Expansive new RV park coming to Carter County this spring
Published 9:52 am Friday, December 8, 2023
By Lynn J. Richardson
Forty-three years after graduating from Elizabethton High School, where he was a proud member of the Betsy Band, Nick Grindstaff is back in town — this time as the developer and co-owner of a brand new RV park located along the Watauga River at 155 Watauga Road in Carter County.
The excitement he and his wife, Charlotte, have for their new project — Riverside RV Park — was evident as they described their new venture — a six-acre, 71-slot RV park they hope to open early next spring.
Though the two now live in Friendswood, Texas, Nick says this area still feels like home. He grew up about two miles from the RV park he and his wife are creating.
While Nick’s job in finance is winding down, he is currently considering other jobs as well as possible retirement. Charlotte, a former 7th grade math teacher, is already retired. Both look at the RV park as an exciting new project for this time in their lives.
“We saw this property for sale in July 2022 when we were in town,” Nick said. “We thought it would be a beautiful place for an RV park, so we ran the numbers and looked at it and said ‘We can make this work.’
“We love East Tennessee, and come back at least once a year because we still have friends and family here. We look forward to spending more time here.
“For a while at least, it will be a combination of Charlotte and me running the park,” Nick added. “We will be back and forth. At some point, we may hire a manager and maybe a staff person, but we don’t know what we don’t know, so we will just work to get an appreciation of everything and then figure out what needs to be done.”
Work on the park is moving right along and Nick says it may be open for guests as early as this March 2024.
The Grindstaffs say they are very pleased with the work and the progress Barker Construction of Elizabethton and other local subcontractors are making. When completed, Riverside RV Park will offer many amenities to guests including full hookups, including sewer, 30-, 50- and 20-amp electrical service and water at each location.
Each slot is 25’ x 45′ and will include concrete pads to park RVs on. There will be a camp store that will sell camp supplies, firewood, ice, snacks, sodas and other essentials. Propane will be available for sale and there will be a fire ring at each site.
The park will also feature a high-speed fiber internet network which Nick says will offer excellent internet service. There will be separate men’s and women’s restroom facilities with showers and private dressing rooms, a coin or card-operated laundry, a playground, a pet park and an expansive green space — close to two acres — for activities such as corn hole, frisbee and other activities. Roads throughout the park will be paved with asphalt.
“The way it is built, the river is accessible to everyone in the park,” Charlotte added. “And with 600 feet of frontage on the Watauga River, there will be plenty of access to trophy trout fishing, with easy access off State Route 400.”
“As we get closer to opening — March-ish — we will start taking reservations,” Nick said. “The website will be live in 60-90 days but until then we have a temporary site — RiversideRVTN.com — so that people can go there and sign up for information about the opening and know when the website will go live.”
“We’re working hard to build a really nice park,” he added. “We want this to be the premiere park in the area, and it will be managed and maintained to a really high standard. I’m just so proud to be from here and we are so excited to be a part of the community. We want to have something nice, something so that both locals and out-of-towners can come and enjoy our Appalachian foothills area.”