Where the experts holiday: Kevin Jowett of Revolution Off Road

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
Nori, Andrew and Flavio on a mucky duck

Someone’s enjoying themselves at Kevin Jowett’s Revoltion Off-Road

Kevin Jowett is an expat from Surrey who now owns and runs Revolution Off Road, a company specialising in providing visitors and locals with off-road driving experiences and sports like fishing and archery. located in Claremont about 30 minutes from Disneyworld in the Orlando-Kissimmee area of Florida, It is an area he knew well before he set up his business there.

How did you end up in Florida?

We came here for the first time over 25 years ago on holiday, liked it and returned every year. About twenty years ago we bought a home here and then decided to up sticks and live here permanently but I didn’t want to retire. I wanted to remain active but unlike many expats who come here I didn’t want to do the usual thing and open a bar.

But why an off road and outdoor venture?

I'm clean - you won't be

Kevin: I’m clean – you won’t be when your return

Back in the UK, I’d been a rally driver and my first thought was to provide a rally school but Americans have no history of rallying to speak of. I wanted to have something with a motor speed theme and decided on a mixture that included off-road driving and outdoor sports. So I bought 230 acres of land in Claremont which is full of wildlife and isn’t built up. It took a while to get all the permits, we moved over here permanently in July 2007 and by October that year we were ready to open. We even created the lake that you see out there which has bass – the largest caught was about 14lbs. The first customers came in November.

But we are conscious that the environment her is unspoilt so we use the landscape to dictate how we map out the routes and use the natural products here, sand,  (there used to be sand-mining here long ago) mud, open spaces and water to create the experience for visitors.

What is on offer to visitors? 

heading for the ATV

a pathetic attempt by me to wear a poncho to keep my clothes from getting muddy

Wet and muddy clothes! Seriously if you go on our ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles or quad bikes as Brits would call them) or Mucky Ducks you are going to get dirty and wet. We tell all those who come here (you can’t walk in off the streets – you have to book in advance) to bring a change of clothes if they are going to enjoy the off road-driving. Half the fun is getting wet and before long, visitors are really entering the spirit of things and can come back very wet, very muddy but very happy! The mucky ducks let you drive into the lake as well as drive the man-made tracks we’ve put down. Sometimes people will get stuck in the mud and have to be towed out but that’s because lots of ATV’s may have gone before them and churned up the ground in the puddles not because of their driving. So someone is on hand to tow them out. There is also fishing, archery and, recently, we had our first wedding here. There are bass in the lake but the thrill is in catching them; you can’t take them away as all fish are returned to the lake. The twelve full-time staff as well, as the part-timers, are trained in each of the activities we provide.

even the mucky ducks start clean

even the mucky ducks start clean…

Who comes here?

All nationalities come. In the office we have a map and each time someone comes from a different place we stick in a pin. UK visitors are high on the list but that is because so many holiday here. Obviously North Americans are our biggest visitors because Disneyworld is the magnet. After the razzmatazz there, we provide a completely different experience with no funny costumes. The only costume is the safety gear like helmet, gloves and googles that we provide if you are taking out ATV’s.

So where does a man in the tourism business holiday?

mucky mucky muddy duck

…but don’t stay that way!

There is so much here to see and do. It took me a few years to realise that there were natural springs in this area. Most people don’t know that.

When I take a break, it is usually for a cruise. With Cape Canaveral just up the coast having become a cruise terminal I can go up there and have a quick three day cruise down to the Bahamas or Puerto Rico or even longer ones to places like Costa Rica.

And the future?

they might have started happy but steering let them down as they drive into the reeds

they might have started happy but steering let them down as they drive into the banks.

More expansion here.  A lot of visitors here are part of corporate groups, having meetings and then enjoying themselves. We are going to put up a building for small meetings and I have some other ideas for new sports but I’m not saying what they are just yet.

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