Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

March 28, 2013

Wild Adventures’ return is good for business

VALDOSTA — Wild Adventures has been open two weeks now and has been going full tilt.

The park has already hosted 38 Special and the Oak Ridge Boys in concert.

Park officials invited community leaders to take a spin on the new TailSpin ride and there is also the new Wacky Wheels ride for younger visitors.

On Tuesday, Wild Adventures hosted Business After Hours.

For the rest of this week and next week, with area students out for spring break, the park will open weekdays.

In the coming weeks, Splash Island water park will open April 6.

Wild Adventures has become a cornerstone of the region’s economy bringing thousands of visitors to Valdosta, Lowndes County and South Georgia each year.

The park started in the mid-1990s as Liberty Farms Animal Park, a small convention center with a meeting place and a petting zoo of livestock animals one would expect seeing in a rural Southern location.

Then came the addition of giraffe loping along the South Georgia landscape.

One Christmas in the mid-1990s, Liberty Farms presented a show with hundreds of thousands of lights illuminating the holiday skies. This light show attracted thousands of visitors, with cars lining Old Clyattville Road for miles as motorists waited their turn to see the lights.

Before many people knew what to make of a giraffe and lines of visitors, Liberty Farms became Wild Adventures, presenting rides, big-name concerts, more exotic animals, and many other attractions. As time passed, Wild Adventures added the popular Splash Island water park, filled with slides, pools and fun perfect for the South Georgia heat.

Through the years, the park’s ownership changed, but some things have not changed. Wild Adventures continues being a destination and the park is a dynamic piston in South Georgia’s economic engine. Park visitors spend money on hotel-motel rooms. They buy meals in area restaurants. They fill their gas tanks at area pumps. They shop in regional stores. And these purchases put money in our area tax coffers.

South Georgia should also do its part in supporting Wild Adventures. Visit on the weekend. See a concert. Take the kids next week during spring break. Have an adventure, have some fun, and help the local economy.

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