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Talk of the bay: First suitor makes proposal for theme park

St. Petersburg Times

Original Article »

September 24, 2007

A Mulberry investment group has filed a base bid of $16.8-million to take over Cypress Gardens in a bankruptcy court auction that comes to a head this week. Led by attorney Brian Philpot, the group called Land Holdings South LLC is the first of several suitors expected before a judge chooses the winner in a hearing scheduled for Thursday. Philpot's group reportedly plans to keep Florida's first theme park locally owned and operating. Current owner Kent Buescher steered the Winter Haven park and his Wild Adventures Park in Valdosta, Ga., into Chapter 11 protection under pressure from creditors who loaned him $25-million to get Cypress Gardens open after three hurricanes ripped through the construction site in 2004. Buescher is locked in a separate court fight over how much of the damage and repair work was covered by insurance.

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