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Bare Buns Bikers’ Owner Buys Resort for Nudists

October 6, 2011 by   - () 1 Comment

Some of the sites in Suwannee Valley Campground

Way down upon the Suwannee River, a nudist resort is planned for a campground near White Springs in north Florida.

The new owners of the Suwannee Valley Campground plan to open the resort there in May. Co-owner B.G. Parkes, who also owns the nudist motorcycle group Bare Buns Bikers, said the resort will be open by membership to nudists of all kinds and not just motorcycle riders, the Gainesville Sun reported.

Resort members will have to go through background checks and be a positive addition to the area, she said.

“We are just like other individuals. It’s just that we choose to have an option to wear clothes or not,” she said.

The purchase has raised questions about what the resort means for the Florida Trail, which goes through the property. Steve Williams, a retired river guide who lives near the property, expressed concern about whether the resort would cause the Florida Folk Festival to move from its nearby location and diminish area property values.

“I question whether people want to raise their families next to a nudist resort,” he said.

The resort would be affiliated with American Association for Nude Recreation. The group lists 17 other nudist clubs with sites in Florida, the closest being a resort in Baker County. Terry Justice, club liaison for the association, said such resorts typically include activities such as volleyball that would happen at any resort.

“It’s totally non-sexual,” she said. “It’s just like-minded people that like to be socially nude.”

Resort co-owner Tom Gillenwater said about $400,000 in improvements are planned for the property, including the addition of a bar and restaurant. Nudity will be restricted along the Suwannee River, he said. The entrance to the property will have a security gate with a camera, he said, and an eight-foot fence will be built along the road.

“If there are school buses going by there, you can’t see in,” he said.

The location of the Florida Trail presents another dilemma. Dennis Miranda, executive director of the Florida Trail Association, said that he was hopeful the trail would not have to be rerouted from going through the site. Gillenwater said the trail could stay but there would be no nudity restrictions around it.

“There just has to be a notice — nudity beyond this point,” he said.

For Williams, the resort also poses a problem for the annual Florida Folk Festival in nearby Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park. The area is also building a reputation for eco-tourism, he said, that that could be harmed by the presence of a nudist resort.

“Consideration should be given to public perception of what is here,” he said.

Harvey Campbell, executive director of the Columbia County Tourist Development Council, said that he doesn’t know of any permitting requirements that would prevent the resort from happening. He said he expected law enforcement would help ensure the resort doesn’t become a spectacle and it could potentially be a positive thing.

“It depends on how they conduct themselves,” he said.

Parkes said the motorcycle group, which started in 2003 and is now based in Oviedo, has mainly members in their 40s to 70s. The group has donated $86,000 to veterans causes over the past three years, she said, and includes many veterans.

Harvey Campbell, executive director of the Columbia County Tourist Development Council, said that he doesn’t know of any permitting requirements that would prevent the resort from happening. He said he expected law enforcement would help ensure the resort doesn’t become a spectacle and it could potentially be a positive thing.

Gillenwater said background checks would be conducted on resort members, with sex offenders barred and decisions made on a case-by-case basis on others. The resort will provide shuttles to the Florida Folk Festival and promote other activities in the area, he said.

“Our people go out and spend money,” he said. “It’s going to help White Springs quite a bit.

Comments

One Response to “Bare Buns Bikers’ Owner Buys Resort for Nudists”

  1. Larry Clark on February 17th, 2016 7:32 am

    Good for bare buns bikers, cheers keep it naked. I used to be member, now I’m in Corona, Ca. Member Glen Eden nudist resort.

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