DELAND – Bathers in the Daytona area will soon have another way to get around the beach – a motorized cart.
Jim Free, owner of Nature Quest Inc., got a license to drive sand wagons from the heart of Daytona Beach to Dunlawton Avenue in Daytona Beach Shores.
“I’m so excited. I can’t tell you enough. Everyone in Volusia County has been so kind to us and so welcoming,” Free said in an interview.
He said his company intended to partner with hotels, restaurants and even airlines to get people on and off the beach.
Volusia County Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to grant the company a one-year license as a pilot.
“Good luck. Do a good job,” County President Jeff Brower said after the vote.
The Lake City-based company was represented by law firm Cobb Cole, which earlier this year helped another company gain permission to operate a billboard floating along the coast. Atlantic County.
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Nature Quest, Inc. needed a permit because its 55-foot vehicle – a cart hitched to a jeep – is longer than the 33 feet allowed by beach code.
The free day passes will be sold for $ 10, with discounts of $ 2 for residents of Volusia County, those aged 55 and over, veterans and active duty military, first responders and military personnel. health workers. Tickets will cost $ 5 for children ages 6 to 17, while younger ones travel free.
Public Protection Director Joe Pozzo mapped out the route when presenting the request to Volusia County Council at its Tuesday meeting.
“The cart will enter on the ISB approach, then head south to the Dunlawton approach and exit, exiting on the hardtop and turning south on Atlantic Avenue,” said Pozzo. “The cart will return as it approaches Emilia Avenue and head north to Silver Beach.”
Plans are to have 20 jeeps with carts
Free said they would eventually have 20 jeeps with trolleys attached doing the 6 mile loop several times a day.
“We will be able to move people effectively, efficiently and at low cost,” he said.
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As to when the carts could start working, Free said he hopes it will be in 2021. But the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the cartmaker’s ability to secure parts for the carts.
Nature Quest has been in business since 1991, operating streetcar services in county and state parks, but Free said it would be their first sand adventure.