March 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the March Edition of my newsletter. Please feel free to reply with a comment. I am always looking to improve on the content for my subscribers.

Also, visit my website to view my listings, search for properties, or to enjoy one of my archived newsletters and stories on Florida History.

Thank you,

A look into the History of the Arcadia All-Florida Rodeo
The Arcadia rodeo began back in the middle of 1928 when the American Legion wanted to raise money to help pay for a new building. A local businessman, who was a member of the American Legion, asked a prominent rancher (Zeb Parker) if a rodeo could be held to raise money. Mr. Parker agreed it could be done and offered to furnish the stock for free.

In preparation for this event, special arrangements were made to bring in a group of Seminole Indians. The American Legion and the Lion’s Club volunteered to sponsor a parade. Two thousand Shriners were expected to march in the parade. The Governor of Florida notified officials he would be attending the rodeo and the Wauchula band provided the music. The first rodeo was such a success that the American Legion was able to pay off the mortgage on the new building in four years.

During the early thirties (even though the local economy was devastated by the national depression) the rodeo continued as people struggled to simply earn enough to afford the necessities of life. During these years the rodeos were held in the Limestone Community of Desoto County, where the interest in rodeo was kept alive.

In 1938 at the urgings of his son (Billy Welles) and a friend (Gerald Taylor- a local rancher and businessman), Ed Welles agreed to promote and finance the rodeo. The Arcadia rodeo became an annual event at the Welles’ arena until the sudden death of Ed Welles on June 11,1950. However, the tradition of rodeo was so firmly entrenched in the hearts of so many Desoto Countians that on January 10, 1952, at a meeting of the Rotary Club, what would become the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Inc. as we know it today was reactivated.

The rodeo continued at the Welles’ arena until 1959 when the arena was moved to its present location. In 1973 the Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Inc. joined the ranks of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA).

The Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo, Inc. has evolved from its pioneer beginnings (when competing cowboys and ranchers matched their skills for the entertainment of local audiences) to a national sport drawing top cowboy athletes from all over the nation. Cowboys who compete for purses and points are aiming for the “Super Bowl” of rodeo: the National Finals held annually in Las Vegas.

Source: Arcadia Rodeo
What's Up with the New 'Orri' Mandarin
The status of the ‘Orri’ mandarin permeated 2020 coffee shop talk among specialty citrus fruit growers. It was widely known that the patent had expired, and it was uncertain whether ‘Orri’ would become public domain or continue forward as a managed variety. Though growers continue to commit resources to trialing new experimental selections and hone their production practices with recently released Florida varieties, many are interested in planting specialty varieties with production and marketability track records in the near-term. The ‘Orri’ mandarin is one of the varieties that is getting increased attention.
‘Orri’ is a mandarin hybrid selected from irradiated budwood after a series of crossings originating from Temple tangor and ‘Kinnow’ mandarin oranges. Since its release, ‘Orri’ has gained worldwide market acceptance and represents 80% of Israel’s exports to the U.S., Europe, and Asia. U.S. demand has been strong, and the variety is well suited to current Florida production, harvesting, and packing and shipping practices. The fruit appearance is very typical of a tangerine/mandarin.
It is reported to be highly resistant to Alternaria and black spot and, if managed, is considered less prone to alternate bearing. It has been classified as a tangerine/mandarin. While the Israeli breeders are careful not to claim that ‘Orri’ is resistant to HLB. Though, 10-year-old trees in Florida show some HLB symptoms, the trees seem to be less affected than other varieties, and the ‘Orri’ trees are still producing very good crops.
93rd Annual Arcadia All-Florida Championship Rodeo
Come see the "Granddaddy of em' all"

March 11-14th

Mosaic Arena

Rodeo Clowns weren’t necessarily “clowns” in the beginning days of rodeo as a spectator sport. The name was given for the cowboys who entertained the crowd in between acts or, if certain events were delayed, their job was to keep the crowd enthusiastic with comedic shows. As time went on, rodeo clowns began to wear more outlandish costumes, such as baggy pants and make-up. It was also their job to help manage the bulls and steers in the arena. When Bull Riding was introduced, irritable Brahma bulls were being used and clowns were then given the job of distracting the bull. Today, the “rodeo clown”, also known as “bullfighter”, or “protector” is a highly trained athlete whose job is to distract the bull immediately if a rider hits the ground. They are much more than guys in paint just running around the arena. They stay fit and active so that they are able to not only prevent a rider from being injured but also possibly save his life.

Source: RodeoClowns
Happy Birthday Florida! On March 3rd our great state turned 176!
137+ Riverfront Acres
10531 SW Kissimmee Rd. Arcadia, FL 34269
Gorgeous, undisturbed "Old Florida" river front property for your private estate or recreational hunting and fishing retreat. Offering 137.84+ acres full of oak hammocks, cabbage palms, and pine trees with approx. 1,970 feet of frontage on the Peace River via the quiet inlet "Lettuce Lake." A county maintained public boat ramp is just around the corner. Property is fenced and includes 1,800 sf steel building. Less than 15 minutes to I-75, and just 45 minutes from Sarasota or Ft. Myers. A rare find with navigable waters to Charlotte Harbor.

Total Acres: 137.84
MLS: C7437985
Listing Price: $2,399,000
1,045+ Acre Prime Hunting and Pristine Ranch
26005 Harrison Rd. Myakka City, FL 34251
Located only 20 minutes from Sarasota and I-75 sits this pristine ranch property on the Sarasota/Manatee County line. This ranch offers over 1,045+ acres of beautiful “old Florida” landscape and pastureland. There are endless opportunities for the hunter, rancher and farmer. Its one-of-a-kind lodge boasts 5 bedrooms, a spacious living and dining area, and a beautifully appointed kitchen. This incredible property is encompassed by Oak hammocks, sloughs, and pastureland and is currently used for cattle grazing and bahia sod production. Also included on the property is a large barn with an office/apartment, equipment storage and workshop along with an exceptional set of covered cowpens. The entire property is abundant with deer, Osceola turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. With its close proximity to Tampa and the Sarasota/Bradenton area, this ranch is ideal for your rural getaway. Call today for a showing!

MLS: C7433962
Total Acres: 1,045
Listing price: $5,691,000
5 and 10 Acre Parcels in Charlotte Park
8292 Holmes Blvd. &
8264 Duffie Dr.
Punta Gorda, FL 33982
5 & 10 Acres Shovel-Ready in growing Charlotte County Airport Park. Bring your business! Infrastructures in place such as city water/sewer and storm water retention. ECAP Zoning (Enterprise Charlotte Airport Park) allows for a multitude of Industrial, Commercial, and Office uses. 10 Acre property has ~670’ of road frontage on the front and ~670’ of road frontage on back, can be divided. Less than 1 mile to Interstate 75 at Exit 161 and sits adjacent to Punta Gorda Airport.

8292 Holmes Blvd.
Total Acres: 5
MLS: C7427867
List price: $382,000

8264 Duffie Dr.
Total Acres: 10
MLS: C7427835
List Price: $763,000
21 Acres Prime Corner Lot-Lake Suzy/Kings Hwy area
SW Peace River St. #A Arcadia, FL 34269
21+ Acre prime corner located in the Lake Suzy/Kings Highway area of DeSoto County. This property is in the pathway for future development and has a designated future land use for commercial. Located Just 3 miles to Interstate 75 and only minutes away from North Port, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers. Housing developments have already been approved and broken ground nearby. This is a great opportunity for a commercial development.

Total Acres: 21.25 Acres
Listing Price: $1,052,000

267+ Acres Recreational and Hunting Property
2333 County Rd 731 Venus, FL 33960
GET AWAY FROM IT ALL!!! BRING THE ATV’S….Recreational and Hunting Property. Approximately 267 acres in Highlands County. This land is full of beautiful Oaks, Cabbage Palm Trees, and improved pasture with plenty of deer, turkeys, wild hogs and other wildlife. This is a beautiful “old Florida” landscape. Get out of the city and enter your PRIVATE getaway!!! Located less than 90 MINUTES from the east or west coast of Florida.

MLS: C7432000
Total Acres: 267
Listing price: $995,000
5.5 Acres Commercial Property
3200 Cooper St. Punta Gorda, FL 33950
5.5 Acres of Commercial Land on Cooper St with visibility of US 41/Tamiami Trail. This property is zoned Industrial General and is located adjacent to a City of Punta Gorda facility. Zoning allows for a multitude of options such as distribution center, boat/trailer sales-storage and more! Great access to downtown Punta Gorda, US41, Interstate 75 and Charlotte County Airport.
Total Acres: 5.50
MLS: C7427738
12+ Acres Pastureland-Beautiful Homesite
SW Reynolds St. #B Arcadia, FL 34266
Beautiful 12.38 acres of well-maintained pasture land with sprawling oaks. This property would make the ideal country estate with plenty of room for a barn and pond. Bring your cattle, horses, or other livestock and enjoy this peaceful piece of land. Call today for a showing!

MLS: C7438533
Total Acres: 12.38
Listing Price: $179,000
11.94+ Acres Kings Hwy Corridor
SW Hwy 760 #C Arcadia, FL 34266
Looking for the ideal homesite right off Kings Hwy? This beautifully wooded 11.94 acres is the ideal area to build your dream home with plenty of space for a barn and animals. Located in the highly sought after Kings Highway (State Road 769) area with quick access to Port Charlotte, Interstate 75, or to downtown Arcadia. Sarasota and Gulf Beaches are just an hour away. CALL TODAY!

Total Acres: 11.94
Listing Price: $185,000
About Walt Bethel
Walt Bethel is a fifth generation Floridian, born and raised in Arcadia, with a vast knowledge of all areas of Florida Real Estate and an ardent appreciation for Florida history.  
The purchase and development of his first orange grove when he was just sixteen years old fueled Walt's passion for real estate.  
Since then, he has bought, owned, and sold a wide variety of properties throughout a successful business career. His investments have included acreage, agricultural properties, residential homes, condos, and commercial properties. 
Walt's marketing and sales experience was cultivated over time at his family's business, Bethel Farms, where he marketed, managed, and sold products to "Big Box" retailers across the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
From an early age, Walt's dad instilled in him the values to work hard and always have a goal, to look for a better way of doing things, and to constantly improve on them.  
The daily implementation of these principles, coupled with his enjoyment of networking with new people and his experience in business, sales, and marketing, have contributed to Walt's success as a Realtor.
Walt has served on various boards and committees throughout the years. He has coached and actively supports local youth athletic programs and leagues. 
He and his wife Jill, also a fourth generation Floridian, reside in Punta Gorda. They have two children, a daughter Peyton and a son Truman.
Walt Bethel | RE/MAX Harbor Realty| 863.990.1748 ||