looking at the beautiful views. You can find such mountain chalets in many places around the world and they are usually very popular during the high season. People love to drop in there while walking in the mountains to take a break and eat something warm. Many people are also willing to rent a room in such a chalet to continue their mountain expedition the next day.
28. Funicular railway
A capital-intensive business that is ideal in the mountains and will attract many tourists is funicular railway. Building such railroad is a good way to increase the attractiveness of the resort or town in the mountains, as well as to generate a stable income from the tickets paid by tourists who ride up the mountain.
29. Souvenir shop
Wherever there are many tourists there is also a demand for souvenirs. For this reason, among the many mountain business ideas such a souvenir store is one of the more profitable ideas. Usually the best selling items in souvenir shops are fridge magnets, postcards, customized mugs T-shirts and caps, paintings and decorations related to the place as well as regional products and symbols.
30. Mountain climbing & mountaineering services (camps, event organization, lessons, etc.)
If you like mountain climbing and getting into hard to reach places in the mountains then you can make some pretty good money doing it. It is estimated that the best professional climbers earn over $300,000, although most earn much less (source). In the mountains you often need services such as carrying some equipment to hard to reach places, getting with rescuers or tourists to some place, providing rescue services and many others. A good idea for additional business connected with climbing in the mountains is to organize climbing events, camps and climbing lessons.
31. Bike rental
People who travel to the mountains in the summer are often looking for leisure activities to enjoy the beauty of the area and the closeness of nature. One of the most popular activities of this type is cycling, especially good in mountain towns where there are comfortable roads, paths and trails. If there are a lot of tourists in a given place and it is not yet possible to rent bicycles there, such a business has a good chance to be quite successful.
32. Bed and breakfast or mini hostel
This is one of the simpler and more profitable mountain business ideas, perfect for for business beginners. Just offer some nice room with restroom facilities and prepare breakfast in the morning. Such a business usually does not require investing a lot of money and can find really many customers during the season.
33. Car rental
The bigger the town and the more tourists, the greater the chance that the car rental business will be very profitable. This type of business usually requires a lot of start-up capital, although you can even begin by renting out a few cars. Tourists who arrive by train, plane or bus often like to rent cars to drive around the local towns and cities and to facilitate their transportation.
34. Amusement park
A good business idea in larger and popular mountain towns are amusement parks. Many tourists come with whole families with children or a group of friends and want to do something fun and crazy together. Rollercoasters, games, different themed areas (like miniature cities, dinosaur figures or famous celebrities or cartoon characters etc.) snacks, mini restaurants and toddler zone are things that if designed really well, will attract tourists even from distant towns.
35. Construction company
A construction company is the type of business that can succeed almost anywhere if you make a minimal effort. Especially for growing mountain towns and popular tourist resorts, there is a constant demand for construction services, construction of cottages, hotels, renovation of apartments, construction of warehouses and other buildings. It is a particularly good business idea if there are no popular construction companies in the area and if there is a high demand for such companies.
36. Rafting and mountain canoeing
Extreme sports is a field that attracts a lot of people who want to try something special – and are ready to pay well for it. Many mountains provide excellent conditions for such sports, a good example of which are mountain rivers which are often ideal for rafting and whitewater canoeing. The ideas for earning money on such trips are mainly selling guided trips, renting kayaks, selling drinking food and organizing events.
Mountains are very valuable places in terms of biological, geological and generally scientific value. In many mountains you can find large amounts of unique flora fauna and interesting geological specimens. Examples of ecotourism business ideas in the mountains are: hiking in the footsteps of rare animal and plant species, cave tours, guided tours in natural parks, glacier viewing, geography lessons for schoolchildren, and services related to conducting scientific research in the mountains.
38. Corporate retreat center
The mountains are a great place to organize corporate retreats and company trips. Many companies need to integrate their employees or go out of town for a few days to discuss some important issues for the company. Mountains are an ideal place for such trips, as they allow for a change of perspective, offer many interesting possibilities (e.g. mountain hiking and extreme sports), which allows for clearing the mind and getting away from everyday life, which can be very beneficial for companies. To start such a center you just need a mini hotel with a small conference room and some attractions like sauna, swimming pool or gazebos with barbecues.
39. Artificial snow making & snow related services
Snow is one of the most important elements during winter trips to the mountains, especially in the case of skiers and snowboarders. If there is not enough snow – the ski slopes cannot function. For this reason, many companies rent or buy special snow cannons that produce as much snow as needed. Snow can also be a problem – it is associated with the necessity to clear snow from streets, pavements and to enter the property. Such snow removal services can also be a profitable business idea.
40. Day SPA
A business that is well suited to opening in mountain popular resorts are spas. According to general estimates (source), the average profit margin of spas is 17.3 percent, with day spas recording the highest profit. Such a spa should offer the most popular services such as massage, hot tubes, sauna, jet bath, steam room, mud bath, salt scrub, microdermabrasion, seaweed body wraps, clay or herbal body masks, reflexology, pedicure, manicure, waxing and many more. Spas also often sell cosmetics and cosmetic bags, products such as bath additives, massage oils and other such additives and accessories.
RELATED BUSINESS IDEAS
- Graphic design and banner creation – Popular tourist destinations in the mountains are full of small and large bieznes that need to advertise their services. The basis of any advertisement is a good quality banner or infographic that will attract customers.
- Hot wine stand – Hot wine is a great way to warm up on a cold day in the mountains. Besides wine, meads or warm beer with syrup or honey also sell well.
- Veterinary care – in every larger mountain town where many people have pets (pets or farm animals) a veterinarian is needed – if there is no one in the area yet, it is worth considering opening such a business.
- Basic medical services (if the mountain town is big enough) – people often catch a cold in the mountains, have a fever, break their arms or legs (e.g. falling on the ice), in these and many other cases a doctor’s help is needed, so it can be a profitable business in such a town.
- Insurances – many tourists prefer to take out insurance, but leave it at the last minute.
- Gas station – there is a large demand for gas in every small, medium and large town – such a station (and even car repair and service services) may be a good idea to start.
- Hang gliding, parachuting, and baloon flights – valleys between the mountains are often great places for such flights, beautiful views can attract many tourists.
- Child care services – many parents who eat in the mountains with their children sometimes want to spend the evening alone without children, e.g. they want to go to a restaurant or relax together – a professional babysitter or a playground for children where you can leave the children for a few hours is the perfect solution to this problem.
- Photo booth – common photo from an unforgettable trip? why not!
- Shop with cheap products people often need – tourists often forget to take necessary items such as a toothbrush, deodorant, socks or a thermos for drinking in the mountains. This is a great business idea in crowded places.
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