Local paper interviews new owners of Cypress Gardens

Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008 9:45 AM | Contributed by Jeff

On a beautiful evening at Cypress Gardens Adventure Park on Thursday, just before the park's staff was treated to an appreciation supper, new park owners Rob Harper and Brian Philpot sat down for an exclusive interview with the News Chief. Joining Harper and Philpot, owners of Land South Holdings LLC in south Lakeland, for the unscripted and casual conversation was Steve Baker, the president of Orlando-based Baker Leisure Group, which was announced Jan. 5 as the park's new management company.

Read more from The News Chief.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:13 PM
I have to say, I like their enlightened attitude. They know what they've acquired and its historical significance. Now they need to follow through with actions, good management, and with luck the people will come.

If only more park owner/operators had this enlightenment . . .

Tuesday, January 15, 2008 4:18 PM
As much as it is an unpopular statement I have to agree that they do not need any new rides at this point. What they have there is a good selection but it does need a better arrangement pattern. The walkway up to the Flying Skooters with the two wooden coasters, the bowl raft slide, Yo-Yo and kiddie rides are really nicely laid out.

Once you pass the Flying Skooters and the Spinning Wild Mouse the rides look like some carnival just came in & dumped them there. The low "bowl" area needs some sprucing up. The games area looks like a warehouse that someone just plopped some games in. More landscaping is a necessity in this area.

The gardens are being worked on but some non-ride attractions need to be in place here as well. The living statues, some unusual flower gardens WITH statuary or environments (like Disney's AK). In addition to their wonderful butterfly garden how about an aviary with exotic birds. They are doing some with the zoo area but more can be accomplished.

Bring back the scenic boat tours (although some canal dredging may be necessary). Have more spectacular plants & flowering plants. When I first visited last year they had a carnivorous garden and great flowering colorful sections. While it was not necessarily the flowering season when I went this year the spectaculars and the carnivores were gone.

This park has great potential and a nice change of pace from the Disney/Orlando parks. It is more of a traditional amusement park with the gardens added


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