US fishing retail giant angles for Florida Keys resort
Conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, Johnny Morris, has unveiled plans for a nature-based fishing resort in the Florida Keys, USA.
The Valhalla Island Resort development includes more than 175 acres and more than a mile of beachfront property.
Plans for the resort involve maintaining over 50% of the property’s green space. Morris’ passion for sportfishing and high regard for the historic Long Key Fishing Camp on the island served as his primary inspiration to develop the Valhalla Island property.
The project is an extension of his Signature Nature Resort experiences that help families connect to nature and each other. Morris envisions Valhalla Island Resort as a new model for low-impact, sustainable design in the Florida Keys.
To bring the vision to life, Morris and his daughter Megan have partnered with architecture firms Hart Howerton and Nunzio Marc DeSantis Architects. Using ecologically sensitive design techniques and working with the natural ecology of the Florida Keys, plans for the 110-unit nature resort include making it vehicle-free. All surfaces will be permeable surfaces.
Resort accommodations consist of a collection of one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom cottages, in addition to a master lodge and general store, all of which are nestled within tropical landscaping and a palm tree-shaded beach. Other amenities include restaurants, a spa, swimming pools, fishing marina and spaces designed for people to gather and connect with nature.
The development, previously approved by the city of Marathon, is designed to be carbon neutral with a minimal footprint and low impact to preserve the natural integrity of the land while leveraging the latest sustainable strategies.
Conservation-based practices inform all aspects of the resort’s design and operation with a goal of enhancing the natural ecosystem. State-of-the-art sustainable design techniques will be utilised, including onsite renewable energy via solar and geothermal power, rainwater harvesting and storage, and orienting buildings to enhance natural ventilation.
Morris and his team are working closely with area conservation partners and local community officials to ensure the resort meets and enhances the existing character of the community
Construction of the Valhalla Island Resort is scheduled to be completed within the next two years.
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