Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Building an RV park: Bank schmank; and the septic is installed!

By Machelle James
Let’s start this week off with the GOOD NEWS first! AJ and received our Arizona State Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) License! We now have a license for retail sales and for transient lodging. This means, when we purchase items from a store like Costco or Sam’s Club that we will resell in our store, we do not need to pay tax on these items at time of purchase. We will pay the taxes from the sale of those items that we will sell in the store. The transient tax is what our campers will pay when they stay here and we will then pass those collected taxes along to the state when we file our business taxes.

I am not going to pretend I know everything about taxes. We have an excellent tax accountant that will help guide us in what we need to do to follow the laws and to pay our fair share to the state. I always say to AJ, “It’s a business expense!” He always comes back and says, “You have to have an income for it to be a business expense!” I say it is somewhere in the middle – as how can you start a business without having to buy things FOR the business. We agree to disagree and let the tax experts decide what is deductible and what is not!

Sewer lines installed

Big tractor
Tractor with ripper tooth being unloaded

Our other good news is our construction crew had the BIG TRACTOR with the ripper attachment come in. They were able to get that hard rock broken up and they had the sewer lines installed where we had to stop last week due to the rock shelf we are on. We now have 41 out of 43 spaces installed for the septic lines.

Special family time

Easter basket
Jenna and her Easter basket

Easter was 2 weeks ago and we celebrated in the Valley with my mom and her husband. Also, you may remember how much Jenna believes in the Easter Bunny as well as all the other holiday characters. Well, she woke up at midnight to see if the Easter Bunny had found her at her grandma’s house. Well, of course he did! There was a nice big basket of goodies for her with a secret egg inside. The secret egg had a message that she had to find a hidden egg at her house in Overgaard. She was so excited to have a surprise waiting for her at home!

When we got home on Sunday night, she jumped out of the truck to search for her hidden egg. She FINALLY found it and it had gift cards inside for her to use at our local restaurants. She was so happy that the Easter Bunny had gifts for her at both houses!

Our son, Nathan, and his sister, Jenna

While were in the Valley, our daughter-in-law planned a surprise 30th Birthday Party for our son. I can say he really didn’t know what was being planned. He was with the guys all day and let’s just say he was SUPER surprised to see his family and friends when he walked in the door! The look on his face was PRICELESS!

Heber-Overgaard Chamber of Commerce has a new Secretary

Yesterday was our town’s monthly Chamber of Commerce meeting. Since the word is out about our 4th of July events, we are going to need A LOT of help. We have an estimate of 45-50 thousand people will be here over the 4th of July week. Now our town only has about 4,000 full time residents and 20,000 summer residents. As we were designating what club was in charge of what items, we also had to nominate new board members. Well, I am happy to announce I am the new Secretary for the Chamber of Commerce for the next 2 years! I am looking forward to meeting more of the local business owners and discussing how to improve the events our town has to offer.

Grandson Max is a hit with the local ladies

Pillow fight
Pillow fight with Papa, Max and Jenna

One last happy note to share. Our grandson Max is here with us for the week and is having the time of his life! He is almost 5 years old and such a sweet child! He absolutely LOVES playing in the dirt, loves throwing rocks and basically anything that has to do with getting dirty! It is so fun to watch him play with the local ladies, as they just adore him!

pirate treehouse
Max and the secret pirate treehouse!

We have a friend with a secret pirate-themed treehouse up here. Max was able to play in the treehouse and find all the Gold Coins that were hiding in the pirate’s chest. I can say without a doubt, we had the best time laughing, playing and enjoying this time of innocence with Max. He goes home tomorrow and I am sure we will miss his infectious laugh and huge hugs he loves to give.

No word from the bank yet

Now, on to our NOT so happy news. We still have not heard back from the bank. I do not understand what the holdup is. We have left messages, emails, voice messages – and we still haven’t heard if we are funded or not. They said they want to talk with us, but no one has called yet and it is driving us both insane! We’re hesitant to call other brokers at this time as each inquiry dings your credit. We are truly at a loss, as the RV industry is BOOMING! We just read how many RV parks are applying to open up in our state, and 1 out of 3 loan inquiries are in Coconino County!

Not enough RV parks

RV sales are at an ALL TIME HIGH and there are not nearly enough RV parks for these families to visit. The wait list for RV parks is a year long, and there is a dire need for a business like ours. I do hope the banks are aware of this new lifestyle choice and can see the value we have to offer. We do have a plan B, but we cannot move forward until we know for sure if this bank is in or out.

As you can hear in my writing, I am frustrated. Please bear with us as we finagle this process and move forward. We are supposed to start reservations in about 2 weeks for the 4th of July week. AJ is working diligently on our new website and it looks SO good and is super user-friendly.

I hope to hear from the bank before my next article and have HAPPY news to share.

Until then, thank you for following our Campground Journey and See you in the Trees!

And please leave a comment!

AJ, Machelle, Jenna and Max

Read previous articles here.

Machelle James and her husband, AJ, are building, from the ground up, a 15-acre RV park in Heber-Overgaard, Arizona, in the beautiful White Mountains 140 miles from Phoenix. Follow them on Facebook @ AJ’s Getaway RV Park or on Instagram at ajsgetawayrvpark.




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Donald N Wright (@guest_124379)
2 years ago

Do “RVTravel” subscribers need to send another $ gift ?

Machelle James (@guest_124397)
2 years ago

Hi Donald! Well I do not want to do that again if we don’t have to. We appreciate all the donations that we’ve received and the funds are in waiting to help purchase the fencing materials. You are SO kind and generous, so let’s wait until the end of next week for our answers from the bank!

C. Margo (@guest_123181)
2 years ago

You will make it! Too much good karma coming your way to fail now!!😎

Machelle James (@guest_124396)
2 years ago
Reply to  C. Margo

Thank you for your kind words and good vibes!! We believe this too!!!

Lynne Edwards (@guest_123015)
2 years ago

Would it help to have RVers email the bank to let them know they are waiting, and looking forward to, making reservations to stay at your park? Happy campers will assure having the loan paid back.

Linda Hagan (@guest_123135)
2 years ago
Reply to  Lynne Edwards

That was my first thought too Lynne. Machelle, if you think it would help, please share contact information and we’ll flood them with glowing reviews. LOL

Machelle James (@guest_123142)
2 years ago
Reply to  Linda Hagan

Hi Linda! Thank you for the good advice! I wrote her this morning with your fantastic ideas!!

Machelle James (@guest_123141)
2 years ago
Reply to  Lynne Edwards

Hi Lynne! I think this is a great ideas! I emailed the banker this morning with our readers great ideas, including yours! I’ll keep you posted on what the outcome is!

Mike Schwab (@guest_122878)
2 years ago

How about a Go Fund Me? As a reward you get full credit plus 0.5% interest per month, redeemable only toward RV space rental?

Donald Schneider (@guest_122773)
2 years ago

Good Morning Machelle. You should sent the bank a message about your election as Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce! Now you have a LOT of influence in your community and the bank should want you on their side. That notice may be what breaks the logjam on your loan. Best of luck on getting the financing secured.

We have work camped at a new RV park and know it is a LOT of work getting everything in place for the opening day. Pack a pound of patience every morning when you get started.

Machelle James (@guest_123140)
2 years ago

Hi Donald! I emailed our bankers this morning with the good advice from you and the others who had great ideas! Thank you for your continued support as we both truly appreciate you!

littleleftie (@guest_122765)
2 years ago

Best of luck, Machelle. The frustration of having to wait, wait, wait on the bank will all be forgotten once they approve you and the lineup of RVs awaiting entrance to your brand new, beautiful park starts to happen. A very long journey, for sure, but I have really enjoyed following your adventure.
Fingers crossed the loan’s approval happens soon!

Machelle James (@guest_122787)
2 years ago
Reply to  littleleftie

Hello Little Leftie! Thank you for your kind words!! We are going to continue working until we get it done! We will get there eventually!

Ed D. (@guest_122755)
2 years ago


Glad to see things are going well. Easter is a wonderful time for the children and should be treated as if we were still children ourselves. Memories of the smiling faces when they open their Baskets full of chocolate and Easter Eggs, will last a life time.
The Bank seems as heartless as most financial institutions are! It is a shame that they appear to make a game out of approving a loan. I hope something breaks for you, one way or the other. That way you can seek alternative sources, if that is where it leads. Just keep your eyes focused on the prize. You will get there. We are all rooting for you guys! Stay safe and keep on plugging away!

Ed D.

Machelle James (@guest_122785)
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed D.

Hello Ed! With Jenna, we will always have the joy of having Holidays to celebrate!
You are right.. we need an answer one day or another from the bank!
We are working a little every day to meet our opening date goal!

Joe Allen (@guest_122748)
2 years ago

Wishing you both the best in your endeavors! Yes, banks move slow, something I can’t even understand, for they are in the business to loan monies! Unfortunately, we won’t be making a visit to your park this year, as we will be in Yellowstone until the 4th of November and will be heading for warmer climate by then. It is 10 degrees here this morning and a high of 35 for the day. Brrrrr! Good luck with the Chamber as it can be your best friend at times!

Machelle James (@guest_122783)
2 years ago
Reply to  Joe Allen

Hi Joe! Thank you for your support and kind words. This bank sounds so promising too! They fund Campgrounds, so we are not sure what the hold up is. Happy travels for you in Yellowstone and hopefully next year we can meet you on your travels!

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