Friday, April 11, 2003

No More Cypress Gardens?-I didn't visit the park in the ten months I've been here, but the Cypress Gardens theme park in Winter Haven is closing Sunday; the news was just announced today. Attendance was down enough to finally do the park in. That's short notice; their employees have only three days before they're hitting the bricks. I remember seeing some waterskiing contests on ESPN (must of been a slow day) from Cypress Gardens years ago, which is about the limit of my remembrances of the place; a number of films were shot on location there. That's going to mean a change for Winter Haven. The two big draws for the local economy are CG and the Indians' spring training and the Indians are all but ready to head down to Fort Myers. The main drag on the east side of town, FL-540, is Cypress Gardens Boulevard and the road that drives past our apartment complex is Cypress Gardens Road. The road signs at the US-27 exit of I-4 point to Cypress Gardens and not Winter Haven. In a way, that's good news for me. Cypress Gardens isn't generating a big part of Warner Southern's clientele and the loss of jobs should depress the real estate market at a time when I'm looking to buy a house. Traffic on the Boulevard should be down a bit, which will make it easier for Eileen and I to commute. I'm almost about to say "I love the smell of a deteriorating local economy in the morning."

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