Community services

Mid Florida Community Services Cancels Chinsegut Center Operating Agreement | News

BROOKSVILLE — A deal that helped save Chinsegut Hill Retreat and Conference Center appears to be another casualty of the COVID pandemic.

At its December 14 meeting, the Hernando County Commission pointed to a November 9 letter from Mid Florida Community Services submitting 60 days’ notice of the end of the license agreement.

“As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on tourism over the past two years,” CEO Mat Kline wrote to the commissioners. “As a result, our original intent to mine this property has not materialized as planned.”

According to a May 26 article in Hernando Today, a February 2020 agreement between the county, the Tampa Bay History Center, and Mid Florida Community Services had Mid Florida maintain the grounds and operate the retreat, conference center and rental cabins, and Chinsegut Hill was once again open to the public.

Billy Somerville, director of marketing and communications at the Tampa Bay History Center, said his organization is sorry to see Mid Florida go.

“We have enjoyed our partnership with them to welcome guests to Chinsegut Hill, and the Tampa Bay History Center will continue operations inside this historic home, renovation projects and weekend tours,” did he declare. “We look forward to working with Hernando County on future projects as we continue our research.”

Deputy County Administrator Tobey Phillips said in an email that she was leading the transition team.

“The county is working with Mid-Florida Community Services to transfer operation of the retreat center to the county,” Phillips said. “The county will work with all parties who have existing reservations or event rental agreements to accommodate their request. We are currently carrying out an inventory and the condition of the property in order to be well prepared for maintenance needs. The transition team will create options for the BOCC to consider for the future management of the retreat center. »

The county said in a news release Thursday, Jan. 6, that the mansion museum and historic site operations are still open.

The Manor House Museum is open for tours every Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours are available every half hour, with the last tour beginning at 4 p.m.