Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by OrangeDragon »

Soi Dog wrote:
OrangeDragon wrote:
Soi Dog wrote:I have no doubt that SHV will continue to develop successfully over time. My questions are more about whether any barang will be able to cash in any slice of that market. The fact that hotdigr works for Russians, as opposed to starting and running his own business, pretty much emphasizes my point. Could he go it alone there?
I imagine with the right startup cash he could... anyone can really. If the Russians can, why not an Aussie or an American? It's about having the cash to do so though, as well as a good solid business plan.
Well the people you speak about already have lots of money. I thought this thread was about small businesses scratching out a living (hence the high turnover mentioned in the OP) and trying to cash in on the "transitioning" of SHV, not about the wealthy getting wealthier.
Not always the case, but you'll have to have the cash to transition to the kind of business those people are going to want. You can't just open up some shitty smelly bar and thing cashed up tourists are going to pay it any attention. You're going to need to be attractive to them, and that shit costs money. More likely will be that existing owners without the money or vision for change will get fed up and leave (seen it happen a few times already) when they aren't getting customers... then someone else will take it over and make it better.

If you're already close to being a classy joint it may just come down to some marketing. Getting put in those pocket guides/etc. TripAdvisor and Agoda (for guesthouse places) are valuable resources as well that an oddly high number of owners tend to snub their noses at. They're two of my, and many other travelers', primary resources for decision making when new in a city. Especially ones with certain amenities in mind like a pool, a nice restaurant, etc.
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General Mackevili
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by General Mackevili »

OrangeDragon wrote: You can't just open up some shitty smelly bar and thing cashed up tourists are going to pay it any attention.
That seems like exactly what you can do.

And fancy places for rich people seems nothing new there.

Both of these things have been going on since forever there.

It definitely doesn't seem like Sihanoukville is at some crucial moment in this supposed "transition period."

That's what everyone thinks when they arrive, right before they end up selling their newly purchased business for the same price 3 months later to another schmuck who arrives, thinking the exact same think you thought 3 months prior.
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wackyjacky
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by wackyjacky »

Another thing not mentioned is the rainy season. We aren't far physically from PP but the weather is a lot different. It's been raining sideways since the end of May and it won't stop 'till the end of Oct. I either spend Sept in the States or PP it's so bad. 12 months rent - 7 months of business. Living this close to the equator, people don't realize that this place is nearly as seasonal as Cape Cod or Lake Tahoe. This accounts for most of the turnover IMO.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by OrangeDragon »

General Mackevili wrote:
OrangeDragon wrote: You can't just open up some shitty smelly bar and thing cashed up tourists are going to pay it any attention.
That seems like exactly what you can do.

And fancy places for rich people seems nothing new there.

Both of these things have been going on since forever there.

It definitely doesn't seem like Sihanoukville is at some crucial moment in this supposed "transition period."

That's what everyone thinks when they arrive, right before they end up selling their newly purchased business for the same price 3 months later to another schmuck who arrives, thinking the exact same think you thought 3 months prior.
There are a LOT more of them though, and they're getting a lot more business. The OC hotel just nearly doubled their rooms and run near capacity in high season... for $60-80 rooms. And a place pretty much copying them just opened another street over.

The people going to the kind of crappy bars are mostly expats, not tourists, and generally are doing so because they know the owner or know someone who does. And those places generally really struggle quite often when there's any shift in the expat community.

The new Sushi Bar branch that just opened here at that place up on the hill is seeing some pretty steady business as well, and we were in Samuri a couple of nights ago for their 1 year anniversary party and it was PACKED (we actually had to share a table with strangers for a while because there wasn't anywhere else to sit). And that place is really nice and really expensive. The parking lot was full, of SUVs. We've had a few nice dinners in Olive and Olive, and it's the same deal... always busy for dinner. And this is LOW season. If you can stay busy in low season, you're doing GREAT down here.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by OrangeDragon »

What we really need is a proper nightclub... like Pontoon/Code Red/River House. The Russians would eat it up... a lot of them love clubbing and LV club is just crap.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by Hotdigr »

Soi Dog wrote:I have no doubt that SHV will continue to develop successfully over time. My questions are more about whether any barang will be able to cash in any slice of that market. The fact that hotdigr works for Russians, as opposed to starting and running his own business, pretty much emphasizes my point. Could he go it alone there?
I already have, twice. Once was a success, the other, not so much so. I have been here for 2 years now ( doesn't make me a long termer, but I sure as shit am not a wet behind the ears, stars in my eyes newbie either), owned 2 businesses, learnt a lot about the town and am now happy to let other people take the risk and do what I do best - manage. And to blow my own trumpet just once - I do it VERY WELL. I don't want, nor need, the stress involved in owning a business ANYWHERE in the world anymore. My choice. This way I don't have to worry about the weather, political climate, global economy or a multitude of other factors that effect the tourisim and hospitality industry worldwide. I go to work, do my job fukn well and then go home to a life I am incredibly content with. And get paid well every month, come rain, hail or shine.
GM, I've already called a couple of years at least. Not once did I intimate this was going to happen overnight. All I said was its my belief there is a very large, pre - existing market here already, that is steadily growing, yet hasn't been tapped by most business owners. The ones that have tapped that market are the ones that are doing well and will continue to grow.And if you look through the Russian language magazines, Facebook sites and forums ( YES, believe it or not they exist and at least in the case of the 2 "Sihanoukville-centric" mags, put our English speaking ones to shame if you compare the quality of the printing, writing and information provided). You would not be surprised to see which businesses are using these resources. And a lot of them ARE"NT Russian owned or specifically Russian themed.
If you don't have vision in business, then you are doomed to failure imho.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by vladimir »

ryoon wrote:I do not see how the place could develop without a simple way to go there first.
The tourist (the kind who like to go to bar and such ) are usually looking for simple to go destination and you cannot expect infrastructure to develop ( such basic thing as school, hospital, and such) without a good transport system.
I think the rapid growth in Sinville contradicts your idea.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by wackyjacky »

vladimir wrote:
ryoon wrote:I do not see how the place could develop without a simple way to go there first.
The tourist (the kind who like to go to bar and such ) are usually looking for simple to go destination and you cannot expect infrastructure to develop ( such basic thing as school, hospital, and such) without a good transport system.
I think the rapid growth in Sinville contradicts your idea.
Koh Chang is a pain in the ass to get to and it's growing fast - but it's A LOT NICER. I think the smaller apt houses and hotels will do all right. I see lots of expats on fixed incomes moving over from Thailand if we get a 1/2 decent hospital down here. All the big developments in town - the 100s of townhouses across from Don Bosco - empty, leaking, & rotting away, the old bus station -empty, leaking, & rotting away (except finally some ground floor retail), the townhouses down by Hawaii Bch - empty, leaking, rotting away, & looking butt-fugly. I don't have high hopes for the massive Pearl City, which they're finally trying to finish recently, but it should bring rents in town down a bit.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by Tim Linkinwater »

Don't know the new permanent residents, though I know and like the "original" Russkies well enough.

A Russkie friend of mine in the travel industry is responsible for the arrival of a large number of the current family type tourists. He reports that basically their previous holiday spots, Egypt in particular, are no longer visitable so he simply redirects them here. Their feedback is not very positive and he doubts he will be able to keep them coming if Egypt becomes OK again or he can find another beach spot to send them.
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Re: Bar Owners in Sihanoukville Being Watched

Post by Sailorman »

The big empty developments (including the Marina and Pearl City)= wash/launder/dry, wash/launder/dry and Oh how the clean money rolls in. Highway #4 is not the tourist answer, but still part of the equation. The stoned/drunk/crazed container truck drivers/beer trucks need to be taken off the road and the containers put on the new railroad. Last year I took a taxi from PP to Snooky on a holiday and the powers that be said no trucks on Hwy 4 for the holiday. It took half the time PP/Snooky. A small lane for motos on the side and well marked would help. Patrols by police to get rid of the crazed Cambodia drivers (This includes in Snooky also.)

The Answer (just like Ko Samui and Puket) is more airlines flying into Snooky. The monopoly that Angkor Air(Vietnam Air) has needs to be broken. The landing "fees" need to be lowered. Air Asia wanted to fly to Snooky, but the "fees" were so high they gave up. Cambodia Air (Philippine Air) has airplanes on the tarmac in the Philippines ready to fly in Cambodia including Snooky, but the Vietnamese controlled government won't sign the paperwork.

I would wager that direct flights Singapore/Snooky would be full of people ready to gamble and lay on a beach at a fraction of the cost in Singapore. This will never happen as long as Vietnamese Air (Vietnamese government) hold a monopoly on air travel to Snooky. (They don't really want to fly people to Snooky, but to their new airport (in Vietnam) on the island just south of Snooky.

The next 6 months will see if Interstate Resorts and Hotels (government of China) starts their one billion dollar project in Snooky. (or will the government wanting more corruption money screw this project up also.) The people that would go to an upmarket casino/island and 4/5/6 star hotels won't do the death ride on Hwy 4. It could break the airline monopoly in Snooky. Only time will tell.
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