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Tourism thriving in Gilchrist County

On Monday, the Gilchrist County Commission learned that since the first of June 2020, people have been flocking to Gilchrist County springs, parks and the many overnight camping opportunities. Donna Creamer reported that the June 2020 receipts for the 3 percent bed tax hit a new all time record of just over $19,000 from one month of single overnight stays.
Faye Harding, Hart Springs Park Manager, reported that Hart Springs Park has seen an increase in visitors.
“The Park has been very busy over the last few days and has had to close by the middle of the afternoon due to reaching park capacity,” she said.
Harding pointed out that the rental houses at Hart Springs are all booked for July and throughout the month of August.
Gilchrist County Clerk of Court, Todd Newton reported to the Commission that Gilchrist County’s Hart Springs Park is down $100,000 in receipts due to the closures and cancellations from COVID-19.
In early 2020, Hart Springs Park was forced to close due to the river rising and the springs turning black.
Gilchrist County Administrator Bobby Crosby reported that Hart Springs Park had over $30,000 in cancellations during the month of May.
Since that time, people have been spending as much time as possible on the Santa Fe and the Suwannee Rivers.
“I feel Hart Springs will recover in the loss of park closures as the camping is at capacity, the attendance at the park is going well and the rentals are booked up at this time,” Harding said.