Entrepreneurism is a huge part of the San Diego backcountry culture.
Jobs in the local tourism industry are a popular alternative to commuting off the hill for work. The revenue created locally not only supports locals, it is multiplied throughout the community through the more than 30 local nonprofit organizations.
There is one very big catch: Tourism in Julian is seasonal. Four months out of the year, the town is booming with more business than the infrastructure can support. This is followed by eight very slow months.
This seasonal economy makes it very hard for new businesses to survive.
For Julian locals Rami Abdel and Shantel Seoane, our San Diego mountains were the perfect place to pursue their American Dream. Despite the seasonal economy and COVID-19 shutdowns, their company — Alter Experiences, glamping (glamorous camping) business — is thriving.
Rami and Shantel’s small-business success story is just one of the many in our community. These businesses are proof that one can make a decent living within our community. Today, Rami is sharing their story and advice he has for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
Backcountry Hacks | A Millennials Guide to Starting a Business in Julian
by Rami Abdel
Shantel and I moved to Julian at the end of 2016. Before that we were living and working in Bonita, where we met and where we were both raised. We’d been together since high school and have been inseparable ever since.