Businessman Leases Closed Miss. Park
As a businessman, Paul Nettles hated to see the closure of what he considered a cog in the economic engine of Lamar County, Miss., the Hattiesburg American reported.
As an outdoorsman, the shuttering of Little Black Creek Water Park for the better part of a year took away a familiar spot just three miles from his home that he and family and friends had enjoyed for decades.
So, Nettles approached the park’s overseer, the Pat Harrison Waterway District, and pitched the idea of leasing the property from the state agency.
Late last month, the PHWD board of directors voted unanimously to award Nettles, his wife, Jane, and their son, Jordan, a 50-year lease on the 640-acre property located between Purvis and Lumberton.
The Nettles reopened the park immediately, renaming it Little Black Creek Campground and Park, and for the past three weeks, a crew of 10 has been on site, clearing accumulated debris, sprucing and repairing camping areas, refitting cabins and shower houses and regrading boat ramps to the lake.
“They called and said, ‘Y’all have been awarded the bid, y’all can start doing cleanup as soon as possible,’” Paul Nettles said. “That was on a Thursday or Friday, and by that Monday, we had started cleaning up.”
And people have started returning to the grounds, which are now open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“That’s what we want people to know,” Paul Nettles said. “We’re open, we’re excited about being the new proprietors, and we think we’re going to do quite well with this.”
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