Sunday, June 13, 2021
Sunday, June 13, 2021

Black couple follow their dreams, build brand-new RV resort

By Nanci Dixon
I had the pleasure of talking with Alicia Lawson about their new RV resort, Time Away RV Resort in Lincoln, Alabama. Alicia and her husband, Nathan, are resurrecting a neglected and unused campground from the weeds up. They were just 10 days from their grand opening and Nathan was busy handling one emergency after another. But Alicia was gracious enough to spend her very valuable time telling me a little bit about their dream park.

Photo Courtesy of Time Away RV Resort

This will be one of the largest Black-owned RV resorts in the nation. Alicia and Nathan are committed to it being a safe, inclusive and friendly place for all. There are 100 pull-through full-hookup sites, a play area, a dog park, shower house, laundry facilities, walking paths, a family swimming pool and high-speed Wi-Fi.

Alicia and Nathan were looking for a new adventure

Alicia mentioned that they had followed money guru Suze Orman’s advice and had been successful in the housing market after owning a trucking company for 30 years. They were looking for a new adventure, retirement plan and a legacy to leave their grandchildren. They have even named the streets for them, Lachelle and Amira.

The Lawsons had been looking at potential places for three years. They had three bits of criteria: 1. that it was close to a highway, 2. that it was in the South, and 3. that they could pay for it in cash. Just when they were about to give up, they found this one in Lincoln, Alabama, and haven’t turned back! It met all their criteria and as an added bonus was within walking distance to the Talladega Speedway. The Lawsons needed to literally start from the ground up and add 50-amp electric service, pads, streets, sewer and water. They even needed to find the old dump station before they could build a new one!

Photo Courtesy of Time Away RV Resort

Input from RVers while building the RV resort

Nathan and Alicia are avid RVers and are lending their 30 years of camping experience to building the resort. They have gone one step further and at each phase of building have invited RVers to test out the park. The Lawsons have been able to make changes based on that feedback. Early on they found out that the turns into the campsites were too tight for long vehicles towing. They were able to alter the campsite turns. They also realized that kids at the campground were getting bored. So she knew that they needed to build a play area and family swimming pool. Wouldn’t it be great if all campgrounds did that kind of real-world market research?

I asked Alicia about being an African American couple starting an RV resort in a deep south state and if there were any concerns. She said that she has been asked that multiple times and replies that people are people everywhere. She added that having an RV park that could be open year-round and nowhere near the snow of home state Ohio was a priority. Alicia said that their first stop after putting a bid on the property was to go to the local police station and introduce themselves and their plans. They have had enormous support from the local residents, businesses and civic leaders. Community and business members are stepping up and asking what they can do to help.

Building an RV resort during a pandemic had its own set of challenges. Not only were they affected by lack of available parts due to COVID, but they needed to keep a construction crew going while restrictions shifted.

This is a service family with a special place in their hearts for veterans

Nathan was in the service for 12 years, as was their son, Terrance, and daughter, Shirley. They have a special place in their hearts for veterans. During the grand opening month of June, people are able to pay for a camping spot and donate it to a veteran, insuring a lifetime camping rate freeze of $40 per night. They are also creating a brick path to honor veterans. Bricks can be purchased and are personalized to honor a veteran or someone special.

Photo Courtesy of Time Away RV Resort

To read more about the Time Away RV resort and the Lawsons’ journey, or to book a site, visit their website.

##RVT1002

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39 Comments
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Rusty
9 days ago

I enjoy reading the trials and tribulations of this couple who are seeing their vision come to reality. Well done. See ya sometime in the future travels.

Daniel
11 days ago

This is great news! So excited to hear about a new facility near a NASCAR track! I hope we can get down there sooner rather than later!

Robert Denton
13 days ago

Thanks for taking a dig at Alabama, Nanci. Please do Alabamians a favor and stay out of our state. You clearly think we are unworthy white racist trash. If that is how you feel, I for one don’t want you coming here.

The Lawson’s are more than welcome and I hope to spend time in their campground sometime soon.

Kamwick
8 days ago
Reply to  Robert Denton

Project much?

Gregg
14 days ago

Nice story and glad to see these folks make a go of it!
For those who get fired up about race and declare it a non-issue and not relevant to RVing… Well then why do you care if it’s mentioned? Noticed no one got worked up about the owner’s status as a veteran, which has what to do with RVing?

Bill T
13 days ago
Reply to  Gregg

“Well then why do you care if it’s mentioned?” because it detracts from the story. It really wouldn’t be an issue if not for MSM using race to polarize public opinion. Color has absolutely nothing to do with the efforts involved in planning and actualization of their dream, so why mention it at all. I believe the author did them both a disservice. Title should have read ” Couple follow their dreams. Build new RV resort.”

Dave
8 days ago
Reply to  Gregg

great point about veteran status, Gregg

Tom Moeller
14 days ago

There are several delapadated campgrounds in that area that are only open during Telladegga race week.Hope the nascar campers don’t cause problems with this one.I wish them luck and good fortune but leave the color of their skin out of it.

Kitty
14 days ago

Cannot wait to stop and enjoy this place!!! Great story and they sound like wonderful people!!

Darrell G Dunlap
14 days ago

Wish you could have told us about the wonderful new RV Park?
I live in Middle Tennessee and a trip there to a new facility sounds interesting.
That’s the important part here.

The race of the owner is way down on the important meter if at all.
Really sorry to see such a fine publication go down (and I mean down) this route.
This is, at least, the second time you have done this foolishness.
I, for one, really wish you would stop it.

Bill T
14 days ago

IMO, race only appears whenever an author needs to use it as an anchor to control a narrative. Only when this anchor is cast aside can we as a society stop living in the past and move forward and concentrate on the future. History is filled with many races and societies that have suffered persecution. This is an excellent story of determination, planning and action to create this RV Resort. Race, creed, or any other orientation is irrelevant and detracting.

R. G.
14 days ago

Unfortunately, race is not way down on the list for everyone. I’m sure many people will avoid this place, just because who owns it.

Edie
13 days ago
Reply to  R. G.

I think MOST people won’t care about the race of the owners. There might be a FEW, but we are NOT a nation of racists. This is where the media and race-biters have influenced people to think we are divided by skin color.

I understand there were good intentions in placing emphasis on the skin color of the owners, but this is what is keeping the issue of race in the forefront of a false narrative of America.

The fact is that race doesn’t and shouldn’t have a place in the narrative. America is probably the most diverse place in the world and the majority of us only care if you’re a decent human being.

For the MINORITY of those who are bigoted, we can’t change their minds and hearts. I think placing emphasis on skin color only emboldens their message of hate.

Bill T
10 days ago
Reply to  Edie

Agreed.

Eric
15 days ago

Does being black have any relevance to this article? It shouldn’t!

rvgrandma
15 days ago

I wish this couple the very best of success in their adventure. May their campground (love the name) bring joy and happiness to them and RVers over the years.

People are asking why bring up their race. It wasn’t that long ago there was articles on the problems Blacks ran into rving that was sad. Thankfully we found it is not always and hopefully will one day never be the case. I commend this couple. We have so many Blacks out there complaining they are stuck in poor neighborhoods, no one to take them out. This couple listened to experts on how to get ahead and followed it. Now dreams are coming true.

Ben Carson and many other prominent Blacks have shared how they also found their way out of the poor neighborhoods by changing their thinking. That is advice we all need to take not just Blacks.

Bill
15 days ago

Race is relevant because Black RVers are rare and Black campground owners are even rarer. This is America, and “All men are created equal,” but that “All” didn’t include Blacks for a long time.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Thank you, Bill. Take care. 😀 —Diane

Valerie Greek
14 days ago
Reply to  Bill

I agree. Blacks and other minorities need to know and see that this is a reality and dream that can come to fruition. Growing up, I never saw blacks going on vacation let alone RVing. Great article, race is significant to this write up.

Jonathan Miller
14 days ago
Reply to  Valerie Greek

Seriously? When I was growing up a black man wasn’t safe to be traveling all over the country let alone RVing. The people that say put the past in the past dont realize this is still a very racist country full of racists.

Jonathan Miller
14 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Exactly. I am a black RVer. Been to all 49 contiguous states in RV and its ridiculous how many times I’ve been pulled over and detained for no reason. Rarely if ever encounter any other blacks so as soon as I show up I’m considered a suspect. People of color still face challenges in this world.

Kamwick
8 days ago
Reply to  Bill

Still doesn’t.

Linda S.
15 days ago

Clearly Nanci isn’t color blind. Just had to bring up race. Disgraceful. This is America.

Kamwick
8 days ago
Reply to  Linda S.

It’s actually disgraceful that you can’t see reality

Bob
15 days ago

So, is the “Black couple” supposed to mean something more? It’s telling the reader to give the more credit than another race I guess. As if there aren’t millions of successful Black business people.

Richard Carlson
15 days ago

Great story – really need some work on the website.

Richard
15 days ago

Nanci, what was your motivation to write this article, a couple worked their buts off and risked everything to open a camp ground or to tell us that they were black? Reporting on what is newsworthy without a personal bias would be more creditable.
Richard.

Bill T
14 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Agreed.

J. C. Miller
15 days ago

We are a retired couple living in our fifth wheel. $40 a night equals to $1,200 a month, a little steep for our budget!

Cam Daddy
13 days ago
Reply to  J. C. Miller

I went on their website. The monthly rate is $695

Bill T
15 days ago

Congrats to them both and all the best for their future. I was glad to read Alicia’s comment “She said that she has been asked that multiple times and replies that people are people everywhere”. Stories of successes should be told without the need to emphasize race or other demographic points. We can only become a collective society of inclusion, for all, once we can put aside the need to show individual differences. This is an amazing story and the need to emphasize the fact that they are a “Black Couple” as the title suggest only serves to detract from their efforts. IMO, black, white or whatever should make no difference but we should only have the common desire to congratulations this couple and many others for achieving their dreams.

littleleftie
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

My thoughts EXACTLY!

Ken
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

Ditto. “…people are people everwhere”. Would love to get down your way some day. Thank you for your service too.

Tommy Molnar
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

Spot on, Bill.

Robin
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

If “…liberty and justice for all “ really meant all I would agree. Unfortunately, racial disparities must be examined and addressed before they can be “put aside”.

Jeremy
15 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

I agree people need to stop focusing on race an color an be humans respect each other help each other an celebrate our accomplishments as one race the human race.i hope this couple has all the success they ever dreamed of congratulations

Kamwick
8 days ago
Reply to  Bill T

People who shy away from discussing the reality of racial inequity are obviously over sensitive about this issue fir some reason.

Obviously, Bill, you, like me, have enjoyed safe privilege all your life and therefore have no idea what it is like living while non-White in this country. Certainly we can be forgiven for being ignorant of that reality because we actually can’t relate to those experiences. But reality is there if we are brave enough to face it. Maybe it’s time to LISTEN instead of knee-jerk deny?

Bob Zagami
15 days ago

Nice review of the Lawson’s campground that will open next week in Alabama. Like you, we were fortunate to be able to speak with Alicia and Nathan for a full hour on our “RVing in New England” online talk show a few weeks ago. They are a terrific couple chasing their dreams and they will be very successful with their Time Away RV Resort. You can watch the entire show here: https://www.facebook.com/369037100112/videos/267721908036715

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
15 days ago
Reply to  Bob Zagami

Thanks, Bob! 😀 —Diane

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