Marion now a sports tourism destination with addition of WEC & FAST

A little more than five decades ago, Marion County was one of the biggest tourism spots in most of Florida. It was a time before Disney World when the area featured glass-bottom boat rides at Silver Springs Attraction and shootouts at Six Gun Territory.

By 1978, as tourism began to shrink as travelers passed Ocala on Interstate 75 en route to Orlando, ABC Television opened Wild Waters near the front entrance of Silver Springs. By 1984, ABC sold its interests and Six Gun Territory shut its doors.

Though Silver Springs Attraction continued to survive thanks to a music venue and local season pass holders, it finally closed in 2013 and was turned into a state park. The days of Tarzan movie filming, Ross Allen’s animals and Jeep rides were history.

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