Photo Credit: Photo Courtesy of Time Away RV Resort
Meet The Couple Behind Alabama's Time Away RV Resort
When Nathan Lawson was a child, camping was a family affair.
“Mom had a couple of RVs and that was a cheap way back then to take your family on vacation. We didn’t know at that time as kids, but man, we just went out to the park to have some fun. We played all day in the different parks around the Ohio, Michigan area a lot. My cousins and I, even now, we talked about it before we even bought our RVs — we missed those days. It’s ingrained in all of us to do that now.”
It’s a pastime that Lawson continued to engage in when he had his own family, which includes wife Alicia and their now adult children, Shirley, Terrance, and Arlinda. So it comes as no surprise that the Lawsons are now the proud owners of Time Away RV Resort. It is the first recreational RV resort within walking distance of NASCAR’s Talladega Super Speedway in Lincoln, Alabama.
Buying an RV park wasn’t always the plan admitted Alicia. In 2008, after the market crashed, Nathan purchased some properties that he rented out. But after fifteen years of going through the tedious grind of refurbishing and refreshing the homes for new tenants, they were looking for something lower maintenance.
“When we started RVing we were thinking, wait a minute, they bring their own house. All we have to do is sweep off the pad and let the next person pull in,” Nathan explained. “And we’d still be in the rental business. So basically this is just us diversifying our portfolio in the landlord spectrum.”
Alicia added, “And we’re in Ohio. So we’d never been to Alabama. We drove by and saw the sign and stuff. When this popped up as an opportunity, we were the first to look at it, and we were like, let’s give it a chance. We had been looking at other RV parks, and we just decided to go look at it. It was the one for us.”
Nathan estimates that the resort is about 85 percent operational currently, with a bit more plumbing work to be completed. The couple is new to the game and continue to formulate their plans based on best practices observed from other parks to make their property a pleasurable experience, starting with making the lots easily accessible and adding necessary amenities like sewer lines to the septic tanks and updated electrical ports, with multiple power options at every site. Sessions will also be held to offer tips to RV newbies.
“Some of the bigger amenities that are coming, that are not in the area, is a playground for kids, and we’re going to add in some old school kickball,” shared Alicia. “For the grand opening, we’re gonna put teams together.”
“We’re going to have volleyball and basketball. They’re also going to be installing a pool and a pavilion. Those things are not in the area now, so we think they’ll give us a little advantage,” Alicia shared.
They also welcome the proximity of the Talladega Super Speedway which hosts one of the country’s most popular sports in auto racing.
“Most of the other campgrounds here in the area, only open for the race and have people pull up on the grass and pull up on their backyards,” said Nathan. “At least if nothing else, we can open up for the race every year. And at least break even.”
But so far, so good. The park is already sold out for June and they’re working on booking the rest of the summer. The Lawsons hope to eventually hire a manager and take some time off to do some traveling of their own — via RV of course — across the United States.
“We haven’t done that yet. So that’s what we’ve been wanting to do,” Alicia shared. “An RV park is one thing, but there are a lot of parks out here and a lot of different sceneries and different things they offer in different parts of the country. We want to experience it if we can.”
For more information visit Time Away RV Resort.