The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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Good Neighbors - Working Together

By Bob Heafner © 1983-2012

Issue: May, 1983

Good neighbors come in all shapes and sizes, from the person next door to the business down the road. This month, our “GOOD NEIGHBOR” column will take a look at what we feel is a superb example of good neighbors. The people described in this column this month are business people but they haven’t forgotten that above all else, they’re good neighbors, good mountain neighbors.

The little community of Fancy Gap, Virginia is located at the intersection of US Highway 52 and the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s famous for its vegetables, fruits and beautiful countryside. There are two motels, each with a restaurant, located in Fancy Gap. One is Lakeview Motel and Restaurant, owned and operated by Gaye and Claude Robinson and the other is Mountain Top Motel and Restaurant owned and operated by Mrs. Dallas Phillips and her son, Tommy Phillips.

During the winter months, things slow down in Fancy Gap. Business is limited to local traffic and those tourists who enjoy the beauty of the Blue Ridge in winter.

From after Christmas to the end of February, there isn’t much demand for the motels or restaurants. There’s plenty of business for one motel or restaurant but not enough for two. The Phillips and Robinsons have been neighbors for over thirty years and have worked out an arrangement whereby each can benefit from this off-season slowdown. Each winter, they take turns closing for one month. Since each is a family owned business, this gives each family a much needed vacation each year and assures the one left open of a profitable month’s business. This year the “Lakeview” closed in January and the “Mountain Top” closed in February.

Tom Phillips echoed the sentiments of the Robinsons when he said, “I’ve lived across from Gaye for over thirty years and she’s always been a good neighbor.”

The Robinsons and Phillips realize there is a need in their community for the services they provide and through cooperation and friendship they do so in the best possible way.

Our hats are off to both families for their outstanding example of cooperation among competing businesses. Businesses everywhere should cooperate this way and many in this area do. We’re proud of them all!

The folks at Fancy Gap have a lot to be proud of about these two businesses and their community. In most places these days, competition and the “bottom line” would be the extent of good neighbors but here in Fancy Gap, businesses are still operated by people who believe in old fashioned cooperation among friends and from all indications, its one more example of how great it will work when tried.