Troubled Marineland attraction to reopen

May 9, 2005 at 11:32 AM

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., May 9 (UPI) -- The 67-year-old Marineland tourist attraction south of St. Augustine, Fla., plans to reopen this summer as an eco-tourist attraction.

The park was bankrupted by alleged poor management and was finally closed last year after it was battered by three hurricanes.

General Manager Billy Hurley said Marineland will open this summer but no definite date has been set, the Orlando Sentinel reported Monday.

"The best way I can describe it is to say it will be Dolphin Quest meets a university research lab meets a high-end destination property," Hurley said.

It will include a $10 million dolphin lagoon, marking a departure from earlier failed attempts to revive the six-acre park or tear it down and develop its choice oceanfront site.

It is being built by Jim Jacoby, an Atlanta developer, who says it will be a high-end, eco-tourism destination.

The original owners when Marineland opened in 1938 as an oceanarium and research lab named Marine Studios were millionaire Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, his cousin W. Douglas Burden and Ilia Tolstoy, grandson of Russian author Leo Tolstoy.

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