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Hidden River: There's Something New Under the Sun

February 22, 2016

By David Chesnick

We have some great news. On February 1st, Hidden River Travel Resort in Riverview, Florida joined the Sun family. You can expect even more terrific things to be going on here in the months to come to make the experience of every resident and guest truly Sun.

For example, Sun will be making upgrades to the facilities and introducing a raft of new activities, growing the lifestyle programs that have helped make Sun RV resorts and manufactured home communities the country’s most progressive for active adults.

Hidden River has all the charms, as its name suggests, of a place that feels far from the everyday. Yet, it’s located just about twenty miles southeast of Tampa and all the shopping, cultural, and entertainment delights that a major city offers.

Even better, this age-qualified community of approximately 315 Park Model homes and RV sites is only about thirty minutes from the glorious Gulf Coast beaches of St. Petersburg. So folks coming to Hidden River can take full advantage of the fishing, boating, and beach adventures the beautiful Gulf waters make possible. And it’s only about twenty minutes to the fun of Busch Gardens and an hour to the magic of the Disney, Sea World, and Universal.

Running right through the park is the Alafia River, which flows into Tampa Bay. The Alafia River State Park is nearby and certainly worth a visit. It almost feels as though you’ve been transported back in time when the Tocobaga Indians were settled here and the Spanish explorer DeSoto was first visiting the region. Today, the park offers visitors fantastic hiking, bicycling, fishing, birding, canoeing, and horseback riding trails so you can do some exploring on your own.

Of course, like many of the residents who have been coming here year after year and are now like family, you don’t have to ever leave the resort to have a great time. It starts with the physical beauty of the place that offers something for everyone. There are some sections that are thick with overhanging oak trees for those that like a tropical feel with shade and open in other areas for those that want lots of that sweet Florida sunshine we all enjoy so much.

This being a Sun resort, you know there’s always something happening at the Clubhouse. Every Friday night some of the women prepare dinner for folks so everyone can get together like one big happy family.

Music is a big part of life here. Friday nights there’s always a jam session with some of our musicians and some from the local communities nearby. Once a month, there’s a dance sometimes with a band and sometimes we just spin platters. After all, we’re a generation that grew up with sock hops.

There’s a billiards room in the clubhouse and there’s always a card game going on: poker and pinochle are two of the favorites. The Clubhouse also hosts yoga and aerobic groups – water aerobics are popular at the pool. Other folks get their exercise walking or biking around the park. A more dedicated group of bikers get together on Wednesdays, ride out of the park, find a place for lunch, and then work off the calories on the trip back. Of course, there’s Volleyball, Pickle Ball, Corn Hole, and Shuffleboard as well as sewing, arts & craft and painting classes.

To put it simply, as new General Manager, Guy Pruitt says, this is a community where people show up, are active and get involved.

Meet the New GM

Listening to new General Manager Guy Pruitt’s sweet southern drawl you’d never guess that this 25-year Marine Corps veteran actually grew up in Ocean City, Maryland.

But he’s logged a lot of miles since his youth in that beach town with time spent in California, Ohio, and Texas. And that’s just in this country. He’s also spent time in Okinawa, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, Viet Nam, and the Philippines.

He joined Sun in 2011 and got his accent working at resorts in Arlington and Carrollton, Texas. But he’s also put in time in New Jersey and Florida before coming to Hidden River. In other words, this ain’t his first rodeo.

He enjoys golf but has been so busy with his Sun duties that his handicap has risen from a six to a thirteen: “poor guy” other golfers can be heard muttering under their breath. His other passion is Karaoke, performing the music of George Jones, Merle Haggard, and James Brown. James Brown? Yep. Guy’s high school band Sudden Soul did the music of the Godfather of Soul. He laughed when we asked if he still has the cape.

When we spoke to Guy, he’d only been at Hidden River a week but he was quickly learning his way around.

“We had a town hall meeting when I arrived to welcome Sun. Everybody’s been terrific and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone. I want to create an atmosphere where everyone can be as active or laidback as they’d like and I want to make this a fun-loving community where all are welcome.”

We think he’s going to do just fine.

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