Orlando Sentinel: Cypress Gardens shut down once again Wednesday, its owner saying it has exhausted "every possible approach" to keep the storied-but-struggling tourist attraction open.
The abrupt closing came just seven months after the region's oldest theme park -- once famed for its botanical gardens and Southern belles -- had reopened on a bet that it could succeed with a combination of scaled-back operations and cheaper ticket prices.
Owner Land South Holdings LLC, the Polk County investment firm that bought Cypress Gardens for $17 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2007, said in a statement that it could find no way "to keep the park running in its traditional form."
The company said it has begun negotiations with several potential buyers and lessees interested in acquiring all or parts of the property.
Cypress Gardens and Splash Island Waterpark Now Closed
WINTER HAVEN, FL, SEPTEMBER 23, 2009:
From the earliest moment that our firm purchased Cypress Gardens and Splash Island Waterpark, our highest priority has always been to maintain the park’s beauty and protect its proud traditions as a mainstay of the State’s history and natural treasures. It is with these ideals in mind that we must announce that the park will be closed for business as of Wednesday, September 23, 2009.
During the last two years, Land South Adventures, LLC, has explored numerous management frameworks and exhausted every possible approach to keep the park running in its traditional form. Now, we are in the process of negotiating with several potential purchasers and lessees for all or part of the property, and do not feel it is fair to our employees, the guests, or the public to continue operations heading into the fall with the future of the property in flux. We are optimistic that the outcome will be in the best interests of both the park and the residents of Polk County and the State of Florida.
Stranger things have happened!
Find an investor to buy the name and re-locate it closer to the tourism areas -- Highway 192 or I Drive.
Who would TPI Gardens be sponsored by though?
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood