RV Park exceeding expectations

Dear Editor:

The mission of the Bradford County Development Authority is to initiate, develop and coordinate economic development efforts in order to achieve and sustain the optimum conditions for economic growth and opportunity within the communities of Bradford County.

In the Envision Bradford 2023 plan, which was adopted after several all-inclusive community meetings were conducted, a general consensus was taken of what we do well so that we know what type of business we want to attract that could thrive in our area. Bradford County is a member of Visit Natural North Florida (VNNF), a 14-county coalition whose singular mission is to promote ecotourism by showcasing members’ cultural, historical and natural assets and it was noted that we do “outdoors” really well. As examples, look at the Bradford Sportsman’s Farm and the FIRM located at the Keystone Airpark.

The Keystone Heights RV resort, while still relatively new (statistics show it takes two to five years for an RV resort to build its reputation and following), has quickly exceeded expectations. Local jobs were provided to area businesses for the construction and the RV resort owners have continued to utilize local businesses for the additional phases.

The resort offers a variety of often sought-after amenities such as a heated pool, spa, game-room and others. These amenities are attracting visitors to our region, who are then spending dollars at the gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores. The resort is aiding in creating visibility for our region that is known for doing outdoors well by attracting visitors who previously wouldn’t have considered vacationing in this area.

The RV Resort development will contribute to Bradford County’s ambition to become an exemplar community for eco-tourism. We look forward to the trickle-down effect that the development can have for the businesses in our area. Our region has so much to offer to visitors. In addition to attracting out-of-state tourists, resulting in collection of tax dollars from their purchases at our state park, museums, airport, gas stations, restaurants and other retailers in the area, we also see the benefit that the development will bring to our residents.

During the Envision planning session one area of improvement that was noted for Bradford County was the lack of both short- and long-term housing. With a percentage of the sites dedicated to be available for long-term visitors to the area, in addition to the seasonal offering, this development could help meet this need.

In closing, I again voice our support. With minimal environmental impact and the benefit of future growth, jobs, taxes and short-term housing, this is the type of development that fits our community needs.

Patricia Evans, Chairman

Bradford County Development Authority