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
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.