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Cypress Gardens to close (Florida's First Theme Part Osama Victim)
Polkonline.com ^ | April 11, 2003 | SANDI MARTIN

Posted on 04/23/2003 5:41:23 AM PDT by MalcolmS

WINTER HAVEN -- Cypress Gardens is closing its doors for good on Sunday because of declining attendance and a faltering tourism industry.

Florida's first theme park, which put Polk County on the map when it was founded 67 years ago, will officially shut down at 7 p.m., a decision the park's owners had virtually no control over, officials said.

According to a statement released Thursday afternoon, the park's attendance never recovered from the Sept. 11 attacks, which severely impacted the state's tourism industry.

March attendance was down 42,000 visitors from the same time last year, the statement says, and the threat of terrorism and war in Iraq have "impacted the park's ability to sustain itself."

"It is mandated by our lack of funds to sustain the normal operations," the statement says. "These diminished funds have impacted the company and placed it in this faltering and distressed situation. This distressed situation has been created as previously mentioned by unforeseen factors beyond the control of Cypress Gardens management and efforts."

Almost the entire staff will be laid off, with just a skeleton crew securing the property and wrapping up park affairs.

Employees were told about the closing Thursday afternoon.

Stacy Huey, assistant marketing manager for the park, said around 2:30 p.m. that she "just found out five minutes ago."

"This is a total shock to everyone outside of management," a noticeably upset Huey said.

Many of the employees are "really upset," said Shelly Tandbery, who owns and operates the park's dinner boat attraction, Southern Breeze.

"There's been rumors, but not to this extent," Tandbery said.

Tandbery said she and her husband hope to continue operating their dinner boat business, which they've been running under a contract with Cypress Gardens for more than four years, and fulfill the contracts they already have with groups.

"We are going to somehow try to continue with the operations there," she said.

Ticket and passholders have also been left in the lurch with the closing.

Winter Haven resident Tom Campana said he just spent $159 on two annual passes a month ago, but was told to write to an address about getting a possible refund.

The entire situation stinks, he said.

"I just feel like I shouldn't write to some address," he said. "They wouldn't even give me a contact person."

The park's phone recording had not been updated Thursday afternoon to reflect the news, stating, "Thank you for calling beautiful Cypress Gardens." The park's Web site, www.cypressgardens.com, was off-line.

And county officials, many of whom are in Tallahassee attending Polk County Day at the capitol, were also just hearing the news.

County Manager Jim Keene was reached in Tallahassee and said he'd just heard the news around 3 p.m. but didn't know much about the closing.

"I'm sure there'll be an effect on (tourism)," Keene said. "I'm not sure what their numbers are as far as attendance, but they've been struggling for the past few years. I'm sure there'll be an impact, along with everything else that's happening with tourism."

County Commissioner Charles Richardson, who represents the district Cypress Gardens is located in, had not heard about the park's closing when reached shortly after 4 p.m. in Tallahassee and responded by saying, "Good gracious."

"It put a shock into me," he said. "I hope it's not a permanent condition."

Richardson, a Polk County native, said Cypress Gardens has "been a valuable vehicle for so many people for so long," that "it's just a part of what we are in Polk County, in the Winter Haven area."

The city of Winter Haven issued a statement late Thursday afternoon stating that city officials are "saddened by the difficult decision" Reynolds and Cypress Gardens management "had to make in ceasing normal park operations, but understand you can only sustain losses for a certain period of time before certain business decisions must be made.

"We are proud of Cypress Gardens' rich and long history in our community and wish the management and employees the best," the statement concluded.

Cypress Gardens was founded by Dick Pope in 1936, but was sold to Harcourt Brace Jovanovich in 1985, who sold it to Busch Entertainment Corp. in 1989.

Reynolds and six others bought the park from Busch in 1995, but the owners reportedly had losses of $6 million over the past eight years.

The park had its niche in local tourist attractions by offering tropical plants and flowers, world-famous water ski shows and Southern belles in antebellum dresses. The park also catered to oversees couples getting married, and during its heyday was used as a backdrop for movies, attracting celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Esther Williams Johnny Carson and many others.

(Excerpt) Read more at polkonline.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: cypress
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Since the publication of this article, it has emerged that the State of Florida may buy some or all of the gardens. More articles can be found at:

Cypress Gardens Search Results

We own a house on a nice golf-course not far from Cypress Gardens (and about 20 minutes from Disney) that we rent out to vacationers on a weekly basis, and we've definitely noticed the drop-off in business.

Not only that, but we have been reverse-boycotted by the French. A French family that had contracted to stay for 3 weeks this summer called to cancel during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

How's this for an FR Fundraiser? If any FReepers are going to vacation in Florida and support the US Tourism industry (instead of going to France, Germany, or say, San Francisco), FReepmail me for the house website. If you like it, negotiate your best price, and I'll contribue $50 to FR for every week booked.

1 posted on 04/23/2003 5:41:24 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: Admin Moderator
If the FR fundraiser idea violates the advertising guidelines, please delete the comment. Thanks
2 posted on 04/23/2003 5:44:52 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: MalcolmS
In reality, attendance at Cypress Gardens had been going down for the last 10 yrs. It doesn't have much to attract children.
3 posted on 04/23/2003 5:48:40 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: MalcolmS
Earlier thread (different article on topic):

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/890446/posts

4 posted on 04/23/2003 5:56:23 AM PDT by mwyounce
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To: MalcolmS
What's stupid is that the Jeb wants us FL taxpayers to foot the bill for a failing business.
5 posted on 04/23/2003 5:58:09 AM PDT by Thane_Banquo
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To: stuartcr
The new management team was working that, within the limits of their capital. Last year, they put in a water park suitable for kids up to about 8, which was being expanded with bigger slides, etc, this year just before they closed.

However, I have to admit that going there made me feel very young (I'm 39). They would attract vast crowds of seniors for their concerts (Pat Boone, Oak Ridge Boys, Glenn Miller Band type of acts). As the concerts let out, there would be a veritable scooter/walker traffic jam.

Nevertheless, it may be a case of too little, too late.
6 posted on 04/23/2003 6:04:46 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: MalcolmS
We're in our 50's, and we felt young there! The only time we went, was to bring some seniors there to visit and reminisce.
7 posted on 04/23/2003 6:08:23 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: Thane_Banquo
Yes, not too impressed with that either. I hope they find another buyer rather than go the tax-supported route. As far as state parks go, it would be a lot of work to maintain even just the gardens on an ongoing basis compared to the more natural condition of most state parks.

Possible Buyer: (Same author and source as original article)

WINTER HAVEN -- The president of a south Georgia theme park reportedly wants to buy Cypress Gardens.

According to a news report Tuesday, Kent Buescher, president and CEO of Valdosta-based Wild Adventures, has left unanswered messages for Bill Reynolds, one of five Cypress Gardens owners who made the decision to close the Winter Haven attraction a little over a week ago.

Attempts to contact Reynolds and Buescher on Tuesday afternoon were unsuccessful.

In the news report, Buescher stated, "I feel like that property could fit. It would have to be upgraded to meet the needs of today's families ... We could restore a lot of its former glory."

Buescher has invested $65 million in Wild Adventures since it was opened seven years ago. The former petting zoo was recently named one of the top 50 amusement parks in the country by Amusement Business Magazine.

Wild Adventures is just off Interstate 75 north of the Florida-Georgia line, and features 55 rides, a petting zoo and more than 500 wild animals.

Although rumors have spread that several developers have expressed interest in purchasing Cypress Gardens, which billed itself as Florida's first theme park, Buescher is the first known private businessman looking to buy.

His interest comes as state officials negotiate with Cypress Gardens owners to buy some or all of the park through the $3 billion Florida Forever program.

Officials with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection have begun negotiations with Cypress Gardens owners at the direction of Gov. Jeb Bush, and the attraction's owners have agreed to maintain the grounds for at least three weeks while negotiations are held.

At the same time, a task force made up of local residents, activists and private business owners has been appointed to determine how much of the park the public would like saved.

The Cypress Gardens Task Force is being headed up by Rick Dantzler, a former state senator and an in-law of the Popes, the park's founding family.

The task force will tour Cypress Gardens from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. Thursday, then return to the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce at 9:30 a.m. to gather public input.

After finding its niche by offering its world famous water ski shows and botanical gardens, Cypress Gardens was unable to compete with other theme parks in the area such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios.

The attraction's owners said the park never recovered from the Sept. 11 attacks and the resulting drop in attendance. After reaching a high in the mid-1980s of 1.4 million visitors, Cypress Gardens' attendance had dwindled to a few hundred thousand a year when it closed April 13.

"I think it was trying to compete in an arena it was ill-suited for," said Chamber Executive Director Bob Gernert, who is helping lead the charge to save the original 36 acres of the park.

Gernert said he thought anyone trying to open a thrill ride park near Disney and Universal would run into the same problems the owners of Cypress Gardens did.

In contrast to Cypress Gardens' attendance in recent years, Wild Adventures has seen its attendance rise steadily, reaching 1.25 million visitors last year.

"There's no doubt the man has run a very successful thrill ride park in Valdosta, Ga.," Gernert said. "But he doesn't have another competitor within 150 miles of him. And that contributes to his success."

When experts in tourism say that thrill rides can't compete with Disney and Universal, Gernert said, that "is a position that I find very logical."

Gernert added that although he loves thrill rides, "Do I want to see one on Cypress Gardens Boulevard?"


8 posted on 04/23/2003 6:11:43 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: MalcolmS
Perhaps this will cause a domino effect and force a few of the others to lower their ridiculous entry fees.
9 posted on 04/23/2003 6:20:46 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: MalcolmS
Isn't it just possible that Cypress Gardens had a good run, but just can't keep up with the market?

With young kids, I've already got too many choices between Disney, Universal, Sea World and Busch Gardens. With only a week to spend (as well as limited buck) Cypress Gardens wouldn't be on my radar screen, like it might have been 30 years ago.

I don't deny the premise that 9-11 and the war on terror have had a negative effect on tourism. That's well documented.

But I'm not sure it was the death sentence for Cypress Gardens.

10 posted on 04/23/2003 6:26:53 AM PDT by Corin Stormhands (HHD, FRM, RFA)
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To: MalcolmS
For those interested in taking a photo tour of Cypress Gardens, here are some links to photos I took in 2000 and 2001:

Botanical Section

Butterfly Aviary

Miscellaneous

Photos from 2001

11 posted on 04/23/2003 6:27:37 AM PDT by MrTed
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Perhaps this will cause a domino effect and force a few of the others to lower their ridiculous entry fees.

Correct me... and 'splain... if I'm wrong, but wouldn't the law of supply and demand indicate otherwise?

12 posted on 04/23/2003 6:31:18 AM PDT by ericthecurdog
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To: MalcolmS
Part of the problem is that the "entertainment" of watching water-skiers and southern belles at 34.95 a pop just doesn't fly nowadays for the most part.

My grandparents owned a business in Winter Haven. I remember as a child going to the Gardens in the 70's and some of the same entertainment has been booked over and over and over for years. It is as if they expected the "seasoned citizen" population of the 1970's to continue to be around into the present day.

The day the announcement was made one WH city official (can't remember the name) made a remark to the paper about the war in Iraq being the last straw. As if people were dying to see that upcoming Roy Clark concert but were somehow prevented from travelling because of our victory.

13 posted on 04/23/2003 6:32:29 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: MrTed
You're a pretty damn good photographer. What outdoor film or megapixel do you use?
14 posted on 04/23/2003 6:32:38 AM PDT by ericthecurdog
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Comment #15 Removed by Moderator

To: stuartcr
Cypress Gardens is an old fashioned park. It is the type of place you want to go for long walks in banks of flowers. The rides are great for really little ones - you know, merry go rounds and such. But they certainly can't compare to the megahuge theme parks in the area.

16 posted on 04/23/2003 6:33:46 AM PDT by I still care (America is great because it is good. When it ceases to be good, it will cease to be great.)
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To: MalcolmS
I think that terrorism was just the last nail in the coffin....(and an easy out).....agree with others that the Gardens are low on the radar screens of FL travelers. Heck, you can spend 2 weeks in Orlando and still not do everything there.....
17 posted on 04/23/2003 6:36:50 AM PDT by ContemptofCourt
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To: I still care
Right, and the mega-huge ones are the ones that attract the age group that generates mega-huge revenues. Please don't get me wrong, I enjoy CG, it's very pleasant and reminds one of the old days, it's a shame it can't compete.
19 posted on 04/23/2003 6:47:23 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: ericthecurdog
Why, yes, it does. But doesn't this show a lessening demand?

Of course they can raise their prices even higher in an attempt to squeeze even more money from fewer people instead of lowering their prices and expanding the base. After all, isn't that the way the government does it?

P.S. Read my tagline.
20 posted on 04/23/2003 6:49:11 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: stuartcr
It doesn't have much to attract children.

When my son was small we enjoyed Cypress Gardens because it was "low key" with no lines.

After our fill of Disney Parks, we found that a season pass to Busch Gardens was the best value (visit once during a certain month and get a pass for the entire year), and had lots of things that kids enjoy so we get a pass every year to Busch Gardens in Tampa.

Now that he's a teenager, Universal would be his preference, but we save those visits for "special occasions" and only get to Universal about once every other year.

21 posted on 04/23/2003 6:53:01 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: dawn53
CG has gone the way of all the other Fla attractions..Parrot Jungle, some of the water parks, alligator theme parks, serpents, etc. Nature is not exciting enough for kids anymore.
22 posted on 04/23/2003 6:56:18 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: stuartcr
"Nature is not exciting enough for kids anymore."

True, and a Debbie Boone concert isn't either.

23 posted on 04/23/2003 7:00:31 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Of course they can raise their prices even higher in an attempt to squeeze even more money from fewer people instead of lowering their prices and expanding the base. After all, isn't that the way the government does it?

Prices have already been effectively lowered, but there is a two-tier pricing structure in effect.

For example, Busch Gardens (Tampa) and SeaWorld (Orlando) have been offering a two-for-one deal for tourists. Buy one day (about $50) and come back free for a second day. And most people really do need 2 days to see everything.

However, Florida residents can pay for one day and come back free all year. You still get dinged for parking etc. About the same time this was done, it seems like food prices inside the park (not allowed to bring your own picnic) went up by about 50%, and most new construction involves souvenier shops. It appears that the business model is shifting away from admission fees and towards inside-the-park sales.

24 posted on 04/23/2003 7:02:27 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: MalcolmS
You have mail
25 posted on 04/23/2003 7:05:39 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: stuartcr
Nature is not exciting enough for kids anymore

In a way this is true. But if you live in Florida (as we do), you'll probably be confronted by nature on a regular basis. We live in a large city, but near a nature preserve.

Alligators are a common sight (we've even had to chase one out of our back yard), and we see bald eagles, egrit, herons, rosette spoonbills, quaker parrots (lots of those noisy birds), osprey, owls, racoons, opposums, gopher tortoise, etc. on an almost daily basis.

So only tourists would find "Florida nature" a real draw. If a Floridian wants to see an alligator, why pay money, just go to your nearest golf course.

Busch Gardens has a pretty impressive zoo, and I think that adds to it's attractiveness as a theme park. Much better than the Disney zoo.

26 posted on 04/23/2003 7:08:28 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: MalcolmS
You have no idea how this news distresses me - I'm glad to hear the State of FLA may be buying the property - it is a marvel unto itself.

I may be in contact with you sooner or later re: the house rental. My folks live in Lake Wales; my mother was born there in 1929 (my grandparents moved there right after The Crash because my grandpa took the City Clerk job - it was a job after all ;-), and my parents live there now after moving back there in the mid 1980's, but don't have room to house our family when we visit. Dick Pope was a very good friend of my grandpa's and we used to visit there every summer of my childhood since my grandparents were given all-season passes (my grandpa was a big tourist promoter in the central FLA area).

Also, my grandparents were also at the opening ceremony of the Bok Singing Tower where they had a dinner with "Silent Cal" Coolidge who was there. Have you ever done "Spook Hill" in Lake Wales? I'm telling you - you haven't lived unless you have! ;-)

27 posted on 04/23/2003 7:16:06 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: stuartcr
In reality, attendance at Cypress Gardens had been going down for the last 10 yrs. It doesn't have much to attract children.

Sorry - bzzzzzzzzzt. Wrong answer. (Reference my post above.) I loved the place when I was a kid - used to spend a LOT of time there every summer when we'd visit our grandparents who ran a ma & pa motel in nearby Lake Wales. I loved the ski show AND the gardens. Unbelievably beautiful. The Botanic Gardens in the Chicago area is a big hit with the kids - the schools around here are always getting the kids there for Field Trips. I have yet to hear any complaints about that from my kids or any of their friends for that matter.

28 posted on 04/23/2003 7:18:50 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: MrTed
I wish I had a way to convert the 16mm movies my grandpa took of Cypress Gardens ski shows during the 1950's and 1960's. He had a regular seat in the photographers reviewing stand.
29 posted on 04/23/2003 7:20:58 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: dawn53
I remember when a Busch Gardens visit meant a tour through the factory, some time in their menagerie (where a parrot bit a button off my sister's shirt) and my dad drinking beer in their sample tent. Mind you, this was back in the late 1960's! ;-)
30 posted on 04/23/2003 7:24:12 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: MalcolmS
BTW, by your profile, I see you are relatively new to FR - welcome!
31 posted on 04/23/2003 7:24:46 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: MalcolmS
What the REAL deal about what makes Cypress Garden special is that it is a very unique place and does indeed have a certain "historical" value to the State of FL, for it was one of the first really big-deal tourist attractions in the state. And I'm not kidding. My grandparents moved to central FL when there really WAS a LOT of swamp land for sale ;-).

The REAL value is in the gardens and its proximity to the lake. If the State of FLA takes it over, it should get some sort of State Park designation. Entry fees would support its maintenance on that level.

32 posted on 04/23/2003 7:28:30 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Also, my grandparents were also at the opening ceremony of the Bok Singing Tower where they had a dinner with "Silent Cal" Coolidge who was there. Have you ever done "Spook Hill" in Lake Wales? I'm telling you - you haven't lived unless you have! ;-)

Wow! Talk about local connections.

My wife's Mom stayed in Lake Wales last winter. We drove past the Spook Hill sign many times, but never took the opportunity. I'll be sure to next time--at least the price is right.

33 posted on 04/23/2003 7:40:56 AM PDT by MalcolmS
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
"If the State of FLA takes it over, it should get some sort of State Park designation. Entry fees would support its maintenance on that level."

In theory, yes. In reality we'll likely see a raise in some taxes (The same way St Pete did with Sunken Gardens a while ago). The mantra of free-markets will go out the door because no local politician will want to be painted as "against the Gardens".

Funny thing is that in another article posted above, a Georgia businessman has offered to open discussions about buying the park but the current owner won't return the calls and some WH city officials are trying to make rules about what the park should be like if a buyer is found.

Sounds to me like they want their cake and the ability to eat it, too.

34 posted on 04/23/2003 7:42:07 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
You still can take the tour and get free beer at the hospitality house.
35 posted on 04/23/2003 7:45:00 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
I visited the Bok Tower for the first time just two weeks ago and that park is beautiful! Before we left Lake Wales we drove over to Spook Hill and followed the instructions on the sign but we didn't "get" it. Our car just rolled backwards from the white line. What did we miss?
36 posted on 04/23/2003 7:48:49 AM PDT by inflorida
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To: dawn53
I lived in a lot of places for quite a while in Fla, and yes, nature is right outside the door in most places....and it usually tries to come inside if you let it.
37 posted on 04/23/2003 7:53:11 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Sorry, not a wrong answer...attendance has been going down. I've been there, and all the other Fla places. I liked them too, but it still doesn't draw like Disney. You don't hear complaints because the people that do go there enjoy it, you just don't see many kids there.
38 posted on 04/23/2003 7:58:21 AM PDT by stuartcr
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To: stuartcr
Another issue is the annual pass holders will (or did) increase attendance on concert days. Problem was that no more revenue could be recognized; especially if the crowd often left as soon as the concert was over and never spent a dime on concessions inside the park or on souvenirs. Typically they left to go to the closest restaurant and order the senior special and gyp the wait staff of a tip after service
39 posted on 04/23/2003 8:04:25 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: stuartcr
I lived in a lot of places for quite a while in Fla, and yes, nature is right outside the door in most places....and it usually tries to come inside if you let it

We had an egrit that would come into the yard on a regular basis, so we started feeding him bait fish. If you left the front door open, he'd follow you right into the house.

40 posted on 04/23/2003 8:09:07 AM PDT by dawn53
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To: stuartcr
It doesn't have much to attract children.

Really? My family visited Florida when I was 8, and I still have more vivid memories of Cypress Gardens than Disneyworld. I had a blast; it rained hard all day, and I didn't care.

41 posted on 04/23/2003 8:33:48 AM PDT by RansomOttawa (tm)
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To: inflorida
Your car is rolling backwards - UP HILL!
42 posted on 04/23/2003 8:37:41 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: inflorida
The Mystery of Spook Hill by Spook Hill Elementary School

Indian Legend
After the Seminoles left the Cherokee nation, they settled in Central Florida away from the white man's lodges to the North. One legendary chief settled on the lake which is now known as Lake Wailes. Here he had all the advantages of a high campsite on a lake which offered fresh water and good fishing. It was also close to Iron Mountain which, as the highest point in Florida, was sacred to the Indians' Sun God.

The chief, Cufcowellax, and his people were happy for several years, but then one day a huge bull alligator moved into the lake and began to harass the tribe. Soon it began nightly raids on the village, and the tribe lived in terror of this evil spirit that inhabited their lake.

The legend says that Cufcowellax was a chief of great physical prowess and courage. He had great stature among his people both as a warrior and as a ruler. When he saw his people in constant fear, the chief, fearing for their safety, set out to conquer the evil spirit. His tribal shaman and elders placed him under the protection of the Great Spirit and he began his search.

Though many suns came and went, he could not catch the 'gator. Finally one morning he came upon the 'gator on the northwest shore as it dragged another night's victim into the lake.

The legend says the chief battled the 'gator on land and water for a moon, and then suddenly the great thrashing stopped, and the water of the lake turned red.

The tribe watched the surface of the lake in fearful anticipation. With great joy they saw their chief rise from the water. In the midst of their celebration they saw something else. The great battle had made a smaller lake near the big one. When the chief died, he was buried on the shore of the little lake, Ticowa, and the place became sacred to the Indians.

Discovery of Spook Hill
The Indians lost their camping grounds to the encroaching white settlers. Circuit riders carrying mail between the coasts used the old trail around Lake Ticowa until they discovered that their horses were laboring downhill. It was they who first called the place Spook Hill.

Some forty years later as the area developed, the citrus industry grew. Soon the hills around Lake Ticowa were covered with citrus groves. Workers driving their wagons around the lake were startled to find their mule teams struggling downhill with a load.

Years later the road was paved and residents found their cars would roll uphill by themselves. Others came to test this phenomenon, and it soon became a major attraction for visitors.

43 posted on 04/23/2003 8:41:28 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: stuartcr
I guess I'm not explaining myself very well. Why does every place have to be a full-fledged amusement park? Part of the joy of the Gardens was......... the GARDENS - the gardens in and of themselves are a botanical treasure - which is something the Disney properties sorely lack with their fake facades, etc. Even their zoo is very lacking in that regard. And the Florida-shaped pool. And the boat ride through the glades. And the peaceful serenity. Even as a kid I appreciated these things. And my kids appreciate them too. Not every place has to have roller coasters and high-tech thrills.
44 posted on 04/23/2003 8:43:59 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: RansomOttawa
I'm with you (reference my posts above :-).
45 posted on 04/23/2003 8:45:25 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: inflorida

46 posted on 04/23/2003 8:46:51 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Disney is as fake as it gets, but the model works. The Gardens are beautiful, but failed to adjust to the market enough and in time. (At least for now)

As I said before, $34.95 to watch water skiers may have had something to do with it.

47 posted on 04/23/2003 8:50:05 AM PDT by Sam's Army
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To: inflorida
http://www.boktower.org/

Long story short - the surroundings outside of the Bok Tower Sanctuary and Gardens - constitute the town of "Mountain Lake" which was one of the very first gated communities in the entire US. There's a lot of "old money" there - the people who bought property there in the early 1900's were the tycoons and the "robber barons" like the Rockefellers, etc. My dad still maintains his locksmithing business and regularly services locks on the estate homes, so he gets paid with checks written on all the NY & Chicago high-powered banks ;-).

48 posted on 04/23/2003 8:53:12 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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To: NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
Thanks, I get it now. It just seemed that the white line was a bit uphill but I guess it is about the illusion.
49 posted on 04/23/2003 8:53:30 AM PDT by inflorida
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To: Sam's Army
I would definitely agree that that price is not in line with the market.
50 posted on 04/23/2003 8:54:25 AM PDT by NotJustAnotherPrettyFace
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