Imagine a drive-in movie theater with enough space for more than 500 vehicles. Now add a restaurant, pool, go kart area and putt-putt golf. Include more than 40 camper hook-ups. And put it all on 60 acres of land.
That’s what the father-son duo of Michael and Preston Brown has imagined for the past year for property they own in Kings Island, N.C., according to a report in the Shelby Star.
And now their plans are coming to fruition. The campsites themselves are open for business and the drive-in will be up and running in two months, Preston Brown said Monday (April 9). Additional features will take about a year to build or install.
“It’s been a lot of work,” he said. And a lot of money. Preston said about $60,000 has gone into setting up the RV hook-ups. Another $100,000 has gone into the drive-in.
“It’s just us,” he said of the financial backing.
The work follows months of clashes with city government about the use of the land, which borders the Kings Mountain Gateway Trail. The property is so close, in fact, that you can see the trail from the back end of the lot.
It was September when two city councilmen spoke up against what they perceived as a delay in the elder Brown’s rezoning request for the property. Two months later, Michael Brown was served with a criminal summons after he cut down trees he said were on his property. County officials, citing the Gateway Trail’s right-of-way, said the trees were on their land.
The legal dispute is ongoing.
Preston said plans for the drive-in stem from his childhood, when he would man the Joy Performance Theater during the 12 years his dad owned it.
“I grew up there,” he said. “I loved it.”
He hopes, once completed, the campground will serve as both a spot for visitors to stay the weekend and a place for those in the community to play basketball, grab a hot dog and watch a movie.
“We want to do something for the community,” he said. “I hope it will work.”
Campgrounds at eight state parks in eastern North Carolina will close this weekend in anticipation of the passage of Hurricane Irene, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.
A hurricane watch was issued early today (Aug. 25) for much of the North Carolina coast including the Outer Banks. A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
The Cape Fear Business News reported that all camping facilities will close on Friday and Saturday nights at Lumber River, Jones Lake, Lake Waccamaw, Carolina Beach, Pettigrew, Merchants Millpond and Goose Creek state parks. In addition, primitive campsites on Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park will remain closed today through Sunday night. Visitors with reservations at those campgrounds are being notified of the closures.
The affected state parks remain open for day use visitors only. However, state parks throughout eastern North Carolina could close on short notice depending on the anticipated path of the storm.
Updates about park and facility closings are posted on the state parks system’s website at www.ncparks.gov and through its Twitter feed, @NCparks.