Two Northwest Florida RV Parks to Open Soon
Two RV parks are scheduled to open around Dec. 1 on U.S. Highway 98 in Navarre and on Okaloosa Island.
And as with any development on U.S. 98, traffic issues had to be resolved before construction could begin, the Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, reported.
On Okaloosa Island, DestinWest RV Resort, developed by Tripp Tolbert’s Waterplace Park Development, is shooting for a “soft opening” in early December and should be open “full force” in January, according to Joe Guidry, Waterplace Park Development’s general manager.
Click here to view a slideshow from the resort.
“Everything is going along swimmingly,” Guidry said. “We’re progressing very nicely.”
When completed, the resort will offer 54 RV “pads,” Guidry said. Four of them will be on Choctawhatchee Bay.
St. Rosa Sound RV Resort, just west of the Navarre Bridge, is being developed by former state Sen. Charlie Clary and is shooting for an opening in late November or early December, said Jinks Dupre, who markets the resort for Innisfree management company.
Dupre said St. Rosa Sound will boast 88 sites, with 24 considered waterfront.
Both developments are being built to attract RV enthusiasts, a market some feel has been ignored in Northwest Florida. Both will offer significant amenities above and beyond their proximity to the beach.
They will have swimming pools and fitness facilities, access to water and sewage, electricity, cable television and Internet. They also will feature tropical landscaping and shower facilities.
Travelers staying at DestinWest RV Resort will have access to all of the amenities offered at the Ramada Plaza Beach Resort across U.S. 98, which is also run by Tolbert.
Dupre said a large turning lane has been installed to accommodate eastbound RVs turning into the St. Rosa Sound facility. But Santa Rosa County Commissioner Jim Melvin, who was elected after the project was approved, has expressed worries about traffic.
“Those Greyhound bus-sized RVs are going to cause all kind of congestion,” Melvin said.
Melvin worries not only about delays for eastbound traffic but about “tail backs” caused because there is no turn lane for RVs coming west. The problem there could result from the RV park’s proximity to the busy intersection of U.S. 98 and State Road 87.
“Every time I’m out in the community I get questions about this,” Melvin said. “It’s going to be a zoo.”
Okaloosa County Commissioner Bill Roberts said he couldn’t recall any specific traffic issues being raised when the commission considered allowing construction of the DestinWest development, but he’s said he’s sure some questions must have been asked.
“Any time we do anything on the island, traffic is a concern for folks,” he said.
Guidry said a westbound turnout lane already exists in front of the DestinWest RV Resort site. An additional turnout lane is to be added on the eastbound side, he said.
The RV park land, which was a water park at one time, is just east of the former home of the Island Golf Center and Lost Lagoon miniature golf course.