Marion becomes a sports tourism destination with the addition of WEC & FAST

Just over five decades ago, Marion County was one of the biggest tourist spots in most of Florida. It was a time before disney world when the area offered glass-bottom boat rides at Silver Springs Attraction and shootouts at Six Gun Territory.

In 1978, as tourism began to decline as travelers passed through Ocala on Interstate 75 en route to Orlando, ABC Television opened Wild Waters near the main entrance to Silver Springs. In 1984, ABC sold its interests and Six Gun Territory closed.

Although Silver Springs Attraction continued to survive thanks to a concert venue and local season pass holders, it eventually closed in 2013 and was turned into a state park. The era of filming Tarzan, Ross Allen’s animals and jeep rides belonged to history.

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