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Never Too Late for a Great Idea: Octogenarian Launches Dot-Com Firm, RV Enthusiast's Club

LIVONIA, Mich.--May 3, 2005--Web entrepreneurs are supposed to be in their twenties, right? Not necessarily. Enter unlikely "infopreneur" Orren Hall, founder of OmniRV Travel Club, a web-based business catering to the growing ranks of RV owners.

"I was retired in Florida, and I was bored," Hall says. "Pretty soon, I was saying to myself, 'I've got to start a business.'" So this half-century veteran of the business world decided to show younger budding e-biz titans just how it is done. Hall combined his enthusiasm for camping and RVing with a lifetime's worth of accumulated business savvy to create a membership-based organization dedicated to meeting the needs of RV travelers. The result:

To Hall, a new RV organization makes sense. "When you look at the numbers, they are unbelievable," he enthuses. "There are thirty million RVers in this country, ranging from weekend campers in pop-up trailers to people who spend the entire year on the road." Hall decided to focus his efforts on affluent newly-retired RV enthusiasts. "The majority of our demographic falls between fifty to seventy years old--adventurous people who want to see more of the country, but who want to travel in the degree of comfort that they're used to."

Hall elected to carve out his own market niche by providing a singular suite of services addressing not only the RV experience, but other lifestyle issues surrounding it. Hall presumed that customers would appreciate receiving material in a bound volume as well as online, reasoning that the majority of users would rather have the information they needed at their fingertips. Hall also resolved to fill in informational and service gaps left by other firms, developing affiliations with third-party firms to provide everything from insurance to on-the-road service assistance at discounted rates.

Entering his eightieth year seems to have done little to cramp Hall's style or his drive: he is now considering launching his own RV magazine, and his days are spent on the phone setting up deals to provide his members with everything from rental services to eyeglass discounts. Current offerings include a guide of over 3000 free RV parking sites and a list of over 1000 campgrounds nationwide, as well as an alliance enabling members to get discounted fuel.

So does Orren Hall ever consider slowing down? He laughs. "I might take a little more time off to enjoy myself. But I'm proud of what I've gotten started, and so long as I'm living, I'm going to be out there someplace."

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