Polk County Officials Visit Valdosta to Discuss Future of Cypress Gardens

Polk County leaders got a chance to look at what the future holds for the historic Florida theme park, Cypress Gardens. Leaders from Polk County got a firsthand tour of Wild Adventures led by park owner Kent Buescher. The delegation also got to hear what the plans are for Cypress Gardens.

Wild Adventures owner Kent Buecher led a delegation of leaders from Polk County Florida, on a tour of his first theme park. He answered their questions, and also shared with them his vision for the newly acquired Cypress Gardens.

"It'll be a place a family can afford to go, and I think that's exactly what I envision. Cypress Gardens will not house the biggest or fastest roller coasters in the southeast," says Kent Buescher, new Cypress Gardens owner.

But Buescher says the new Cypress Gardens will also have the same type of roller coasters found at Wild Adventures. People visiting from Polk County were very interested in how large of an investment will be made into Cypress Gardens.

Buescher says he expects to pump at least $50 million into the park.

"When we originally started this, Kent thought he'd invest $50 million, and we're now at $70 million and he hasn't slowed down yet," says Tildon Smith, Financial Vice President.

The Polk County delegation was impressed with how well the Valdosta theme park draws people in from other areas. There are an estimated 85,000 people in Lowndes County, but there are 160,000 Wild Adventures yearlong pass holders.

All those guest help fuel wild adventures $32 million budget. That money helps the south Georgia economy. Wild Adventures spends about $5 million in employee salaries, plus it generates tax revenue from all the visitors. That was just the kind of news the folks from the Cypress Garden area wanted to hear.

Wild Adventures park passes will be honored at Cypress Gardens so that in itself could attract more than 160,000 new visitors.