BROOKSVILLE, Fla. - Mark Barbee says Hernando County needs a blood transfusion. Or more simply put, the city needs more money into the local economy.
And he thinks he and his partners have the answer with the idea to transform their property off Highway 98 North of Brooksville into a mud-bogging park.
"I went to an event two years ago. I didn't even know what it was. My daughter got me to go to an event. And I just saw a whole bunch of people spending a whole bunch of money and having a lot of fun," said Barbee.
Mud-bogging has grown into a multi-million dollar business, drawing thousands of people to parks around the country.
That includes the popular Red Neck Yacht Club events in Punta Gorda.
"Boys never quit playing in the mud. We always play in the mud. It's 4-wheel drive trucks. Anything from mom's jeep to run and get the groceries to monster trucks," said Barbee.
Up until now, the land has been used for farming. You've got the cows and some peach trees. But if things work out in the next few months, the place will have a much different look.
Along with a big muddy course for all those trucks, there are plans for ATV trails, camping areas, and an amphitheater for concerts.
"When you look at this land what do you envision?"
"People having fun, people having a good time," said partner Tommy Malouf.
Barbee envisions monthly events that will attract entire families. Families who will spend money at area restaurants and stores..
The plan is already getting positive feedback from county leaders.
"Everybody knows that we could use 25,000-30,000 people coming into our small little community. It will make a difference," said Barbee.
Other than the occasional moo, it's pretty quiet on the land. But the cows better make way. The mud-boggers are coming.
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