In a pivotal week for Florida’s recreational vehicle (RV) and camping industry, the Florida RV Park & Campground Association celebrated two landmark victories in Sumter and Citrus counties.
These successes not only underscore the association’s commitment to safeguarding the interests of RV park owners but also spotlight the broader implications for private campground operators across the state.
In Sumter County, the association showcased the power of unity and advocacy. Rallying against a proposal that threatened to impose a hefty annual fee on RV park owners, the association’s efforts culminated in the county’s decision to vote against the tax increase. This proposal, if passed, would have seen a 200-site RV park shouldering an additional $64,680 in property taxes each year.
Bobby Cornwell, the association’s president and CEO, lauded the collective efforts, stating, “Tuesday night was a great night for Florida’s RV park industry,” Cornwell said.
As per the association’s release, RV parks in Sumter County, specifically in The Villages, Wildwood, Bushnell and Webster areas, were facing a proposed $323.40 per site, per year Non-Ad Valorem Fire and EMS fee, which was part of a new proposed Special Assessment Tax for all Sumter County residents and businesses.
Meanwhile, in Citrus County, the association’s support was instrumental in securing approval for the Fishcreek Glampground in Crystal River.
This eco-friendly campground, designed to offer luxury camping experiences, had faced significant opposition. However, the meticulous planning by owners Jen and Dimitri Magradze, emphasizing harmony with the natural environment and catering to outdoor enthusiasts, swayed the county commissioners.
These victories are more than just isolated successes; they set a precedent for private campground owners and operators in Florida.
The RV and camping industry is a significant contributor to Florida’s tourism sector. As such, decisions that impact this industry have ripple effects on the state’s economy, local businesses, and the livelihoods of countless Floridians involved in the sector.
For private campground owners, these triumphs underscore the importance of active involvement in local politics, advocacy, and decision-making processes.
By staying informed, voicing concerns, and rallying together, they can influence policies that directly impact their operations.
Cornwell’s advice to private campground owners is clear: “Get to know your commissioners and keep an eye on every meeting and agenda item. Be watchful for anything that may affect your business especially when it comes to zoning, taxes, fees, and special ordinances. Our association will continue to help and will be increasing our local issues monitoring as well through our state legislative services.”
The recent successes of the Florida RV Park & Campground Association serve as a testament to the power of unity, advocacy, and informed decision-making. For private campground owners and operators in Florida, these victories offer both inspiration and a roadmap for future advocacy efforts.