Everglades Gatorland Collectors Edition
Mark Andrew Thomas
Photograph - Digital
EVERGLADES GATORLAND COLLECTORS EDITION
Off of a stretch of U.S. Highway 27 in South Bay, Florida stood the ruins of a once popular tourist attraction near South Bay, FL. Unfortunately since this photograph the structure was demolished and the land is now for sale. Everglades Gatorland opened in 1959 and featured a gas station, food, a gift shop, and of course live alligators and other wildlife. Tourists used to come by the busload to this roadside attraction which remained popular through the 1970's until the theme parks gradually took away the business and U.S. Highway 27 became more of a roadway for locals and truckers rather than tourists.
Back in it's heyday in the 1960's and 70's, this was a very popular attraction. It was a different and simpler time back then and places like this were a common sight. I have memories of my parents taking me here back in 1968 when we first moved to Florida. With the rise of the Disney Theme Parks and other attractions, not to mention stricter regulations regarding captive animals, it was only a matter of time before this roadside attraction was forced to close. Despite all this it managed to stay open until the early 90's before closing it doors forever.
February 10th, 2017
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