DAYTONA BEACH, FL-In what brokers tell could have been the land “steal” of the year, six serious buyers, each posting $60,000 good-faith checks, walked away from a public auction of the five-year-old, shuttered Adventure Landing water park attraction here without making a single bid. The auction lasted five minutes.

The five-acre property, off Earl Street near the highly publicized city’s Boardwalk site and facing the Atlantic, was being sold for delinquent city and county real estate and utility taxes totaling $570,000. The attraction was built by Adventure Entertainment of Jacksonville, FL in 1998 for $15 million.

At $170,000 per acre, or $3.90 per sf, the park’s land value itself would have been a prudent acquisition for near-future private development, brokers tell With no buyer in sight, the property now comes under the control of Volusia County which may decide to demolish the attraction and use the land for parking, county planning staffers tell

“It’s hard to believe that not a single bidder threw up a bid for that property,” Dean Fritchen, senior broker, Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, Winter Park, FL, tells “The buyer might have been able to flip it quickly and recoup his or her investment overnight.”

Still, any purchaser would have immediately faced paying the county $300,000 in back rent; $200,000 in delinquent real estate taxes; and $20,000 in unpaid city water bills.

The park’s owner of record is Adventure Entertainment of Jacksonville, FL, which opened the attraction in late 1998 and closed it in November 2002 because of falling attendance and revenue. According to county figures, the park grossed $3.2 million in 1999, its first full year of operations, but dropped to $2.6 million in 2001.

The park was almost sold last year when Bill Geary, president and principal stockholder of Los Angeles-based Carlsberg Management Co., contracted to buy the property for $2.3 million. After a due diligence period, however, the deal fell through when Geary’s accountants told him the renovations would probably cost more than the price of the park itself. Geary attended the auction as a silent observer.

Besides its water-themed main attraction, Adventure Landing also has a go-kart track, mini-golf and a clubhouse. Tranzon Driggers Co. of Citrus County conducted the brief auction.

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