Gibtown has started to take off with the addition last year of a Super Wal-Mart.

 

However 30 years ago there were 5 Restaurants, a twin screen movie theatre, a big hardware store, two lumberyards, 2 supermarkets, a drugstore, a dry cleaner, 2 laundry mats, 3 marinas, a florist and gift shop. etc.

 

Now there are 2 Restaurants, one launder mat, and NONE of the other things mentioned.

 

Still the same number of bars and used car dealers. This I believe is the only town in the state of Florida that shrunk over the years, while others nearby have had a tremendous growth. We have had an increase of population, schoolchildren (no additional school houses) a much higher crime rate, and a tremendous amount more of highway traffic going through. There also used to be a tent factory three ride manufacturing plants and four trailer builders. Now: one ride factory that doesn't seem to be putting out much new product. At it's height there were between 75 and 100 professional human oddities residing here, today the only active one is Poobah (He is running for mayor of Gibsonton) and there are a couple that are no longer in the business. Gibsonton will never again see it's prominence as "Carnival Capital of the Nation".

 

The IISA trade show has declined both in attendance and vendors over the past few years. A reflection of an ailing carnival - circus industry, which in turn is a reflection of the declining economy of discretionary general public spending available.


The new things announced to be built are all projected for the traffic exchange at I-75. I've not heard of any new businesses in the town itself.

 

I've made Gibtown my home since 1967. As we stated in one TV story when asked "If you had to stay in one place the rest of your life, where would you want it to be??

 

We simultaneously replied

 

"We're there now!"

 

Cordially, Ward Hall


 


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