BRIGHTON — It was a memorable Memorial Day weekend in Brighton when the newly renovated RV Resort opened to great fanfare with a ribbon cutting ceremony, barbecue, live music and a free night stay for folks who rolled in with recreational vehicles.
“I’m a firm believer in making money for the Tribe,” Brighton Board Rep. Larry Howard said. “This is another economic opportunity. It’s been a long, hard journey getting this done, and we did it from the bottom up with new plumbing and utilities – everything was done right. A lot of people worked to help make this happen.”
The resort features 56 campsites with full hookups and individual picnic areas, swimming pool, fishing area, wheelchair accessible bathhouse, recreation center, laundry room and convenience store on-site. Three lake-front log cabins will be available in mid-June for guests without recreational vehicles.
Renovations began in 2012 and included new underground utilities and new landscaping. Juvenile live oak trees will grow to create a canopy of shade throughout the resort.
“Almost three years ago [the Board] made a list of things we wanted to do and this was near the top,” Big Cypress Board Rep. Joe Frank said. “We changed the culture of the Board and made it more enterprise oriented. This is for the future of the Tribe.”
Originally built in the early 1960s, the 25-acre resort attracts both Florida residents and out-of-state customers. A unique aspect of the park, located just 3.2 miles down the road from Seminole Casino Brighton, is that customers can use their Players Club cards to pay for their stay, gas or items at the Trading Post.
Retirees Ted and Adeline Kasperek, of Hobe Sound, Fla., came to the RV Resort because of its proximity to the casino and took advantage of the opening weekend offer of a free night stay. They stayed two nights.
“We plan to do some gambling, fishing, swimming and relaxing,” said Ted Kasperek, a Chicago native. “This is beautiful; they did a fine job. I just wish the casino was right next door. I like to play the poker machines. I lose, but I have fun and I love it. We’ll definitely be back.”
The resort’s pool and deck were resurfaced, and a large chickee offers shade seekers a breezy place to relax between dips in the water. The adjacent recreation center is still under renovation, and a basketball court and playground are also planned for the site.
“I think this is awesome,” said Joyce Piz, who attended the opening with her children. “Now people who travel have a place to stop and rest. It’s a good facility.”
Tribal members can reserve the recreation center and pool for birthday parties. For information, contact Darcey Barrows, Trading Post manager at 863-357-6644.
“I hope they fill up all the slots,” Brighton Councilman Andrew J. Bowers Jr. said. “It’s been a long time coming and this is the product of their hard work. They should be congratulated.”
An additional amenity at the RV Resort is the Brighton Up Your Day Spa, owned by Jeanne Billie, which features an array of services including hair, nails, tanning, massages and facials, to name a few.
“I love when I make people feel beautiful and wonderful about themselves,” said Billie, who also has a tanning salon in Okeechobee. “I just want to share the love of life and make people feel good.”