Cypress Gardens may have a future


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida Gov. Jeb Bush directed officials of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to meet with Cypress Gardens chairman and CEO Bill Reynolds to discuss the possible acquisition of the park by the state through the Florida Forever conservation program.

"The governor was saddened to hear they were closing their doors," said a spokeswoman. "It's a part of Florida's history."

A federal works project during the Great Depression and the state's oldest theme park, Cypress Gardens closed April 13 after 67 years. The state is looking at the possibility of turning it into a state-run park.

Reynolds said the Winter Haven, Fla.-based lost more than $6 million since he and an investor group purchased it from Anheuser-Busch in 1995, adding that business never rebounded from the drop in tourism after 9/11.

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