Article & photo from WESH.com
It was 18 months ago when flames tore through a Central Florida tourist attaction, leaving park owners with months of hard work ahead. They're celebrating the end of that work on Tuesday at Gatorland. The only thing left standing after the blaze was the park's signature gator mouth. Everything else is brand new and part of a $4 million expansion project, including a new gift shop, offices and pavilion.
Gatorland has been around for 60 years, and park officials said the fire in 2006 was one of their toughest times. "The whole building was burned to the ground. We had a small piece left on the north end for some administrative offices that we've been using temporarily during the last year. Everything was rebuilt brand new," Gatorland President Mark McHugh said. Officials said a faulty reptile heater ignited the fire. The park never officially closed after the fire, but they're still calling Tuesday's festivities a grand reopening.
See more of Gatorland's new facilities in WESH2's special report.