Monica Nation and Kate PiersonMonica Nation is the co-owner and general manager of Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel in Mount Tremper, New York (that’s in the Catskills Mountains, not too far from famous Woodstock). The Kate part happens to be Kate Pierson of the B-52’s. They’re partners in life and partners in business. While Kate is away on tour and promoting the new album, Funplex, Monica offered to get hospitable with us about money, their “love shack” and how they divvy up the cash receipts.

1. What prompted the two of you to buy a motel?
Kate actually purchased the property before we were together – it was an investment. The property itself is gorgeous – right on the Esopus Creek. She thought it would be really fun to have an authentic “roadside motel” and I helped bring that dream into a viable business.

2. What will a weekend at the Lazy Meadow cost me? Do I get to take the toiletries?
If you were to stay in a single queen suite at the motel or one of our fabulous Airstreams it would be about $400 total including tax etc… You can absolutely take the toiletries! Kate already grabbed them from another hotel!! But that’s our little secret…

3. Has Kate ever told you any “starving artist” stories from early in her career?
Yes of course! She lived in a $15 a month share cropper’s shack in Athens – when the band started – she lived on the land, with goats and collards and rode her bicycle into town five miles every day to work at the town paper. We have our own garden and grow most of our own food during the summer and then can it all in the fall – we both love to garden!

4. Did your parents have certain “money” roles when you were growing up? Are there any similarities with how you and Kate relate to finances?
Both of my parents worked full time – my dad handled the money while my mom shopped! Although we are both really hands on with our finances – I handle the motel and real estate finances only because Kate is away touring much of the time – (Kate does LOVE her shopping though.)

5. How much did you spend on all those tchotchkes at the motel?
Well, most of them were purchased while Kate was on the road over the years… yard sales – junk shops – antique stores – definitely not a huge sum… it’s an ongoing hunt for things – a hobby that now has a purpose!!

6. Do you remember how money first came up in your relationship?
I think it was probably figuring out our partnership agreement with the business – we really have similar financial beliefs, so we’ve never had a problem with money in our relationship.

Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel7. Who makes up the accounting department with the business?
I do the accounting stuff – just because I’m more of a compulsive personality type! Kate is great at math (better than me, really!) but I’m a better negotiator so we make the perfect pair – she double checks my addition!!

8. How do you define success?
Success to me is having peace of mind and happiness within yourself, to love what you do for a living so your work is incorporated into your life – and having the ability to be in the moment and enjoy life as its happening with people you love.

9. What advice would you give anyone who fantasizes about owning a B&B or motel?
I would say make sure that you love being a host and meeting new people!! And don’t mind making beds!

10. If you could buy one thing right now what would it be?
I would LOVE to have a tractor with a backho!

More about Monica Nation
Monica Nation is the co-owner and general manager of Kate’s Lazy Meadow Motel, the 1950s-era property just outside of Woodstock, NY. It’s a nine-acre compound that includes five Airstreams, two additional lodges nearby and lots of funky kitsch. She’s also the partner of Kate Pierson of the B-52’s. To make a reservation at the “love shack” please visit LazyMeadow.com.

Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.