Silver Springs to become Florida state park

Government accepted a $4 million lease buy-out from Palace Entertainment

Headline Goes Here St. Johns River Water Management District photo

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Silver Springs, one of Florida's oldest tourist attractions, is going out of business and will become a state park.

The north Florida attraction, famed for its glass bottom boats, has been plagued by low attendance and pollution, which has clouded its once-clear waters.

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Wednesday agreed to accept a $4 million lease buy-out from Palace Entertainment.

The lease had called for the firm to manage the state-owned property near Ocala as an attraction through 2029. It now will end on Sept. 30. Palace will continue to manage the property as a tourist attraction until then, and then the Florida Park Service will take over.

The buy-out funds will be used to help clean up the pollution and restore the property to its natural condition.

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