1980s-2000s: The Death of the Roadside Attraction
ABC sold Weeki Wachee and Silver Springs to Florida Leisure Attractions, Inc. in 1984 for $25 million dollars ($63.4 million adjusted for inflation). In 1989, the company restructured by selling Weeki Wachee and Silver Springs to investors for $21.5 million (over $45 million adjusted for inflation). In 1999, Florida Leisure sold Weeki Wachee Springs to local investors, Weeki Wachee Springs Company, for $1.5 million dollars (slightly over $2 million when adjusted for inflation). Among the investors were former mermaids.  In 2003, when the property leaseholders presented the company with an extensive list of needed repairs, Weeki Wachee Co. donated the attraction to the City of Weeki Wachee.  From 2003 to 2008,, the city and the leaseholders battled in court over the viability of the attraction. During this period, Weeki Wachee Springs launched the "Save Our Tails" fundraiser to fund the structural repairs identified by the leaseholders. In November 2008, shortly after the celebration of the park's 60th anniversary, Weeki Wachee Springs became a state park.  The state completed many of the necessary renovations and planned an overhaul of the entire attraction thanks to the help of the organization Friends of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. In 2020, Governor Ron Desantis signed legislation dissolving the City of Weeki Wachee. Founded by ABC in 1966, the city numbered only 13 residents and was insolvent. The action had no effect on the attraction and Weeki Wachee State park continues to draw thousands of visitors each year from all over the world.
 Collins Conner and Dianne Stallings, “Weeki Wachee Attraction is Sold,” Tampa Bay Times, April 25, 1984, 25 Apr 1984, 28 - Tampa Bay Times at Newspapers.com, accessed January 3, 2021.
 Dave Hancock, “Holiday Inn Expansion Planned,” The Tampa Tribune, January 4, 1989, 04 Jan 1989, 77 - The Tampa Tribune at Newspapers.com, accessed January 3, 2021.
 Robert Farley, “Weeki Wachee Park is Sold,” Tampa Bay Times, March 12, 1999, 12 Mar 1999, 53 - Tampa Bay Times at Newspapers.com, accessed January 3, 2021.
 Robert King, “Last Rites for the Springs?,” Tampa Bay Times, August 24, 2003, 24 Aug 2003, 21 - Tampa Bay Times at Newspapers.com, accessed January 3, 2021.
 Chandra Broadwater, “Weeki Wachee Springs, priceless; attraction, $10,” Tampa Bay Times, January 31, 2008, 31 Jan 2008, 43 - Tampa Bay Times at Newspapers.com, accessed January 3, 2021.
 Anne M. Peterson, “Weeki Wachee: Florida City Known for Mermaids Now Sleeps with the Fishes,” TCPalm, June 11, 2020, Weeki Wachee: Gov. DeSantis dissolves Florida city known for mermaids (tcpalm.com), accessed January 3, 2021.