June 9, 2010 12:59:00 PM
WEST POINT -- The Clay County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously last week to grant resort status to the Prairie Wildlife Preserve.
The manager and attorney for the 6,000-acre preserve, which is owned by Jimmy Bryan, appeared before the Clay board to ask for resort status to serve alcohol in the 500-acre lodge and dining area.
Clay County District 1 Supervisor Lynn Horton says allowing alcohol sales at the preserve lodge will help attract more visitors to the preserve, which is looking to expand its land and outdoor offerings.
"It would expand the tax base. And I''m hoping (guests) would come here and like what they see and decide to invest here in Clay County and spend more money here at local restaurants and hotels," said Horton.
Clay County Board Attorney Lee Coleman said the request will be sent to the State Tax Commission for the final approval.
Harry Pasisis, manager at Prairie Wildlife said the plan to offer alcohol is one of several new offerings at the preserve.
Several hundred acres is already devoted to quail hunting, but thousands of acres will be open for bird-watching, hiking, fishing, canoeing and off-roading with the preserve''s four-wheel carts.
The preserve has been in the process of restoring the native prairie grassland for at least the past 12 years, he added.
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