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Camping out fading out, as cabins replace tents (access required)

By Sam Boykin After 28 years of working as a contractor, Jim Wood was burned out. Looking for a career change and a more laid-back routine, he sold all of his rental property—he had amassed dozens of houses over the years—and in 2004 bought the Linville Falls Trailer Lodge & Campground, about 100 miles northwest of Charlotte. “It turned out to be a whole lot more work and stress than I expected,” said Wood, who operates the campground with his wife, Dot. But Wood did something last year to both relieve his stress and bolster his bottom line: To diversify his business base, he spent $170,000 to add six cabins at his campground, which rent for between $105 and $150 per night. “This is compared to $32 for an RV site and $20 for a tent site,” Wood said. “It all boils down to more money.”

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