Gatorland's reopening set for Nov. 24
Sara K. Clarke | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted November 16, 2006
Gatorland officials have pushed back the park's reopening by two days, saying Wednesday that the park will open on Nov. 24.
"The construction would've been completed, but in order to handle our guests safely and efficiently from the new entrance, I believe we needed another day to work out our operations," said Gatorland President and Chief Executive Officer Mark McHugh.
Last week, a fire destroyed the 57-year-old park's gift shop and executive offices, charring the iconic alligator jaws that welcomed visitors to the park.
For the reopening, guests will enter through a temporary rustic admission gate near the Gator Wrestlin' arena.
This year marks the first time the park will be closed on Thanksgiving, giving employees a well-deserved holiday.
"We're going to give our employees off because they have just done a magnificent job pulling together to get this park open," McHugh said.
All exhibits and show areas will be open and operational, the company said. The reopening will include school bands, animal encounters, Southern folk music and drawings for prizes such as annual passes.
Proceeds from the opening day will be donated to the Children's Burn Foundation of Florida, in honor of the local fire and rescue workers who saved the attraction.