Florida Keys Business
Sunday, January 13, 2013
RV park renovates for family appeal

GRASSY KEY -- The Jolly Roger Travel Park at Mile Marker 59 has been in Andrew Jackson's family since his father bought the property in 1980.

In those days, the biggest camping rig on the road was no longer than 34 feet and didn't come equipped with pop-out sides. All of that has changed.

"People aren't doing as much camping as when I was a kid. They drive around in great big homes," Jackson said. "Nowadays, they're driving really gorgeous machines."

The Jolly Roger recently completed major renovations that Jackson said he hopes will make his park "a destination." The park covers 11 acres and offers guests 163 sites. Forty-five of those can accommodate rigs stretching 50 feet or longer.

"That's kind of unique, especially in the Keys where property is a commodity," Jackson said. The sites are "easy to get into" and geared for the latest designs in the RV world, he said.

According to Jackson, rates are $80 a night or $480 a week for a hookup site on the seawall. Interior sites are cheaper. A comparable RV park in Key West charges $648 a week for a waterfront site, he said.

During renovations, Jackson installed a heated/chilled swimming pool and a lounge deck with umbrellas for guests to soak in the Keys sunshine.

"When I was kid and we went somewhere in the camper, I always asked my dad if the place we were going had a pool," he said, explaining the importance of the new amenity.

The Jolly Roger also offers a small harbor, boat ramp and dock space.

"We pride ourselves on customer service, and we offer high-speed Internet and cable TV," he said.

Laundry facilities and a "bark park," designed to give dogs a safe place to run, are also available. Guests can enter the water with built-in steps and enjoy a place to swim and snorkel.

"We're a great family park," he said. "We're a safe environment and we're a quiet park."

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