By Machelle James
Well, well, well…. We had another neighborhood meeting after a small group of neighbors complained they didn’t have enough time to drive up and see our presentation on February 6th. They requested a new presentation so they could be included. What we ended up doing was a Facebook Live event so they, as well as proponents of our campground, could all join in. The presentation I did is still up on our AJ’s Getaway RV Park Facebook page if you would like to see it.
Now mind you I had prerecorded the entire presentation as our Internet up here is so bad with everybody being online that I could hardly even get a connection. However, when I tried to upload the video, it took more than an hour and I had no choice but to go live and just wing it.
What’s so cool about Facebook Live is you get to see who’s following you from around the world. I have one gentleman from Australia following us and also one from the U.K. They left very nice comments and it is just so strange knowing how far you can reach someone with social media nowadays!
I thought the presentation went really well and I didn’t have any questions at the end. I thought everything was good and dandy as I had answered all the questions the opposing neighbors had emailed to Planning and Zoning.
Well, imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning and I had 93 questions that they asked! Now, I have to be honest here. Some of these questions would be relevant within a Planning and Zoning hearing but a lot of these questions are not. They are regarding our internal security measures, decibel sounds, how many people are we allowing inside cabins, a traffic study for a public road, what are we selling in our store, what is our pricing, what about pets, how are we going to design our septic tanks – and things that simply shouldn’t matter to the neighbors.
So, again, they pre-emailed questions and I answered them. This NIMBY is out of control. I will say, though, how much support we had at our Presentation from local neighbors. So I was glad they got to see how much support we already have. I will answer their questions as I am able, since there isn’t a deadline for the responses.
Now, for an update about our SBA funding. We still haven’t heard a thing at all. All SBA loans are being put on hold until further notice. This could be a wonderful benefit to the delay of opening our campground this summer. Interest rates should be very low when we are able to get our loan approved. Having said that, there is a very good chance that we may not be open until next year. This unique situation is something that we are not alone in dealing with as this pandemic wreaks havoc around the world.
So AJ and I keep plugging along by leveling the ground where the RV storage area is going to be. We had a friend loan us their tractor so we could dig out the tree roots. I know it was a lot of work, but I think AJ secretly enjoyed doing it!
We also put up a temporary orange construction fence so people will not be able to walk on the property with holes in the ground. We would like to think that at the minimum we can get our RV storage up this summer to start generating somewhat of an income.
Other than that we are starting to go a little stir crazy around our house. We have finally set up Zoom accounts so we can get to see our parents, family and grandkids. I also hosted my first “virtual happy hour” and it was so good to see the ladies up here that I haven’t seen in a while!
I think it’s super important that you get to see your loved ones and your friends’ faces, whether it’s Zoom, Facebook Messenger video or another video platform to see them as it really does keep you connected and sane.
On another positive note, I was Interviewed by Sue Bray with Woodall’s Campground Management this week. We were introduced through Chuck Woodbury, here at RVtravel.com. She had reached out to me at the very beginning of our journey to offer us encouragement and to ask if they could write future articles about our story. Of course I said YES!
It’s strange to hear your own story from a year ago, even though I’ve lived it, and to hear how we made so many changes along the way to adapt to the needs of our Campground Vision. That article should come out in June and who knows how much will have changed by then!
Ending on a very happy note: Our son, Nathan, will turn 29 on Saturday! We made a video for him as we cannot come see him or hug him at this time. He is a Special-Education teacher and a DANG good one to boot! Happy Birthday, Son. We love you very much and are so proud of you!
Thank you all for following our journey and, as always, see you in the trees. And please leave a comment!
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.