By Machelle James
I had to look back at my calendar to see all the appointments we’ve had the last couple of weeks! We had a very informational meeting with our local Pepsi rep last Friday. What was so interesting about them was how many items they are able to bring to us. It’s drinks, food and snacks all in one.
We were especially thrilled to learn they would even provide the commercial refrigerators we need to keep all our goodies chilled for our campers. This is a huge sigh of relief as we were given a quote of $7,500 for a 2-door commercial refrigerator or $10,000 for a freezer/fridge 3-door combo. Who would have thought this type of equipment was so expensive!
We were educated on what type of coffee/beverages people prefer. In coffee order: black/vanilla/hazelnut coffee; and beverage order: water/soda/Gatorade/energy drinks. We learned the favorite snacks for adults versus children: Doritos for adults and Flaming Hot Cheetos for the kids. We also learned that people of ALL ages enjoy ice cream. We do have to purchase our own floor freezer for these items, but the good news about that is we can sell any flavor we want!
While we still wait for our SBA funding, we had to take out a 400K Life Insurance Policy with our bank as the beneficiary in case anything happens to us while we still owe money on the loan. We had the blood work done last week and now we wait to see if we have anything unknown in our blood or are denied coverage for any reason.
We cannot get the SBA loan funded until all the parties come together with a final price for their part in building our campground. For instance, we have our costs for our septic system, our check-in/store, most underground work, the road work and material for the roads.
We chose to use basalt for our roads as many other campground owners told us it is a great material to work with and holds up well in the rain and snow. We have decided NOT to use the alternative polymer soil stabilizer that we were looking into. It didn’t get favorable reviews for being used on turning ratios and for heavy RV usage. We decided to use what is very popular up here that can handle the monsoon rains and the snow loads that come through our way.
We also are waiting for final approval on our septic system. It has been with ADEQ (Arizona Department of Environmental Quality) for weeks now and we haven’t heard a peep. We will have the electrical plans all planned out over the next couple of weeks and then that will be submitted to our local electric company. Then the electric company has to engineer the campground on what goes where and how many transformers we need. We also need to bury our electrical lines as, out here, they are still on power poles above ground. We have NO IDEA how much this will cost and even if the electric company will pay for it or share in the costs with us.
As I sit here now, I can hear the sound of tractor work! We have Tractor Tim here, clearing the land for our RV storage. It looks SO good out there and it is getting both of us excited to see how the RVs will be parked and to see one of our future revenue streams come to fruition.
I will say I was able to sneak away for 2 nights and go on a ladies’ camping trip a few miles away. We have a FANTASTIC group of ladies up here who not only do tons of charity work, but also gather to share stories, teach us of their wisdom and learn from us young-uns. We went for rides in our side x sides to a secret pond and shared homemade Limoncello around the campfire. I will admit we have WAY too much fun together and I am so thankful for the relationships we have to lean on each other.
We have a Witch-A-Paloosa coming up and we are learning a “Witches Dance” to share with the kiddos at our local Trunk-or-Treat. Just because we are all older doesn’t mean we are boring! We don’t have traditional trick-or-treating out here as our houses are SUPER far apart from each other. We also have dark sky guidelines here and it’s just dangerous to be outside in the dark with all the wild animals we have here. We don’t have lamp posts, just headlights from cars driving by. Having said all that, our families trick-or-treat at the park. We all line up in our decorated trucks or trunks of our cars and hand out candy. We dress up too, as who doesn’t like to get candy from a Ghost or a Witch!
Finally, as this week comes to a close, I do have to say that AJ and I shared our 25th Wedding Anniversary last week. We went to dinner at our local Wild Women Saloon and Grill. We shared a Pastrami Burger with Garlic Fries. I can attest we were fighting over the last of the fries. They were probably the best fries we’ve EVER had! We both HIGHLY recommend visiting them when you come up here. They have FANTASTIC food and they will keep your bellies and beverages full!
Thank you for following our campground journey and, as always, “See You in the Trees”!
And please leave a comment!
AJ, Machelle and Jenna
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.