Fantasy of Flight in Polk City to close - WFLA News Channel 8

Fantasy of Flight in Polk City to close

Posted: Updated:
Kermit Weeks, founder of Fantasy of Flight Kermit Weeks, founder of Fantasy of Flight
POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - After 18 years of business, aviation attraction Fantasy of Flight will close.

Kermit Weeks, owner of Fantasy of Flight in Polk City, says he has decided to focus on his private event business at the facility. The attraction will close on Sunday, April 6.

Weeks says they will focus on the design and development of a new future destination attraction.

"Although we are located just 20 minutes west of Walt Disney World, we’re currently outside the center of mass tourism and not perceived of as a destination. We have a great product, but people have a misperception of what we offer,” said Weeks.

“After 18 years of being in operation, it’s time we close the attraction and move forward toward creating the vision for what I know Fantasy of Flight can become,” Weeks told employees Tuesday.

The facility will also turn into what it was originally designed for - a restoration and maintenance facility that will be needed to build future attraction elements.

For those who wish to enjoy the historical aspects of aircraft, plans are to open an aspect of the collection in a reduced capacity and admission price later this year.

While saddened that closing the attraction will necessitate a reduction in workforce, Weeks is optimistic that his long-term vision and future product will mean far more jobs and greater impact to Polk County.

“We have great employees,” said Weeks, “and will be working with several local, state and private agencies in the upcoming weeks in order to offer our employees assistance and training for the transition.”

An event-focused staff will be retained as the facility continues to host weddings, meetings and corporate events, including team building and birthday parties via the Wing Walk Air Confidence Course & Zip Line.

“This isn’t the end of Fantasy of Flight, it’s just the next step on the company’s journey to become what it was always meant to be – a quality attraction that uses entertainment as a means to an end for self-discovery and self-transformation. Think of this as a caterpillar going into its cocoon," Weeks said. "We expect to re-emerge as a brand-new butterfly!”

Weeks, an antique aircraft expert and the founder of the aviation museum, most recently reenacted the first ever commercial airplane flight, which took place 100 years ago, right here in Tampa Bay.

More: Polk aviation enthusiast to recreate first commercial flight

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.


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