What was once billed as Americas Oldest Theme Park has closed it’s doors today….again. For the second time in as many years the park has closed it’s doors. Last time it was to restructure the park and get rid of the many coasters in favor of an expanded waterpark and to get back to it’s garden…roots.
Now, however, it seems that there are no plans for the park to reopen. From the official site:
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.
If the park were to reopen for a fourth time, what would be the fate of it? Many have said that a larger park like Blackstone has been looking at the area to buy it for a larger version of another park…Legoland. Others say that the park will stay dormant and without an occupant. Whatever happens the park needs to be able to compete directly with the likes of Universal, Sea World, Disney and Busch Gardens. In it’s current state the park can’t even compete with Old Town.