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East County Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010 7 years ago

Lakewood to unload big new attraction

by: Michael Eng Executive Editor

APRIL FOOLS — While Schroeder-Manatee Ranch officials reevaluate plans for Lakewood Ranch’s entertainment hub at State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, they have called upon another branch of their company to keep the land profitable.

The developer of Lakewood Ranch is utilizing its large ranching component to “build” what it calls “The World’s Largest Cow Patty.” The attraction, which should be completed by June, will be unloaded on the land once designated for a hockey arena.

Officials hope the attraction’s girth — topping 1,000 pounds — and height — about 20 feet — will earn a special distinction in the Guinness Book of World Records.

SMR ranchers have been working on the attraction for about six months — just after SMR demolished the walls of the arena project in October.

The idea, officials said, was to produce a quick, cost-effective way to make use of valuable land at the heart of Lakewood Ranch.

Like the World’s Largest Twine Ball in Darwin, Minn., the World’s Largest Artichoke in Castroville, Calif., or the World’s Largest Ball of Paint in Alexandria, Ind., SMR’s project should appeal to tourists who favor the country’s odd attractions.

In addition to charging admission to view the patty, SMR is working on a full product line, including postcards, patty-shaped coffee mugs and even a special patty-themed ice cream.

Unlike some of the country’s other odd attractions, SMR’s patty will require regular maintenance. A 10-person crew will water it daily to keep it moist, and a reshaping team will work to keep it in pristine condition.

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