Mark Houston Expands: Non Clinical Retreat Purchases Adjacent Ranch

Expansion had always been part of the plan for Mark Houston as he laid out initial strategies for his Mark Houston Recovery Centers, which operate on a nonclinical recovery retreat concept that seeks to offer long-term residential stays at prices akin to those charged for 30-days at most high-end centers. The thing is, though, is that the expansion is coming just a little faster than Houston anticipated. Open just nine months, Houston, the former CEO of two highly successful Texas treatment centers, La Hacienda and Burning Tree Ranch, has worked his extensive Rolodex, which has combined with strong demand for his unique model of treatment to keep most of the initial 24 beds at his center full. Located on a sprawling $1.4 million ranch outside of Austin, Houston had initially planned a $2.2 million build out of new structures to bring capacity at his new center up to the desired level, in addition to adding new meeting and office capacity. But as luck would have it, an adjacent ranch recently came up for sale, which Houston quickly snapped up for a price of just under $1 million. Calling the new place “perfect” for his needs, Houston plans $250,000 in spending for assembly and office space, resulting in a savings of about $1 million off the price tag of his original expansion plans. It’s not just the money saved on the capital spending piece,” says Houston. “I added capacity almost immediately when I needed it, so I’m maximizing revenues.” Also, by have having two separate, yet adjacent facilities, Houston is able to have two separate programs of 20 beds each, something that he had not originally planned for, but now realizes was quite necessary. It has become apparent to us that a single 40-bed program would be quite unwieldy and would not produce as high a quality therapeutic experience as two separate, smaller programs,” he said. And now, with 40 beds to fill, Houston is most definitely moving beyond the Rolodex method of marketing, adding sophisticated SEO Internet work that is yielding strong patient acquisition results, while expanding a magazine branding campaign aimed at industry referrers, which also supports the efforts of a newly hired Northeast marketing agent.