This weekend the Orlando Sentinel ran a long piece on experts opining about potential softness in the tourism market for central Florida. In short, things are softening, but so far, it’s not as bad as some thought. Major players like Walt Disney World, Universal, and SeaWorld have name recognition and ability to reach foreign tourists to help them through a soft patch.
However, the soft economy has impacted Cypress Gardens to the point where they’re switching to a Friday through Sunday operation schedule once the summer season is over. Right now their online calendar shows the reduced schedule beginning Tuesday September 2nd.
It’s a shame really. Because Cypress Gardens is really a great day-park and, in addition to the great amusement park attractions, a piece of Florida history. I hope the new management team is able to keep things going through the lean times.
No word yet on how this will impact the employees of the park. Obviously it can’t be good for some of them.
One suggestion. Work with local communities, civic and school groups, home owners associations, and governments to arrange bus rides and discount tickets for locals who otherwise may not drive down due to the cost of gas.