Newer, younger visitors are joining clothing-optional longtimers, a sign the local nudism industry is thriving.
When the first wave of the pandemic hit Florida in early 2020, KC and Joanna Quintana couldn’t wait to strip off their masks — and the rest of their outfits.
The couple has frequented the clothing-optional Caliente Club & Resorts in Land O’ Lakes for the past decade. In May 2020, the day the resort reopened to members, the Quintanas came back.
“We all have something in common,” KC Quintana said. “Flying the freak flag.”
Pasco County has long held the reputation as the nudist capital of the U.S. But it’s not just longtime nudists who flocked to local clothing-optional businesses after COVID-19 subsided.
Newer — and younger— visitors started milling about pants-less and proud.
“People got really bored sitting at home (during the pandemic) and started rethinking their mindset,” he said. “It’s almost like revenge travel.”
“This past year, everyone had to listen to so many rules and comply with so many guidelines,” said Caliente communications director Anastasiia Chyruk in a phone interview earlier this summer. “Caliente is a place where you can be completely free.”
“Nakations,” if you will, to beaches and campgrounds have significantly increased, according to Erich Schuttauf, executive director of the American Association of Nude Recreation. The 200 or so clubs affiliated with his group are no different.
A 2017 study by Saint Leo University, paid for by the association, estimated that 2.2 million people indulge in nudist travel, which rakes in at least $7 billion to Florida’s economy.
“What we’re seeing is a lot of pent-up demand,” Schuttauf said. “People want to travel. They want to see people and enjoy nature — the way nature intended.”
Source: Tampa Bay Times
Original publication 27 July, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 23rd August 2021
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