CYPRESS GARDENS, Fla., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The new owners of
Florida's Cypress Gardens have announced a significant operational change
at the historic attraction. Owners say the move will create a more
energized, fun- filled experience that will be applauded by Cypress
Gardens' current guest base and create strong appeal to both area residents
and visitors to Central Florida.
Baker Leisure Group, headquartered in Orlando, respected worldwide as
one of the premiere consulting and management specialists in the themed
attractions industry, has been appointed to operate the 71-year old Florida
themed attraction. "This is an important first step toward providing our
guests with a more positive, memorable guest experience," said co-owners
Rob Harper and Brian Philpot, who announced Baker Leisure Group's
appointment on Tuesday. Harper and Philpot said the change does not affect
the attraction's operating staff, but replaces the contractor that had been
managing Cypress Gardens on interim basis since the two Polk County natives
purchased the attraction last October. The operational changeover is
"We are fortunate to have Baker Leisure Group at Cypress Gardens. They
are one of the premier management companies in the world and based in
Central Florida. Cypress Gardens needs a strong community presence, an
element the Baker group understands," said Harper and Philpot. Baker
Leisure Group, comprised of veterans of some of the world's most successful
theme parks and attractions, has earned worldwide recognition for their
attraction and theme park management capabilities. The Orlando-based
company has handled assignments ranging from the popular Coca-Cola Olympic
City at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games to planning, opening and managing Al
Shallal, Saudi Arabia one of the largest theme parks in the Middle East.
Altogether, Baker Leisure Group has been involved with more than 100 theme
parks, attractions and related assignments around the world since the firm
was founded in 1988 by 40-year theme park and attractions management
specialist Steve Baker.
Harper and Philpot also stresses that the attraction will maintain a
close relationship with the local community. Community relations programs
will include partnerships with local businesses, greater community
involvement and a proactive outreach to Cypress Gardens' "alumni" and fans.
Cypress Gardens staff were notified of the operational change on
Tuesday morning. Vendors and suppliers to Cypress Gardens were also
notified of the change, along with assurances that the change is a
reflection of the new ownership's confidence in the park's future.
The ownership team said they are in the process of notifying a number
of other influential local audiences in Central Florida, including tourism
industry and economic development leadership, as well as current ticket
holders and volunteers who have lobbied to keep Cypress Gardens operating
after the attraction suffered attendance declines in the 1980s and 1990s
and an ownership change in 2005.
"Visitors to Cypress Gardens will notice a more lively, interactive,
engaging atmosphere as we move forward," said Steve Baker, whose company
has assumed operational control of the attraction. "We provide the best
overall guest experience possible. The changes will range from cosmetic to
cultural. Cypress Gardens enthusiasts will recognize and applaud the
changes and potential guests, particularly families living in the
fast-growing Polk County metropolitan area, will have plenty of reasons to
want to visit the attraction for the first time or make a return visit."
Baker said operational changes will address intangibles such as more
extensive staff training, revised internal operating procedures such as
queue line management and more accessible food and beverage service, as
well as more visible changes.
Land South Holdings Group
Land South Holdings, based in Mulberry, Fla., is a real estate
investment company specializing in large land acquisitions in the United
Baker Leisure Group
Baker Leisure Group based in Orlando, Fla., is a multi-faceted
management and consulting company specializing in attractions,
entertainment centers and tourism businesses. www.bakerleisuregroup.com
SOURCE Cypress Gardens