Theme Park Creates Serious Economic Benefits

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In local business news, Wild Adventures theme park in Valdosta continues to climb the list of the nation's top theme parks. Booming attendance has vaulted the park to number 38 in the nation. That's out of some 400 theme parks.

Wild Adventures theme park near Valdosta played host to more than 1.47 million guests in 2005, moving it up the list of the top 50 theme parks to number 38, the park's highest ranking so far.

Sara Sumner, Wild Adventures spokeswoman, says, "It's really an accomplishment because when you look at the names that are on that top 50 list, you have names like Anheuser-Busch, Paramount, Disney and Six Flags, so we're really up there among the corporate giants."

The success has also translated into job growth both at the park and at surrounding businesses.

While moving up the list of America's top 50 theme parks has been good for the folks who run Wild Adventures, it's also been a big boost for the local economy as well, as this park continues to draw in more visitors, meaning increased tourism spending.

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County spokesperson, says, "Wild Adventures is part of the economic engine that we have here in our community, and it's allowed us to weather the economic storm that some other parts of the south have suffered with over the past few years."

Sumner adds, "I think with the attendance we're showing, the park will continue both in supplying jobs and also benefiting the tourism in this area for years to come."

Park officials expect to continually move up the national rankings with hopes of drawing at least 1.5 million visitors in 2006.