Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Weeki Wachee man wants to bring mud-bogging, music and TV reality show to Hernando

BROOKSVILLE — County commissioners on Tuesday heard a plan for what could be Hernando's next clean, light industry.

Well, maybe not so clean.

Mike Barbee of Weeki Wachee asked commissioners to help him with his plan for a mud-bogging and music park near Brooksville that he believes could bring the county millions in retail revenue — based on tens of thousands of beer-drinking fans and their mud-covered monster trucks that he believes would use the facility.

And he threw in a reality television show, to boot.

Commission Chairman Dave Russell's first response?

"You've come to the right place,'' he told Barbee.

Barbee, a businessman who creates green products and who said he has experience in the entertainment industry, pitched his mix of country music, truck fans and mud for a 150-acre parcel near the intersection of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Yontz Road, just north of Brooksville. He said he and a partner have a contract to purchase the land.

He said he wanted to bring "some new blood'' into Hernando County and anticipated he could draw as many as 25,000 visitors to each month's events — concerts, sanctioned mud-bogging for monster trucks and a smaller bogging course for family entertainment.

Barbee told commissioners that he could see visitors spending upward of $200 each on their visits. And, he quipped, "That's just in beer.''

The plan is to create an environmentally friendly mud-bogging area on the property's upland, Barbee said. He noted that he already has consulted with officials from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to be sure the work is done correctly.

Barbee, a resident of the Tampa Bay area for more than 30 years, said he sees plenty of "for rent'' signs around the county and hopes his plan will provide the economic jolt Hernando County needs. He told commissioners that he didn't want anything from them Tuesday, but would appreciate some assistance in the future, including smooth sailing for his project and possibly some tax and economic development incentives.

After the meeting, Barbee told the Times he is filming the entire process of putting together the project. The working title for the reality show, he said, is Mud on the Barbee, and it would feature his four daughters and two sons.

He said mud-bogging is big everywhere and he could foresee an influx of families coming to Hernando County to enjoy the activities on his property. Barbee also said there are some top-quality country-western acts he would like to line up to perform.

The visit with commissioners Tuesday was just an introduction, he said. At the suggestion of County Attorney Garth Coller, he plans to meet with the county's business development manager, Michael McHugh, in the near future.

If the county will "think outside the box'' and let him start the business without putting hurdles in his way, he said, he could be up and running within three months.

Last month, he posted an advertisement on the Craigslist website seeking people interested in helping with the project.

He refers to it as the Brooksville-based "Mud Bog Reality Show.''

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1434.

Weeki Wachee man wants to bring mud-bogging, music and TV reality show to Hernando 01/08/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 8:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle