by John Bell
Guy Harvey, one of the foremost saltwater sport fishing brands, has planted its Guy Harvey Outpost Resort flag on the shores of a legendary freshwater destination, Lake Okeechobee.
Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts along with RV campground developer Elite Resorts have received a unanimous approval from the Okeechobee County Commission to transform the sprawling Okee-Tantie Campground and Marina into a bucket list vacation destination for North America’s nation of RV and boating/fishing enthusiasts.
Re-development plans for the popular park, first opened in 1970, include expansion of wet slips and a new 75 slip boat barn, a Guy Harvey Outfitter Store, 370 RV pads with all new utility services, 60 rental cabins, a new 10,000 sq. ft. waterfront lodge with pool and amenities and renovation/expansion of a 7,500 sq. ft. restaurant to include a new Tiki-bar overlooking the marina. The partners intend to reopen the former Lightsey’s Restaurant as Guy Harvey’s Fish Camp Grill and Anglers Bar.
Phase I efforts will include renovation and expansion of the restaurant/marina bar, marina upgrades, boat barn, the Outfitter store and delivery of the club lodge with 220 RV lots and 20 cabins. Reopening is scheduled for spring, 2017.
Situated within a two hour drive to some 18 million Floridians and a popular destination for America’s estimated 8 million RVers, the year-round recreation area is located on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee and the mouth of the Kissimmee River.
“This is one of the unique spots in Florida,” said Ed Mayer with Elite Resorts. With new improvements and professional resort management and promotion, this venue will unquestionably reclaim its reputation as the premier resort RV destination on Lake Okeechobee.”
“We haven’t waivered in our commitment to find a home on Lake Okeechobee,’ adds Mark Ellert, President and co-founder of Guy Harvey Outpost. “Angling is a part of our DNA, and there are millions of fresh water anglers who know Lake Okeechobee for its top-of class fishing. The marriage of legendary fishing with land yachting make for an incredible new Guy Harvey Outpost market for our legions of freshwater fishing and eco-tourism enthusiasts.”
Guy Harvey, who holds a Ph.D. in fisheries biology, is known among artists as the “Audubon of marine illustration” for his accurate depiction of gamefish, flora and fauna. Outpost co-founder Bill Shedd, is the owner of AFTCO, manufacturer of premium sport fishing tackle and apparel, including Guy Harvey branded sportswear. Both Harvey and Shedd are trustees of the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), are prominent conservation advocates, and oversee separate marine research institutes on the east and west coasts of the United States.
“I’m a family man first, and then comes science, art, education, and fishing’, says Dr. Harvey. “It’s a big pot to stir, but we’re going to stir it up on the banks of Lake Okeechobee and serve up a real good time at this new Guy Harvey Outpost Resort.”