We’re selling our campground property.

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For the last five years when I’ve written down and dreamt up our major life goals, one item always found its way to the top (or near the top): buying a campground.

In 2021, after years of searching, we finally found the location. A property that checked all the boxes. Mountain views. Gigabit fiber internet. It even boasted a unique building, a schoolhouse constructed in the 40s and completely renovated for hosting events. It was the property we’d been searching for.

We bought it in July.

Now, we’re selling it.

Yes, this is a complete 180 from everything we’ve been sharing lately on our blog and social media. (It’s also a complete 180 from our actual plans). You may have noticed we’ve been a bit quiet on property updates this past month, and I wanted to share the reason we’ve decided to go in this direction.

Why we’re selling our campground property

First of all, we are fine and healthy (so is our relationship).

We are also surrounded by cuties, as you can see.

There’s a handful of reasons why we’ve made this decision, but one reason rises to the top:

the risk of personal burnout.

When we first set out down this path of building a hospitality business, Alyssa and I were in a very different stage of our lives. It was 2018. We had no kids. Our business at the time was our blog, a conference, and a fledgling software startup. We had a tremendous amount of freedom to dream with very few factors standing in our way.

Then our software business grew and it required more attention. So did our family (Ellie was born in 2019 and Elias was born in October of 2021).

As our family and business grew, we held onto our dream of starting the campground. If I’m being honest, I held onto this dream more than Alyssa. She has a tendency to see things for what they are, which was a lot of work on top of several other businesses and a young family. I permanently walk around with rose-colored glasses and just feel like the universe will always point me in the right direction.

When it came time to pull the trigger on our campground purchase last year, I led the charge. Our goal was within reach. We had the cash and the property in our sights. All we had to do was make an offer. Alyssa had more than just doubts, she was really hesitant to move forward.

In the end, I convinced her that we shouldn’t give up on our dream (which is a more polite way of saying I steamrolled her into saying yes).

Mind you, this was while Alyssa was five months pregnant with baby number two. It was also one month after selling Campground Booking, of which I’d been heads-down focused on for the last five years. I consulted a number of my close friends before pulling the trigger.

Without fail, almost all of them cautioned me about the idea of buying and building the park. The sentiment was, “Hey, you’re having another kid and just got done building and selling your last company. Take a breather.”

I didn’t listen.

Why We Wanted to Build a Campground in the First Place

Originally, our dream to build a campground was inspired by hosting our RV Entrepreneur Summit. We loved the idea of building a park designed for RV entrepreneurs.

But for me personally, this was also something fun that Alyssa and I could build together.

While we’ve worked together on this blog, the podcast, our conference, and our documentary over the last 8 years, I took a big detour in building Campground Booking. One of the things I loved about our lives was that we were building things as a team. I had a dream to build a tech company, which I did. But I really missed the partnership of working alongside Alyssa every day.

I felt the campground would be something that would combine our mutual strengths. I had this vision of us being on the property together and seeing Ellie run around making friends. Hosting cool events. Probably eating s’mores.

Yet, the closer we got to opening the park, the more this dream began to fade away.

For starters, in our vision of starting a park, we were buying an existing campground. This would mean that we could come in and immediately layer in our expertise in marketing, reservation technology, putting on events, etc.

The property we found had to be a new build, which meant that for the past 18 months (we first toured the property in September of 2020) our time has been spent mostly on zoning, site plans, architecture designs, and overall planning. The majority of this work has been in the hands of our general contractor and civil engineer team that we hired to help us develop the site plans.

Secondly, we had our first taste of what it would actually be like running our park. Last fall we put on our fifth annual RV Entrepreneur Summit for 120 people. Overall, it went really well (despite the heat wave!) and it was great seeing people enjoy the raw space.

rve summit 2021

However, it gave us a taste of the life we were aiming towards in starting a 100+ site park. Alyssa and I spent our week checking in guests, coordinating with our volunteers on site, answering questions, and doing other host-related activities. In my vision of running a park, I saw myself having much more time to spend around my family. During Summit Week, I barely saw Ellie.

While I know every day wouldn’t be the same as putting on a conference, it was a taste of what was to come. Even though we planned to automate the campground (as much as we could), we still needed to be on-site for at least a year to learn and develop the business. That would obviously take a lot of time. I started to recognize the risk of another new venture that was very real. The risk of missing out on what I know are going to be precious years of Ellie and Eli’s lives.

All for a business we don’t need to start (financially speaking) but want to start.

Maybe this wouldn’t have been true.

Yet, I couldn’t help but see it as a risk.

And after spending so much time on my last startup, I felt it would be foolish not to take it seriously. I know what kind of energy it takes to bring ideas from zero to one. It can be all-consuming.

This should have been more obvious from the beginning, but again, I blame my rose-colored glasses. I saw the future I wanted to see. One where we could spin up a campground, hire amazing staff, spend some time on-site, have plenty of family time and still be able to travel when we saw fit.

The reality as we stared down a $4M construction loan for buildout that we would personally guarantee painted a different picture.

As we got closer to breaking ground in February, we had a last-minute gut call to make sure this was still the path we wanted to go down. While we’ve spent close to $100K in soft costs (engineering, design, etc), there was still the possibility of an exit ramp before raising more capital & sourcing a bank loan. We had the ability to soft exit before bringing in partners or putting anyone in a bad position.

We decided to take the exit ramp.

How it feels to pass up on a long-term dream that was so close

I had a handful of fears about walking away from the campground.

One of them was that I’d tied so much of my identity the last few years to this dream. We’ve talked about it at our conference, on the podcast, on social media, and here on the blog. I felt like in some ways I’d be a failure if we didn’t see it through.

However, once we decided this was the path, I felt immediately lighter.

Not only lighter, it felt like the right decision.

A lesson for me in all of this is that it’s possible to hold onto a dream so tightly that you don’t recognize when your season of life changes. The driven entrepreneur in my brain felt that no matter what life threw at us, we would make this goal work. Yet, if I was more in tune with my actual life I probably would have realized it sooner.

Another realization was that Alyssa and I are still relatively young (31). There will be another season of life where we can circle back to this goal and make it work then, if we want to. I don’t believe we will have a lack of opportunities to pursue.

We aren’t passing up on the campground because we don’t believe we can execute on the vision or because we don’t believe in it. We love this part of southwestern Colorado. We love our local and RV community. I believe a campground at our property will crush and do extremely well because America needs a modern campground for RV entrepreneurs and digital nomads like us.

It’s just going to be an opportunity for someone else to run with.

It’s hard to pass the baton, but it’s what’s right for the season we’re in right now.

And to make us feel even better about passing on this opportunity, we’ve accepted an offer from someone in the RVE community who we met at our Summit in the fall.

What’s Next for Us?

Big picture-wise, that’s still TBD, and right now that’s exciting to me.

We’re still open to the idea of investing in real estate projects, but perhaps as a limited partner or smaller operation in this season of life. And as I wrote about recently on the blog, I still have my role with the Campground Booking team (now Good Sam).

The campground property had us tied to Colorado for the last year. Now that we won’t be tied to a geographic location, we’re starting to talk more about continuing international travels. I’m riding in my first big bike race in May called the Tuscany Trail. It is the world’s largest bikepacking race held in Tuscany, Italy. This fall we’re talking about an extended RV trip in France, Spain and Portugal with our friends John and Peter (who we visited Italy with in 2019).

While it feels a little bittersweet to let go of our campground dream, I probably feel more excited than ever about our future.

I think if there’s anything this experience taught me, it’s the value of recognizing what season of life you’re in as it relates to the work and projects you’re taking on. Some seasons of life will look like building a startup with 60 hour plus work weeks. Others will look like poopy diapers and lazy weekends. I’m grateful to have the ability to choose the work we’re taking on for this season of life and be intentional about that.

A major thank you to everyone who has encouraged this crazy dream

In 2018 when I first posted about this dream in our RV Entrepreneur Facebook group, it received hundreds of supportive comments. We’ve had so many of you reaching out asking when we would be open and when you could come and stay. This was by far the hardest part of this decision for us. I was excited to bring this dream to reality and host a lot of awesome people.

All this to say, I just want to say how grateful I am for those of you who have reached out and supported this dream of ours. Even though we didn’t get to host you at our campground, maybe we will get to meet up on the road one day.

All the best,

Heath (Alyssa, Ellie, and Elias)

104 Responses

  • Letting something like this go is not easy. When you’ve invested so much of yourselves into it, it’s hard to let go but you have to do what’s right for you. Not every big decision is going to workout. Move on to what makes you happy and feels right! 🙂

    • Appreciate this a lot Kris and you’re right. Really grateful for you taking the team to read and leave this thoughtful comment.

  • Man… thanks for sharing your reasoning and there is no shame in your game. Like you said during “another season of your life” the dream may come again and you’ll be ready to receive it then.

    Stay strong, much love to Alyssa, the kids and your family overall😊

      • Our dreams and goals are constantly changing. Kudos to you for recognizing that you and your family needed to change course and go down a different path. That’s the best gift you two can give each other and your children.
        Best of luck in your next adventure. I’m looking forward to following whatever that may be.

  • Dear Heath and Alyssa,
    this is not a failure for you and your family. So don’t feel bad about it in any way. If this is a dream for you just pray and ask God when is this the best time for this or has that time past. Its never a failure when we move out on whats in our hearts. God is always on our side. He will never leave us. When you have time to think back you probably are going to realize the lesson and experiences were so valuable. Those things will propel you into your next phase of life. Blessings to you and your family, I pray someone will come quickly to buy your property and you all can move on to your next adventure. Janelle

  • Wow!!! Way to go on taking it easy! You’r your dreams will come true when the time is right!! This is the time for family! Enjoy them while they are small, they aren’t small for long!! ☺️♥️

  • I’m so proud of you all!
    You are demonstrating great wisdom, which sometimes feels in short supply.
    Your real supporters (I’m one of those) want for you what you want. ❤️
    Susie

  • Applause 👏🏼 to you and Alyssa for realizing that your dream was not one that was grounded in reality – that is a hard thing. But, also taking action to put your relationships first. Enjoy those babies, and one another.
    May the road you travel not be without bumps, but May you you traverse those bumps together.
    Side note: appreciate how very complimentary you are to one another it is lovely and refreshing.

  • I’m so sorry to see this chapter end for now. I was very exciting to see a Remarkable business right here in Montrose Colorado. Best of luck to you and please advise the new to owner of my name if they need a reliable person on their staff. With warm regards,
    Ralph Cox

    • Ralph, can’t thank you enough for your support during RVE Summit. We absolutely will pass your name along.

  • YO. Can’t even tell you how much this resonates. I love seeing you and your family grow. What a good move. Keep on prioritizing family and relationships and you’ll keep running into joy. Love to see it, brother. 💪

    • Appreciate you so much Cees and miss you and your family! Hope our paths get to cross again in the near term.

  • We bought an RV but haven’t been anywhere. Covid and border crossings, baseball strike, price of gas. We will stay in Canada this year. Love reading your adventures. Good luck!!

  • I’ve always felt travel is what you do best, and that’s the thing I’ve enjoyed most about your site. I’m so glad more travel is in your future, and that it’s out of country. I can’t wait to read those posts. I love that you show what’s possible, especially with a family, and we see a relationship develop, too. Thanks so much for including us all in your journey in such an open and honest way. I’ve loved every minute of it.

  • Heath, As you have discovered, and not for the first time, women are much smarter than men about 97% (Okay maybe 99%) of the time. Congratulations on the campground sale. I hope it will still turn into a special GATHERing place for cool RVers from around the globe. It’s actually a good way to make money typically in real estate- Get the entitlements done and the value of a property increases significantly since a lot of blood, sweat, anxiety, and tears get spent getting a project through planning approvals.
    Mylene and I look forward to hearing about your family adventures and ventures as they unfold. While to you 31 may seem “relatively young” please know that I had a good laugh about it, because at 31 you are still quite young, even though it may not seem like it now. I say that as a 62-year-old who still has a bunch of years left in him (I would describe myself as “mature,” but not yet a senior citizen).
    Enjoy Tuscany, it will be with wonderful companions.

  • Good for you! It’s so important to be brave enough to pivot and not hang on to a project just because you once wanted to do it! You two are amazing and I so enjoy following your adventures. Best of luck with everything!

  • 💕💕 Thanks for sharing so much with us. Having dreams and pursuing them is a beautiful thing…until they start taking over and pulling us away from our actual goals.

  • Dear Heath, Alyssa, Ellie and Elias~
    I just lost my 52-year old son on Saturday. Heath and Alyssa, hold on to those kids; nothing else in the world matters. Kids…your Mom and Dad love you. They are showing it with this very difficult decision. They are rock stars in my book. Dreams change. You adjust. You will feel the importance of this decision later. Now, go sit on the couch and read to your children. THAT dream is now.

    • We don’t know each other, Helene, but I wanted to send you a warm hug in the spirit of this community. The loss of a child at any age is life-altering, and memories with our kids can only be made once. I love your advice to Heath and Alyssa. I hope each day will be easier as you celebrate your son’s life.

    • Helene. My heart hurts for you and sending you love through this time. Cannot thank you enough for sharing kind words in what I’m sure is the most challenging moment of your life, feel it speaks a lot about your character. <3

  • As a manager of a campground the size you were looking to build, I have always felt by you opening a campground you would loose your dream of being a traveling entrepreneur, which is why we love following your blogs. It’s who you guys are.

    Plus you have help other make their dreams come true by following your example. That would no longer be the case.

    You made the right choice and I hope your able to sell it. I wish you and your family all the best and I look forward to following your on going adventures.
    Doug R

  • You set aside the rose-colored glasses and went with your gut. It’s sometimes scary because we can’t always see the future, but it’s definitely the right thing to do. (As I type this I realize I need to follow my own advice. LOL)

    Best wishes to you and Alyssa as you move on to the next great adventure.

  • I’m sure you’ve heard this one before “Things happen for the best”.
    Never look back, that’s yesterday’s news.

  • Tough decision to make, but you are very right that different seasons in our lives come with different challenges, responsibilities, and needs. We will continue to enjoy following your adventures wherever they take you!

  • Great post Heath. You and Alyssa are an inspiration. Thanks for sharing – good life reminder!

  • I’m sure many cliffs are littered with the wreckage of those who held on too tight to the idea they might survive if, instead of letting go, they just held on tighter as they went over. OK, perhaps a bit extreme with the metaphor …but your reasoning is very sound. Thanks for thinking out loud in this blog as y’all came to this this decision.

  • It sounds like this was a tough decision, but you made the right call! It’s not a failure by any means. More a re-prioritization of your goals. Ultimately you chose the most important thing. This resonates with me at this stage of my own life now as well, so I appreciate you sharing. Kudos!

  • Heath,
    As always, you teach us by example. Your ability to think big and consider options has always been inspiring. And now, your experience and lessons learned making you decide something different is equally inspiring. For two such young people, I am always impressed by your presence of mind and dedication to what is important. Thank you for sharing!

  • So proud of you and Alyssa in what you have accomplished in your 30ish years! There is a season for everything! And this is the season of you life yo focus on family – which your’s is precious and adorable!!!! Our dreams change either through circumstances or by choice. Either way God has a plan for your and Alyssa’s lives – He will direct you in the right path!!! Miss y’all! Janie

  • It takes a lot of courage to change course midstream, but it sounds like you’ve made the right choice. Congratulations, and I’m sure the new owner will enjoy the property as you and Alyssa enjoy your freedom. Thanks for sharing your journey, it’s inspiring.

  • Thanks for sharing. You made the right decision. Running the RV place would take most of your time and energy. It would drain you, and your children would suffer. For now it’s a dream deferred not lost. Wish you much future success. Timing is everything in life.

  • As someone who has watched you share this dream over the years, I appreciate the honesty and vulnerability in this post.

    You wrote it in such a way that also allows the reader to ask themselves “Where am I not seeing areas of my life for what they truly are?”

    I’m so proud of you for making this hard decision for your family and also recognizing “not now” doesn’t mean “never.” You can always revisit this dream at another time if it still excites you.

    Can’t wait to hear what’s next for y’all!

    • Kendra! Was so happy to see your name on here. We miss you and hope you’re doing great. Can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you read this and took the time to share your thoughts. Wish you the absolute best.

  • These sorts of dreams only come to those with vision and drive. They may not all come to fruition, but without having them in the first place, no dream would ever come true. This was a great idea in its time, Heath, and your decision to reboot at this key turning point showed your foresight in the long run.

    And we’ll selfishly look forward to the upshot – we’ll get to spend more time with you. Speaking of which… “talking about an extended RV trip in France, Spain and Portugal…” ? Excuse me?! You’re not getting out of this one. Talking, Schmalking. We’re going! 🇫🇷🇪🇸🇵🇹 😃

  • Kudos for a courageous choice. You are right – you can always come back to this dream in 15 or 20 years if you choose but you can’t get a redo on your children’s formative years and the joys of being a family.

    There is nothing more important that knowing your heart and having the courage to do what is right for you and your family. BTW – listen to your wife – they always best. I know because mine told me so.

    Hope to see you guys again sometime down the road.

    Herman

  • Heath – for starters, you haven’t let it go. Secondly, you are quite right that you have plenty of time to revisit this dream! Thirdly, you are both so blessed with your ideas, energy and relationship that nothing you decide together will be the wrong decision. Finally, you and Alysa and a little story about two crazy kids going RV’ing for their honeymoon year is what sparked MY big dream of going fulltime and working from wherever more than 6 years ago and it’s finally very close to happening (and dreaming about it for so long has been so much FUN!)! You and Alyssa have had, and will continue to have, positive impact on individuals you may never meet and who (frankly) could be your parents, and I, for one, thank you for that! Keep loving each other first and foremost, the kids second (yes, second), and remain in integrity with yourselves. You’ve got this thing called life and you are living it well! See you guys on the road…

    • This makes my heart so happy Julie! You’re SO close! Congratulations and appreciate your kind words so much!

  • Y’all are very brave…for taking on your dream, for sharing your fears and hesitations about it and for letting it sit in the background while you move on to other things, better, more important things. Have always appreciated both of y’alls transparency and honesty, it’s what draws so many to y’all. I wish you the best in your travels and whatever paths your lives take. Please come visit us if San Antonio is in your future. Teri at Hidden Valley RV Park.

    • Would love to visit you next time we’re in this area Teri. Thank you so much for your kind words as well. Hope you have a wonderful year.

  • Please keep posting with photo’s when you are able. You two are the best at what you do. I have enjoyed every blog of yours. Yours was the first. Others have come after you, but they do not have what you have in sharing your hopes and dreams. Thank you for sharing your decision to choose what is priority in your life and for the right reasons.

  • I was a bit surprised to read the headline on the email! You have not failed but realized where you are needed & wanted most. And THAT takes courage, transparency, faith & reason. There are days that seem they never end & then once your last child turns 18, you look back & wonder how did it go by SO FAST?! You will never regret putting your family first. Jobs, money & businesses come & go. That lifting feeling you felt means you made the best decision for you & your family. SO excited for you all! Good luck. I have enjoyed both of your humor & transparency!

  • Don’t know if you have the Calm app or not but if so, check out Jay Shetty’s “Daily Jay” episode yesterday (2/9/22) titled “Stop & Look Up”.

  • Wow Heath!!!
    I read your blog out loud to my wife Jeanette.
    Half way through, I got all choked up..
    I remember seeing you running around at the RVE SUMMIT….and thinking..this is a LOT of weight on Heath…
    ..until “the Corn Hole Turnement “…your FOCUS on Winning, seemed to be a stress reliever from the responsibilities of Camp Host etc.
    I have ,in the past,focus so much on business, that my relationship with family was not what it could have been.
    I am very happy for you and Alyssa.
    Those kids are very blessed to have a dad like you.
    God Bless you and your family.

    • Thank you so much Scott. Have to be honest that cornhole is indeed a great stress reliever, especially when I win. When I lose, it’s just frustrating 🙂

  • Business opportunities will come around again and again, but this time comes only ONCE with your children……Kudos!!!!!!

  • It’s bittersweet to hear this news. I’m so proud of you all for recognizing the value of timing, and for letting go of something that just isn’t quite right (yet)! I can’t wait to hear more about your upcoming adventures. Thank you, Heath and Alyssa for continuing to share your life (the good, the bad, and the lessons learned) with the world, and for being such an incredible inspiration.

  • Echoing so many others here. And especially Sandi… this time with your kiddos is so special and precious! It DOES come only ONCE… and when it’s gone… it’s gone. Good for you both, Heath & Alyssa!! Proud and happy for you both and those lucky littles!

  • “One of them was that I’d tied so much of my identity the last few years to this dream. We’ve talked about it at our conference, on the podcast, on social media, and here on the blog. I felt like in some ways I’d be a failure if we didn’t see it through.”

    This part is huge. I totally relate. It sure does feel good to realize that you are not an RV park. It’s not really part of your identity. You are you and a park is a park. Cutting part of your identity off that isn’t really part of your identity feels amazing.

    Walking away is sometimes the best decision. By FAR.

  • We had a pretty similar experience and spent a good amount of money in due diligence for three separate businesses before deciding to take some time off.

    I literally put one under contract as I was selling the first business…

    But as we got closer to the finish line we realized, like you, that it might not provide us the freedom we’re looking for and decided to put the brakes on.

    Life is funny 🙂

    • I mentioned this on FB but feel like the four of us should facetime or get together in person sometime to just catch up! So much overlap and I’m sure it would be great conversation! Appreciate you sharing as well.

      • You can have it all… just not all at once. Life is seasonal, and you saw that it’s not the season for building a campground (yet). So happy that you are putting family first. Looking forward to seeing future adventures!

  • Hello Heath,
    we Susanne and Max are from Germany

    We have traveled to Portugal in 2020 and 2021. If you come to Portugal in the fall you should definitely try the campground Mikkis Place to Stay. “mikki-place-to-stay.com/gardens”

    Sunny regards
    Susanne and Max

  • As a single dad, I enjoyed teaching my children and showing them the world. You will never regret making family a priority. There will always be time for work but never another day for your fast growing children to enjoy having you there. Now change those diapers and give mama a break!

  • Heath & Alyssa, life happens FOR you and not TO you! Life is a journey and not a destination.
    I’m humbled every day seeing your growth and the future you and the amazing family holds.
    Keep crushing it🙌🏼

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