At where my horses are boarded there is a bit of the same going on - empty stalls - but that's my fault. Hubby lost his job and I simply can't do $225 per horse per month for stalls right now. Right now those two stalls are the only ones open.
My horses are in a large paddock with a great three sided shelter. I have to clean it - er, daughter cleans it. BO provides and feeds the hay. I pay $90 for each horse plus hay on a per bale basis - which comes out to $310 a month for both of them. Oh, she also feed my supplements and there is a great tack room and indoor arena.
Last year she was having trouble with filling the stalls and I bullied (yes, bullied) her into raising her rates as no one could actually believe the quality of care she was offering. She is now at $250 for a stall (7 day a week turn out, lots of great hay, stalls cleaned daily, rugs on and off, fly masks on and off, she will even go so far as to clean sheaths and udders if the owners don't) and has 7 horses in stalls (plus six of her own), the two empty ones we vacated last month, and two more in another 24/7 paddock.
The owner of the two in the othe paddock and three of the stalls just bought a house with property so will be leaving sometime late this summer.
Unfortunatly, they also rent out a couple single wide moble homes. The new lady who just moved in was suppoed to be a dream come true and be the weekend stable sitter so the BO and her hubby could go on weekend rides without worry. However siad person has filled the last 24/7 paddock with four of the mangiest half starved, feet not done, two year olds I have ever seen.
I have been telling the BO she needs to raise to $275 or $300 to compete with the other barns in the area, but anyone who comes in is going to look at those half dead things and run for the hills! It is a no win situation.
HEHEHE - I had someoen try to get to me move to a different stable... four days a week turn out, covered arena, no trails (we have LOTS), no carts welcome, muddy paddocks, small stalls, and a GREAT DEAL at $290 a month plus hay! Which means approximatly double what I was paying for a stall - and half the care for my horse!