The owner of a law firm has built a campsite, sells husky hikes and sled rides, and rents out cabins. Keeping animals costs 1-1.5 million rubles a month, and revenue in 2021 amounted to 12.3 million rubles.
Lost dogs and announcements on the poles
In 2014, the owner of the law firm Natalia Basina, together with her husband, moved to a country house and got two Siberian Husky dogs. A year later, the animals fled from the site while the owners were on vacation.
To find their pets, the couple posted about 1,500 paper leaflets within a radius of 100 kilometers from their homes, posted ads on social networks, on the radio and in local newspapers. Soon, people began to call who noticed similar dogs on the street.
“It turned out that escape is a common problem among huskies. They are independent and freedom-loving dogs. People often do not cope with them, and they end up on the street en masse. So we began to take the stray animals we found for overexposure and look for their owners. We manage to get some of the pets back home, while we kept others. Often we never found our dogs, ”says Natalia.
The number of calls grew – by September, a dozen huskies were already living with the spouses. For them, the owners specially fenced off a hundred square meters of land in their suburban area.
Around that time, Basina became interested in sports dog sledding. In the winter she brought in a professional trainer who worked with her dogs. The husky ran with great enthusiasm, the entrepreneur noticed this – and thought about opening her own thematic tourist base with dog tours.
Initially, the entrepreneur had only one team, a bathhouse and a guest house in her plans.
First rounds and construction
In November 2016 Natalia started looking for a place to build a nursery. She wanted there to be a body of water nearby and lots of undeveloped areas where she could ride a sled.
As a real estate lawyer, the founder took up the issue on her own. It was possible to find a suitable place – in the Ruza district of the Moscow region – quickly, according to the announcement on the “Cyan”.
“I immediately understood: this is what we need. So the site is located on the banks of the Moskva River, nearby is the specially protected natural territory Krasnostanskoe Moskvorechye with centuries-old forests, and around it is a variety of landscapes. There is everything for scenic routes – fields, forests, and hills, ”recalls Natalia.
At the end of autumn, even before the construction of the camp site, the entrepreneur began to conduct husky dog sledding trips in the vicinity – individual and in small groups of up to four people. At the same time, the name of the project was born – “Haskiderevnya” Ruzskaya Alaska “”.
Basina posted information about the tours on her personal Instagram page to several hundred subscribers.
In March 2017, Basina acquired a 16-hectare plot of land and began construction. She invested her own funds in the project, she does not specify their amount, and additionally took out 7 million rubles on credit.
Key start-up costs:
- Purchase of land – 8 million rubles.
- Substation construction – 1.2 million rubles. There was no electricity on the site.
- Nursery construction – 4 million rubles. This amount includes fences, booths, a playground.
- House for staff – 500 thousand rubles.
- During the construction, the entrepreneur tried to get away from the usual image of dog kennels with a netting and slate. The inspiration was European winter resorts.
Infrastructure, types of tours and seasonality
In November 2017, the entrepreneur brought her husky dogs to the kennel. By that time, there were about 25 of them. All animals were found on the street or from shelters.
In 2018, a bathhouse appeared in Ruzskaya Alaska, and in 2019 – glamping. . They have kettles, refrigerators, heaters and fans. In the summer of 2020, two guest houses were opened on the site for settlement.
Ruzskaya Alaska specializes in long-distance travel and hiking: from 4 to 40 kilometers. The focus is on individual and family tours. Sessions, which include a tour of the kennel and skating, start twice a day, with up to 25-30 people taking part in each.
Preparation of dogs for races begins in the fall, as soon as the air temperature drops to zero degrees. Sledding lasts all winter. In March, when there is no more snow, activities in the village stop for a while. The “off” season lasts until about mid-May.
About money and crises
At the end of 2021, almost 55 million rubles were spent on the project.
In total, at the end of 2021, about 155 dogs live in “Ruzskaya Alaska”, the territory of the kennel is almost 4000 m2. New animals are not yet taken to the village – maintenance is too expensive.
Monthly project costs are 1-1.5 million rubles:
- Dog grooming, food and veterinarian – from 270-540 thousand rubles.
- Equipment: sledges, ropes, ropes – 100-150 thousand rubles.
- Salary fund – 500 thousand rubles.
- Electricity bills – up to 150 thousand
Team and promotion
At the initial stage, Basina attracted partners – professional sled sports athletes to launch and develop the project. They trained the dogs and helped to think about the range of services and received half of the money from the sales of the tours. After about a year, the founder parted ways with the first team and began to look for hired employees.
Word of mouth also works. In the first year, guests were also attracted using coupon services. Almost immediately, the Tourism Committee of the Moscow Region drew attention to “Ruzskaya Alaska” – the village began to be including in guidebooks.
In the near future, Natalia plans to bring the project to self-sufficiency, and in the more distant future – to organize a skating rink on the territory, build several more baths, houses for tourists and open a museum of northern sled husky dogs.