Wild Adventures files for Chapter 11 protection - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Wild Adventures files for Chapter 11 protection

September 13, 2006

Valdosta - In 2004, three major hurricanes hit Florida in six weeks.

The storms caused major damage to Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven Florida, a state icon that Wild Adventures owner Kent Buescher saved from a wrecking ball just months before.  "But what happened was we were hit with three hurricanes and we have yet to settle the insurance claim which is upwards of 25 million dollars," says Jimmy Holmes, Vice President of Marketing and Entertainment at Wild Adventures.

Two years later and that insurance claim has yet to be settled.  So Buescher and his company Adventure Parks Group have filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U-S Bankruptcy Code.

But bankruptcy is a word park officials don't like.  They say this is a way to reorganize and restructure both parks.  "We plan this reorganization process to take actions to position the parks for future success while improving our guest experience," Holmes added.

This includes adding more shows to their concert line-ups and improving customer satisfaction. Park officials say they have no intention of shutting their gates and hope visitors will keep supporting the parks.  Holmes says, "The park is here, we are open, business as usual and we want you to come out here and experience the positive changes that are happening throughout the park."

They say the parks 1,200 employees will not be affected by any of these changes.  "We are not planning any layoffs at all.  Our employees will continue to get paid, still get their 401K, all the benefits we offer our employees are still in place."

Park officials are optimistic about settling the insurance claim soon.

Feedback: news@walb.com?subject=CypressGardens/Eakin

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