Today we’d like to introduce you to Britt Roth.
Hi Britt, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
In 2016, we were living in Austin, TX at the time, and I was a stay-at-home mom, and my husband who was a college professor, lost his job after they shut down his department due to low enrollment. I was eight months pregnant with my second child and was left with no income and no insurance, and from that point on, we vowed to never work for someone ever again.
I had stumbled upon a YouTube video of a family who had sold everything and moved into an RV and that notion sounded amazing to me; with now two small children and the demands of bottles, diapers, a large house, and a crushing routine, I was ready for a major change. One day, I suggested to my husband, “why don’t we just move into an RV” and he was totally game! Fast forward six months, we had purchased a truck, a 36′ fifth wheel, and rented our home out for a year. We were off!
We set out on a year and a half journey in our RV across the US, Mexico, and Canada, and along the way, we met up with my parents to celebrate my Dad’s 60th birthday. They also owned a small RV and our itinerary was the National Parks around Utah, a state we hadn’t been to yet. On our way to Jacob Lake Campground, we passed through this cute little town, and the back door of our RV swung open so we had to pull over; it was literally like the door of opportunity swinging open. A few days later we headed back into this cute town of Kanab to have lunch and within the hour we had met three people who had just relocated to Kanab from Austin, TX it was wild!
My dad walked down to a real estate office and got some brochures on the town and we were all in love. The energy, the people, the funkiness of the town really attracted us and we all felt like this was somewhere we wanted to live. Certainly, if we were going to relocate to Kanab we needed something to do, and with our experience and knowledge that we developed RVing we all felt it very fitting that we develop our own RV park, build it in the design style we love, and make it the type of RV park we had never experienced in our one and a half years on the road.
With that, we both made our way back to TX (Austin and San Antonio) and set out to sell our homes and 90% of everything we owned, and eventually, we purchased 40 acres in Kanab and began the development of what is now known as Dark Sky RV Campground. I do want to stress that this business is a labor of love (and sweat and tears) of not just myself but also my husband Jeff and my parents Rick and Meryl Kessel.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Overall in terms of building a business that we knew nothing about from the ground up, we’ve had very few challenges but of course, there were some. Originally when proposing the idea to the City about an RV park, plenty of people who had homes nearby to the land we were considering buying put up a tough fight about why we shouldn’t put an RV park near them but in the end, we won!
Our Engineering firm definitely led us astray in a few ways and because of our lack of knowledge on the development side of things we lost a bit of time and money along the way.
And, working this closely with your husband and parents can present challenges and although we’ve weathered some intense storms, it’s brought us all much closer and we’ve developed a greater understanding of each other, as people and as business partners.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I have always been a creative, think differently kind of person which really fits right in with this business and this town.
My background is in event planning, marketing, and building websites. It’s been so great to put all of my skills to work here at our Campground and in Kanab. I built our Dark Sky website and I spearhead a lot of the events we have here at our park, including our HandMade Market series, a small intimate farmers market with handpicked vendors.
In town, my husband and I started the Kanab Film Fest (www.kanabfilm.com) and we’re going into our 4th year, and just a couple of weeks ago I put on the first of its kind, Wheels Up Kanab, a BMX, Skateboard, and Scooter competition which was a huge success. (www.wheelsupkanab.com)
I am most proud of the fact that I don’t let fear stand in my way. If it’s new and has never been done before, I face it confidently and push forward learning as I go. I am not afraid to try new things especially if it means it will add value to the community that welcomed us with open arms.
We love surprises, fun facts, and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
In terms of the Campground, I think most people would be surprised that everything we do is the work of the four of us who own this business (myself, my husband, my parents Rick, and Meryl).
Aside from the physical labor of cutting in roads, building fences, etc. Overall, it is all of our designs and our stylistic efforts and whatever projects we can tackle on our own, we do. Each of us brings to the table a unique set of skills that are required to run this business and we do it all on our own!
Another fun tidbit, is my first job out of college, I was the personal assistant to Grammy winning musician Shawn Colvin, and I traveled across the United States with her, living on her tour bus. It was truly a unique opportunity!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.darkskyrv.com
- Instagram: @darkskyrv
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/darkskyrv
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/dark-sky-rv-campground-kanab
- Other: https://www.campendium.com/dark-sky-rv-campground
Brooke Wadlington, Saunders Clark, Will Dearing, and Allison Light