National recognition sought for Cypress Gardens

9:41 AM, Jun 5, 2013   |    comments
The water ski ballet line at Cypress Gardens became a fixture in the 1950s. This is from author Lu Vickers' collection. / Reprinted from Lu Vickers in USA Today
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BARTOW, Florida (AP) - Polk County commissioners are on board with an effort to bring national recognition to the former Cypress Gardens tourist attraction.

The commission on Tuesday approved a resolution supporting the idea being floated by the executive director of the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of commerce.

Bob Gernert explained in a letter to commissioners that being listed on the National Register of Historic Places would aid in attempts to promote heritage tourism in the county.

The Ledger of Lakeland reports the area could also be eligible for historic preservation funds to restore the Florida-shaped swimming pool. Cypress Gardens included a botanical gardens and ski shows that debuted in 1943.

The park closed in 2009 and much of the property was developed into Legoland. Polk County still owns 30 acres.

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