Our Friend & Partner:
Cape Leisure Corporation
written by Marianne Marcoux
How lucky are we to work alongside a concessionaire like the Cape Leisure Corporation whose employees embrace the wonder that is Silver Springs State Park and their partnership with our Friends organization. I chatted recently with George Kanaris, Concession Manager, as he was greeting guests who were boarding the Glass Bottom Boats. While he’s worked at other State Parks during his 11 years with Cape Leisure, he refers to Silver Springs as the crown jewel. For someone who hails from New York, he is readily drawn to the natural beauty of the springs. George is a firm believer in developing solid working relationships with Citizen Support Organizations like our Friends group. He extolled the virtues of our CSO and feels without the Friends organizations, State Parks would suffer. George describes himself as a product of the Boys and Girls Club growing up in New York, and he jumped on board upon hearing of our “A Day at the Park” initiative for underserved youth in our community. Cape Leisure generously covers the cost of the Glass Bottom Boat tours for our guests and supplies us with ice cream treats!
He shared some of Cape Leisure’s history with me: Founded in 2008, Cape Leisure Corporation was first awarded the management contract for the Natural Bridge of Virginia. Other successful bids followed and in 2010 they were given concession contracts at three Florida State Parks, as well as the contract at Jetty Park by the Port of Canaveral. Most recently, Cape Leisure was awarded contracts to operate within Silver Springs State Park, Ichetucknee Springs, and the Werner-Boyce Salt Springs State Park. They now operate under concession contracts in eight locations across Florida, including The Ribault Club, Anastasia, Fisheating Creek, and Mabry Mill in Virginia. They specialize in visitor service operations within settings of both natural and historic significance.
Here at Silver Springs, they offer food, retail, watercraft rentals, ballroom and pavilion rentals, catering services, and of course the iconic Glass Bottom Boat tours. They rallied in spite of the pandemic and the 3-month closure of the Park in 2020. While the gift shop and restaurants remain temporarily close, they offer the services of their Food Truck, and their Paddling Adventures concession is extremely busy and popular, as are the Glass Bottom Boat tours.
To celebrate our very generous Friend & Partner, we’ve made the Cape Leisure Corporation a Silver Member Sponsor. Their name has been engraved on our plaque and their business logo has been hyperlinked on our Website: www.thefriendsofsilversprings.org. The next time you visit Silver Springs, be sure to rent a kayak, or take a ride aboard a Glass Bottom Boat, and then enjoy some lunch at the Food Truck. And don’t forget to treat yourself to an ice-cream sandwich!
*We wish George Kanaris all the best as he embarks upon a new and exciting job. We look forward to working with Kenneth (Kenny) Custen, the acting manager.