With a beautiful ocean view, it’s easy to see why the Knights Key RV Resort and Marina property had so many visitors in the past five decades.
It’s also easy to see why the 24-acre piece of land at mile marker 47 oceanside in Marathon is prime real estate for a new 199-room resort and 30 workforce housing units.
Unfortunately for campers, Sunday was the last day to vacate the RV grounds. It opened in 1962 and was a popular spot for RVs, boaters and tent campers alike, some who were regulars for 30 years.
“It was sad. There were tears,” former park manager Randy Belinsky said Tuesday morning over the sound of bulldozers and dump trucks bustling around the property. “There is a lot of history here but people are looking forward to something new as well.”
Belinsky and his wife Debbie have lived and worked at the campground for nearly a decade and also managed the Iguana Grill and Bar, which closed last year. What’s left in the bar are a few pool tables, brochures and some kitchen equipment. The mustard-yellow building will soon be demolished.
Of the park closing, Belinsky said, “When we first found out, we were sad. But now we’re a little excited.”
The two are excited because they’ve both been offered jobs with Pritam Singh, the developer behind the new resort. It has yet to be named but plans have been in progress since July 2015.
Singh built the Truman Annex housing development in Key West among other projects in the Lower Keys and Tranquility Bay Resort in Marathon.
“We are doing some limited demolition right now and site clearing,” Singh’s son Noah said. “We’re just prepping the site since the park has closed.”
He could not give a timeline for a groundbreaking, but said it will be “in the near future” and the project should take about 18 months.
A number of Texas banks owned the RV resort before the Singhs.
“Ten years ago there was a previous development agreement done on it, but it went to foreclosure before he could break ground and that agreement expired,” said Noah Singh.
“It’s going to be a really nice property when it’s done,” Belinsky said, adding he was thankful and the Singhs had done everything possible to make the transition smooth for campers as they left.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219