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Archive for Tuesday, July 11, 2006

County’s claim to fame: nudist capital of U.S.

July 11, 2006

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— About 95 miles southwest of Orlando, Jack McElhinney stares out his back windows, soaking up the view of a sun-kissed, 35-acre lake.

He's smiling, relaxed and - save for a pair of flip-flops - stark naked.

"I wouldn't give this up for any place in the world," says the 72-year-old retired real-estate broker. "This is an oasis."

McElhinney is a happy - and uniformly tan - resident of the nudist capital of the United States. He lives in Pasco County, which, according to folks who track these things, boasts the largest concentration of nudist resorts in the nation.

Six properties are in Pasco, from McElhinney's beloved Lake Como Family Nudist Resort - a laid-back, camplike community with a 60-year history - to the upscale Caliente Resort & Spa, a newcomer that bills itself as the "hottest nudist resort in the country."

The collection of resorts, and the welcoming nature of most local officials, has earned Pasco an international reputation among those who dare to go bare.

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