Cypress Gardens may have history but its doomed. It's too far from Orlando and it's competing with Disney and Universal -- multi-park resorts that sell vacation packages designed to keep guests on their property.
CG will surely go the way of Circus World/Boardwalk & Baseball.
My perspective comes from Central Florida theme park and hospitality experience dating back to 1982. Circus World DIED! Boardwalk and Baseball DIED! And they were CLOSER to Orlando than Cypress Gardens.
The last owner of Cypress Gardens was an experienced theme park operator who added attractions and he STILL could not make it work.
With maintenance and operating costs creeping higher every year, trying to bring CG back from the dead is a fool's errand.
A recommendation would be for a team from CG to fly to Sydney, Australia and check their gardens out (behind the Opera House). It's beautiful! They have a cute little train that takes you around the park and explains the rare types of plants and trees. I'm sure other botanical gardens around the world offer unique experiences. CG can check those out, too and gauge.
With this approach maybe CG will be able to obtain funding from major corporations who are going green or are earth friendly. These funds can go towards educational attractions like Siemens did with Spaceship Earth at EPCOT.
Anyway, I will look forward to seeing the changes.
I believe CG can be classified as a museum. As defined by the AAM “American museums are infinitely diverse…their common denominator is making a "unique contribution to the public by collecting, preserving, and interpreting the things of this world."
"Their numbers include both governmental and private museums of anthropology, art history and natural history, aquariums, arboreta, art centers, botanical gardens, children's museums, historic sites, nature centers, planetariums, science and technology centers, and zoos.
Steve Baker is a good guy-great background, great staff, great understanding of how to make things work, great contacts is sponsorship.
There are enough people to make it work locally-you'll drive 45 minutes once or twice a year to go to a MUCH cheaper park-people do it every day.
I say DROP the concert series-only older season pass holders who don't spend go to them-no revenue, just expenses. 35 shows a year? $50K-$70K a show-do the math....YIKES..
I say that they have a great chance of making it now and look forward to going there soon.