Q&A: Setting up shop in a resort town

Q&A: Setting up shop in a resort town

Oct 01, 2008

Q: I'm considering opening a clinic in a small resort town with about 1,000 residents. Many tourists visit the town during winter and summer, and it's currently served by just one veterinarian who comes to town biweekly. Can a tourist-supported practice succeed?

"My experience is that resort towns are not the best locations for veterinarians," says Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Mark Opperman, CVPM, owner of VMC Inc. in Evergreen, Colo. Since tourists don't usually bring in their pets for preventive procedures, most business would be on an as-needed basis for sicknesses, accidents, or injuries. This leaves few opportunities for consistent revenue from vaccinations and checkups, especially when you consider the town's small size.

Many other factors, such as rent or mortgage payment, facility costs, and your desired revenue, also factor into the decision. Normally a single-doctor practice needs to produce about $500,000 a year to generate enough cash flow. Consider all these variables before you make your final decision about where to practice.

Hot topics on dvm360

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

Search engine shares the top 10 questions people asked about dogs and cats in 2014.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.