According to Kent Buescher, the group’s president and CEO, “We have worked with various parties since March to create the best outcome for the estate and balance the needs of the people we serve.”
The parks will not close, he adds, even for a day, during the process and the employees and guests will be taken care of. “There is no risk that these parks will close. They are worth a lot of money running, but worth very little in pieces,” referring to rumours that the parks will be purchased, closed and the rides, animals, etc sold off to other entities.
Two interested parties have already been identified as being interested in purchasing each property. The minimum price for Wild Adventures. Valdosta, Georgia, has been set at $35,850,000 and $17,400,000 for Cypress Gardens, Winter Haven, Florida. Three consecutive hurricanes that hit Cypress Gardens in 2004 were the catalysts that started the company down the bankruptcy path. The insurance claim remains unresolved and is still in litigation.
“There are still many options for the company,” concludes Buescher. “I can’t tell you for certain what’s going to happen, but I expect to have new financial backers. I would like to still be involved in the company, but all is to be determined. My job is to take care of our guests. We are managing through the process, and are looking forward to the day that both of these parks emerge from these clouds, which will happen in early October, one way or another. Both parks have an extremely bright future.”