It turns out, that unlike searching for houses, finding commercial properties on the internet is fairly difficult. There are a lot of sites out there that sell it, but on each one they require you to open an account, or pay for access, or sign over your first born son, or accept email offers to view their listings. If you're looking for a resort or large hotel to buy, your options are almost limitless, there are amazing amounts of properties in the 1.5-6 million dollar range out there.
For our needs, I was able to find a few sites that were mostly effective. As far as bang for your buck, www.Loopnet.com easily has the largest selection of listings, but to see the basic ones, you have to sign up, and a large portion of the listings are hidden even then unless you pay. Craigslist also has a pretty good selection of businesses listed, but you have to slog through a lot of other stuff cluttering up the listings to find them. Hint - When searching Craigslist, make sure you go into the separate categories, then use the search function. Searching on the main page for the area will rarely bring you any accurate results. Also, say you are looking for a place in mideastern Oregon, make sure to search the more metropolitan areas listings too, a lot of sellers will put their listing there, hoping for more exposure.
I spent 3 nights surfing the internet, just compiling likely search pages, and teaching myself the tricks to finding properties, as well as learning the lingo. On the third night, I started actually looking for a property that we could afford, that had everything we were looking for.
The thirty-third property in, I found a place that got us so excited, we forgot a lot of the promises we'd made to ourselves about the search, one that would ultimately guide us in the right direction, and teach us a lot of things along the way, especially about disappointment, cynicism, & never letting hope die....