Thursday, Dec 27, 2012
A ribbon-cutting event was held December 19th for a potential new type of park lodging – the Flamingo “Eco-Tent.” Everglades National Park partnered with the University of Miami and the South Florida National Parks Trust to develop this prototype structure, an important step in the effort to rebuild Flamingo in a sustainable manner. The Eco-Tent could be a model for additional lodging options at Flamingo in the near future.
“The Eco-Tent is an example of thinking outside of the box and progress through partnerships,” said Dan Kimball, the park’s superintendent. “Through the generous support of the South Florida National Parks Trust, the University of Miami School of Architecture has designed and built the prototype Eco-Tent to meet the unique opportunities and challenges at Flamingo. The Eco-Tent offers visitors a way to spend more time experiencing the park and less time driving.
“The Eco-Tent is a visitor lodging option available during the peak winter/spring season, and is an innovative approach to meeting several needs at Flamingo, including cost effectiveness, recognition of the vulnerabilities of sea level rise, and avoiding potential damage related to storm surge and hurricanes.”
The Eco-Tent will be packed and stored during hurricane season. This prototype will be available for use December 14th through April 14th. It is located in the walk-in area of the Flamingo Campground and consists of a fabric tent mounted on a 14- by 14-foot wooden platform. It is designed to take advantage of the breezes coming off of Florida Bay and efficiently move warm air out of the tent. It is currently furnished with bed frames, a table, and chairs (a solar-powered light will be installed in January).
Reservations are now being taken by phone (call 239-695-0124 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. each day) or at the Flamingo Campground registration booth. The current nightly fee is $16. The fee will increase to $30 when the LED light system is installed later this season. For holders of Senior or Golden Access passes, fees are reduced by 50%.
“The park will be managing this pilot Eco-Tent with the intent of getting many parties to stay in the tent (that’s why the maximum stay is three nights) and provide constructive feedback through a survey we’ve developed,” says Fred Herling, the park’s senior planner. “Each group will provide its views related to the Eco-Tent design, function, and amenities and tell us what they liked and how the tent might be improved, should additional units be built in the future.
“This will help the long-term vision for Flamingo, which includes having a new, long-term concessions contract in place a year from now. That concession request for proposal or prospectus is scheduled to go out in January and different lodging visitor lodging options may be part of that effort.”
For more information, click on the link below.