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Old 03-24-2011, 09:24 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Parkerrs View Post
I find it strange that camper421 has only 6 posts and all are in this thread, and all are derogatory posts on this RV park.

Like others stated I've found mixed reviews on the park but more favorable than bad.

I'll be there from 4/3 till 4/9 and let everyone know how it was upon return. You really don't know until you try it.
Ive stayed at alot of parks over the last 12 years and up to 4 years ago all i could say about this park would have been good.!!!!!!!! Ive left good post on sugarloaf,jennings rv park. Four years ago the park lost alot of snowbirds,thats when they started the summer program and thats when the park went down hill ask any snowbird that worked the summer program. Call the sheriffs dept and ask them how often they are in the park after april. I ask a FWC officer if he would stay here after april and he said NO!!!! Iron man said he was there in 09 well i was there in 10-11 and the sewer was not fixed. Thats a year ,does it take a year to fix something, you dont leave a not working sewer system for a year. I m not saying the park has always been bad. Its just been bad four years ago.Now for you that think im wrong did you know that FWC was in the park in plain clothes three officers roamed the park when you were sleeping.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:31 PM   #44
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Hi Parkerrs,
I have the same thoughts as you. A new poster on a mission. I'll be heading that way in the near future and will report on what I see.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:51 PM   #45
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Well I just returned from the Keys Sunday afternoon. I've been playing catch up at work so I just now have time for a review.

I'm sorry to say that most of the things in the bad reviews were true about Sunshine Key RV Resort. I didn't stay there after inspecting the park. We stayed near Key West at the Bluewater RV Resort. Before anyone says it, I know that Bluewater is nearly double the price but I felt as though I got what I paid for, that's another story.

When I arrived at Sunshine there were several of the small compounds described. Whether it was a 20ft TT or a 40ft DP they had erected a roof from pvc or galvanized pipe which covered both the rv and the rest of the space. They were covered with tarps and makeshift fences had been erected around them. Most of these small camps were on the better if not best sites for waterfront. They did contain furniture etc within the fences. The residents on these spaces did not respect lot boundaries as they used all unoccupied lots around them until someone pulled in and they grudgingly moved.

The sewer was not operational on one whole section of waterfront lots near the bridge. The street was dug up as though they had been working on it but had not finished. There was paving and construction equipment on several lots. I figured it was there for the sewer repairs but as I went by there several times during the week none of it was in use or moved. It may be there for the repairs or the companies may be operating out of the park, I'm not sure.

Very few spaces have shade or foliage. Those that do are in sad need of trimming and maintenance. The lot they had reserved for me was too overgrown for my liking. I'm fanatical about keeping a clean well waxed and scratch free coach. The only way I could have gotten in the space would have been with palm frongs dragging on the roof and mangrove bushes either against the coach or too close to walk between them and the coach. The sewer hook-up came up at the front of the space with a 90 degree elbow and 30ft of PVC pipe strapped to concrete blocks ending with another elbow pointing at the coach for hook-up.

When I asked about the other waterfront spaces, I was told that they were reserved for regulars who "had" to camp side by side. It turned out these were more compounds to be erected. I guess as stated earlier it was time for the winter/summer crowd change. I went by there a couple of times including when I left the Keys and several new tent roofs were being erected throughout the week.

Don't be fooled by the photos online, the pool is okay but nothing like the photos. It could use a little sprucing up. The marina and swimming pier are in need of new decking or serious maintenance as stated in one of the above posts. The laundry and bathhouse are also in great need of maintenance.

A word to those expecting a "beach". I have usually carried the family to the Destin, Fort Walton and Navarre area which are some of the most beautiful beaches you will find. I told my wife and family that the Keys were nothing like this before hand. They aren't, at Sunshine Key you have a sand like beach but it doesn't lead into the water. You have approximately 100-150ft of muddy sand between it and the water. The muddy sand has grass growing on it and I don't know if it was the sea grass washed up from the storms the week before or small fish "minnows" trapped when the tide went out but the area had a very strong odor of fish laying on a dock. I didn't have this odor in the area of Bluewater but it was prevalent around both Sunshine Key and Bahia Honda. At Bahia Honda I'm sure that it was sea weed, it had washed up all the way down the beach and was piled over a foot high almost the entire width of the beach.

I've stayed at campgrounds both cheap and expensive from Florida to Wyoming. This was the first time i just canceled and left a park in 20 years. They tried to keep my payment for the entire week for not canceling 48hrs in advance. I can see keeping the first night and was well prepared to give up the one nights price, but not the entire weeks price by any means. After a very long and very heated discussion I left only paying for the one night for late cancelation.

Different people can tolerate different things, some are only at the park to sleep while others stay there and relax. It's up to the individual and their needs as to what suits them and their budget best. I will say strongly that if you are considering this park during the spring/summer time period and before new management has a chance to clean it up or just let it be have an alternative plan. Also make it known when making a reservation that if the park is not up to par you will not be staying. It might help to clean up this park if you mention all of the "very" negative reviews are why you are leary of it before actually seeing it.

YMMV but this was my observation last week. As stated I went to another park, there are several nice ones in the area, and really enjoyed my trip to the keys.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:21 PM   #46
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Thanks Tommy for the update. We'll be changing our plans, but will
check it out next month, hoping to see improvements. It's rare to
see all these really bad reviews.
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:11 PM   #47
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Arrow

Parkerrs, thanks for the extensive review. We to are going to cancel our March 2012 reservation. Even with a new management team and a year to go we will bet they can't turn the place around to what we would consider satisfactory.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:19 PM   #48
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Not to start a controversy, but here is another view.

First a little about me. I host a very large rally (in December) every couple of years in the Keys. Sunshine Key RV Resort is my CG of choice. I have been going to Sunshine Key since 2005 and during all different times of the year. I have an extensive resume of international management in 3rd world countries over a 14 year time period. This required living in some of the countries for up to 1 year at a time.

I just returned from a week at Sunshine Key RV Resort. I spent Easter weekend there. Since 2005 I have seen some change in the residents who are in the CG, on the weekend, from April 15 to October 15 (the summer program). During this last trip I did see juveniles riding golf carts in the CG. I did hear loud music up to the quiet hour time and within 30 minutes it was quiet. The bottom line is this CG remains my CG of choice for the rally I host. The value of the other CGs can not compare to what rally attendees receive at Sunshine Key.

Now for some potentially strong statements. Previous posts heavily mention or at least infer those of Latin American decent are the main offenders of the Resort's rules.

When previewing a CG I spend quite a bit of time in and around all parts of the resort. I talk to the guests, management and staff quite a bit. What I found is if one wants to blame the Latin's one can do that. However, my personal experience over several years is who taught them:
1. building a compound was the thing to do?
2. making a lot of noise was okay?
3. kids roaming the CG, not supervised, is okay?
4. does everyone act this way?

During my recent stay:
1. A white Harley owner needed to rev his motor cycle for 3 + minutes before making as much noise as possible when leaving.
2. Upon returning to his site he needed to rev his motor cycle for 3 + minutes before shutting it down and entering his RV.
3. This was several times a day/night (even after quiet hours had started) so I was really able to time him. Noise making is not the exclusively a Latin problem.
4. White people have built some extraordinary compounds. Maybe there is a compound contest later in the summer? After talking with quite a few of the summer guests, most all said the compounds were for wind protection. They spend a lot of time outside their RV, on their site. I must agree, in the summer, wind can make the site not usable much of the time.
5. A white family arrived two sites from me. In one day they look like they had lived there for months. They take advantage of the summer program. They have a storage trailer stored nearby. I was amazed at how quickly they got their compound set up, refrigerator, freezer up and running, retrieved their two boats, a wave runner, etc. This was really something to watch.
6. Many (over a dozen) sites were occupied by white families with similar setups to what I mentioned in #5.
7. My neighbor on one side is white. He had his storage trailer parked in front of his rig the entire time I was there. This greatly reduced the usable width of the road.
8. I also learned that many of the Latin families don't like the same things that have been posted earlier. There are always a few families that spoil it for the rest of the guests. Bad behavior is not race based.
9. A complaint was made about noise at one of the Latin family's site (after dark). The guard arrived and asked them to quiet down. They had a blank look on their faces. I was with them and enjoying their company. I had a blank look on my face. It seems voices reacting to an exciting game of domino's (real domino's, not what RVers play at rallies) was the source of the problem.
10. The Resort staff is a good mix of Latin (Spanish speaking) and North American white staff.
11. I forgot to mention earlier, the freezers are used to store the fish they catch.
12. I saw no hooks or other fishing gear in the marina area.
13. I did see white people fishing in the marina. I saw no other race fishing in the marina.
14. Many Latin families don't even start dinner until 9 PM.

If you are uncomfortable with:
1. a significant number of different cultures and races being near you
2. people speaking another language in your presence or in general around your site
3. (if I may be so bold) would rather be in an all white resort, you should chose another place to stay.

Unlike the previous posts, my view is the Latin guests can not be blamed. They learned some of the behavior from the white people that were their before them. The few who have taken their activities to the extreme (regardless of race) need to be weeded out by Resort management.

The problems at Sunshine Key are not unique to that resort. I see this all the time as I travel the country. It is up to resort management to enforce the rules. New resort management will soon be appointed. Things will change, but not to the extent many of the previous posters might like. Gut feel says the compounds will stay (for good reason). The Latin presence will remain and might grow.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:56 PM   #49
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Might I suggest Knight's Key on the other side of the 7 mile bridge? Not as big as Sunshine and no sewers but there is a dump station and honey wagon ($10 last I knew). There are always Hispanic people, especially after 4/1 but if you reserve a spot in the Harbor, Ocean Isle or any of the higher price spots you will likely to only catch the party crowd on the way to and from the beach. (not equating Hispanic=party cause we have our moments) I am kind of ashamed that I haven't learned Spanish more than high school because we choose to travel to a place where so many speak it. Be kind of cool to know what everyone is saying in Winn Dixie

Honestly we have never had much issue with parties there but we are gone by early April. Most of the Hispanic community we have talked to have been great. They are very family oriented therefore the "compound" looking things because there are so many of the same family together.

The beach is sand but only on the top then it drops off to deep water. No good for the little kids. BTW I hear that they are improving the swim area but can't comment until next Nov.

I'm not selling Knight's Key to anyone, just an alternative. PM me if you want any info about what sites are what. We will be back there next fall for the eighth year.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:39 PM   #50
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Hi HD4Mark,
I've previewed all the CGs from Knight's down to Boyd's and everything in between. I agree with what you said about Knight's on a personal level. However, my attendees really like their full hookups.

My rally is 7 nights and 8 days.
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Old 04-27-2011, 06:28 PM   #51
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It's amazing how you can pick out who is White and who is Latin around you.

It is hard for me to tell sometimes, if they are not speaking their language.
Here in S. Miami I have Latin's come up to me all the time, speaking in Spanish.
Until I tell them I don't understand. And they looked white to me before that.

There is a big HD group down here and all over FL. of all Latins. I have noticed they rev their engines a lot too.
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Old 04-29-2011, 08:42 AM   #52
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Just for the record, the ETNICITY of the occupants at Sunshine Key had no bearing on my opinion or review. As stated above alot of times it's hard to tell by looking. My son is dark complected and has black hair. Both he and I get mistaken for Mexican or Spanish by both white and spanish speaking people and we are born and bread here in Georgia for 100 years back.

I didn't care for the facility as it is. The compounds may have a good reason or purpose, but to me it resembled a third world settlement. I've traveled to third world areas and experienced them. If I wanted to stay in a village of compounds for vacation then I'd travel to an area like that. I was vactioning in the Florida Keys and didn't care for the shanty village "feel" it gave me.

Price is a factor for everyone. If having full hook-ups at the lower price is worth putting up with the atmosphere then that is your decision and or budget. No put downs or derogatory things meant by that statement at all. I'm known to stay where the price is cheap myself, but it depends on the trip and the type of time I'm trying to show the family. I've stayed at better facilities for less money, but that is location, location, location.

I had no animosity toward anyone there, occupants nor staff. I just don't like the facility and it's appearance. To each his own and happy travels.
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Old 04-30-2011, 08:35 PM   #53
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No openings there?

We have stayed there many times, always in Febuary, never experienced all the negative things posted. This year we stayed at Long Key SP. so cant comment on that year, however I have been trying to book some time there in winter 2012, and Reserve America is telling me there are no available sites. I find that hard to believe as we were always able to book this far in advance in the past. Anyone know whats going on down there?
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:44 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by lakewoodpaul View Post
We have stayed there many times, always in Febuary, never experienced all the negative things posted. This year we stayed at Long Key SP. so cant comment on that year, however I have been trying to book some time there in winter 2012, and Reserve America is telling me there are no available sites. I find that hard to believe as we were always able to book this far in advance in the past. Anyone know whats going on down there?
Paul,
Are you trying to book Long Key SP? If so all of the sites in SPs in the Keys are usually booked the first day they come available. Some even in off season. ReserveAmerica seems to be a mysterious crap shoot to me
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Old 05-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #55
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No, we are well aware of the difficulty in getting into the state parks on the Keys, I was referring to Sunshine Key.
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Old 05-02-2011, 03:29 PM   #56
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No, we are well aware of the difficulty in getting into the state parks on the Keys, I was referring to Sunshine Key.
OK. Odd though because even though Sunshine looks crowded even in Feb when we go by there looks to be unoccupied sites. Have never stayed there but would not have a problem with it if our usual haunt closed. Knight's key as many was sold in 05 or 06 to be made into a condo resort but the economy took care of that. I believe Sunshine and Fiesta went the same route. In 06 we made reservations at Sunshine only to cancel and be able to go back to the other side of the bridge.

We have lucked out for two years getting a waterfront site at Bahia Honda. Very frustrating but worth the effort. Have been tacking an extra 2 weeks on winter escape to the keys to go there. Crossing our fingers for 2013.
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