The Mormons love Florida. They've made huge purchases in Orange Juice country before. In Central Florida they own about 300,000 acres of ranch land, mineral mining and more.
Many have previously reported on the Central Florida Deseret Ranch. I go out to the ranch for my job on occasion, where my company had leased with option to buy an 11,000 acre parcel in the middle of the ranch. The Mormons use up everything in pursuit of making a profit.
And profits they make.
They sell oranges, timber, sod, seashells (for minerals) and more besides cattle. Orange county and Orlando buy the seashells for roads.
This is how they phrase the seashell mining business.
"Rapid construction in Central Florida has created a need for road bed materials. Fossilized seashell deposits on the Ranch are excavated by contractors for use in the construction industry for road base and asphalt batching. The deposits range from 20 to 50 feet deep. All excavation sites are restored, leaving in place an attractive lake for fishing, recreation and other uses."
One survey of mining in Brevard county shows that Deseret Ranch mines many very lucrative minerals and elements.
Included: Aluminum, Fluorine, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Uranium.
They also make money on the water rights they have for the rivers that flow through the ranch. I'm still collecting the details on that. This is how they phrase the water-rights business.
"Water Supply Planning: We will continue to be an active participant in the region’s water supply planning efforts. We will encourage water supply planners to expand the planning horizon to achieve long-term water sustainability."
When they sold off a portion of the ranch (~11,000acres), during the negotiations, one of the corporate reps told me that the church attorney mentioned that they were planning to build a golf course and small resort community on their Deseret Ranch, on the west side, where it is zoned for residential construction by the medical school and industrial zone on the edge of Orlando. Some plans talked of 5,000-10,000 homes, lake front properties, golf-courses, etc. The economy tanked, in 2008, delaying those plans. Rumor is, with the tourist industry in Orlando reaching a peak again (they collected > $150M in tourist tax just recently), the LDS corporate engine is back to making plans to develop the ranch into a high-end living area.
One wonders what they will make of the timberland in Northwest Florida once they get their hands on the cleared portions where they've sold off the wood. That will make for interesting future revenues.
Photos of the Deseret Ranch, August 2013, when I was last there. The sign says: "The mission of Bullseye is to offer its members and guests an ethical quality, fair, chase hunting experience..."
These are some of the cattle just next to the hunting preserve at Deseret Ranch. August 2013.