An RV park developer from the Northern California/Oregon area has shown what can be done with a 20-acre parcel of Jackson County land with frontage on—and easy access to—Interstate 10. He has obtained permission to put up a billboard on the interstate since he now owns the land.
“Located in Cottondale, Florida, Interstate 10, Exit 130,” says their website www.hitchinpostcorralandcampground.com. “We are a campground for people, horses and campers. It’s a nice peaceful place to camp with your horse, RV camping, and (soon to come) tent camping. We are located one minute from the intersection of I-10 and US 231 on Dilmore Road. Enjoy horse camping with friends around a campfire like it should be. Nothing fancy. Very affordable.”
The Hitchin Post should be open by the end of January. At a very reasonable price, owner John Degemis bought 19.5 acres from former owner Craig Bruner in October of 2014. He explained to the TIMES last Friday during a visit to the site that he searched all over the country for a place to realize his vision, selling much of his belongings to live nearby in Cottondale and develop an RV park. He’s been in the business “all his life,” said the 55-year-old. He held a patent on a certain “tear drop camper,” he explained. He worked for the National Forest Service in California for seven years “before the RV became widely popular,” he said, “back when it was mostly campgrounds.” The boom hit when he was with the California state park system and he’s been involved with RVs for almost 30 years. Real estate, too; he still holds a California state broker’s license, he said. “I know RVs; I understand what people are looking for.”
Although it has been quite an ordeal working with all the permitting agencies and the Jackson County Community Development office, John explained, he has secured a sign permit for a billboard visible from the interstate that will enable travelers to see what is at the next exit. John’s land begins on the north side of Dilmore Road at the end of the paved section, another plus for the developer. A road leads visitors first to an RV area with eight 60-amp hook-ups plus water and sewer. Supplying the water are two new wells and supplying the sewer is a mounded above-ground system on site.
The access road continues to the adjacent RV site visible from I-10 with 16 hook-ups for a grand total of 24 stations. Traffic can exit the park by a separate access road leading back to Dilmore. What makes the Hitchin Post different from other RV parks is the capacity for horse trailers, Degemis explained. “A lot of riders in rodeos and other horse owners travel all over the country with their animals,” he said. “They can come here and let their horses out and ride a little if they like.”
“I think it’s a good investment,” John said. Asked why he chose Florida, he explained: “Florida has one of the best business environments in the US. The land prices out west are very high and so are the taxes.”
He and his partner Vonda Coffman have a five-year plan to invest everything back into the property, he said. An existing cypress pond is on the site, tent camping will be available as soon as a bathhouse is built and a playground for kids will be added.
The address for Hitchin Post Corral and Campground is 2492 Dilmore Rd., Cottondale. For more information, call 850-849-3741.