Latest Ghost Town suitor eyes May 2006 opening

Posted Tuesday, November 22, 2005 7:38 PM | Contributed by Jeff

The owner of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has teamed up with a venture capitalist and an amusement operator to strike a deal to buy Ghost Town and get it back in operation. Ghost Town, a mountaintop amusement park in Maggie Valley that once attracted hordes of visitors to Western North Carolina, has been closed for three years to the detriment of the tourism industry. During those three years, at least four candidates have expressed interest in the park and its 250 acres of prime real estate on a plateau above Maggie Valley.

Read more from The Smokey Mountain News.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005 8:06 PM
Great news. With all the park closings we saw recently, it's so nice to hear about the potential reopening of Ghost Town. Sounds like Harper knows what he's doing too. I will definitely visit it this year when it reopens.
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:30 PM
Based on the website of the 2 guys checking out GTITS and seeing the coaster run its course, I'd say the owner still has a lot of love for this place (and it's still costing him some money in upkeep) and would give preferential treatment to someone who wants to keep the place as a Theme Park. Here's hoping. As a kid we vacationed one year in Western North Carolina and I found brochures for GTITS and BEGGED my parents to take me, but no go. I hope I finally get to ride Red Devil someday soon!
Tuesday, November 22, 2005 9:34 PM
Allen Harper has been interested in the property for a few years now, it seems he finally has found someone to go in this with him. He currently owns the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, The Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado and Rail Events. Rail Events is in charge of "The Little Engine That Could" Tour for Universal as well as they just signed a deal with Warner Brothers to over see the "Polar Express" events being held around the US.*** This post was edited by lumpy72 11/22/2005 9:54:28 PM ***
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:11 AM
Red Devil looks to be the most interesting of the OD Hopkins coasters with its unique terrain features. I've always wanted to try it out myself.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 9:06 AM
The Red Devil has to be ridden to be believed. I had the honor of riding it October of 1998. It was incredible. We walked into the station and a rather tall gentleman appeared. He was covered in axle greese from head to toe (even his face). He was very hospitable, and eager to give me and my travel companions spins on the Red Devil.

We must ridden that thing 20 times. The positive and lateral g's are amazing, and the loop is really nice as well. The ride is extremely fast, and ends with a trip through the garage. On my visit the second train was totally dismantled, and scattered about the garage. I was shocked and somewhat rattled by seeing the second train in a million pieces.

I'm so looking forward to the return of Ghost Town In The Sky, but im not looking forward to the long sky ride up the side of the mountain to get to the park. Man, I was shaking like a leaf on a tree all the way up there. Hopingfully the incline railway will back in operation with the grand reopening.

So when the park reopens we all need to make an extra effort to visit this entertaining and unique theme park so it will remain open and successful !!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 9:11 AM
This would be great news.


The news around here would have had Lesourdville lake opening at least five times to its actual one around here.

Chuck, thinking Lesourdsville is probably history at this point.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005 1:37 PM
I would imagine this is the real deal. It is commonly known that the owner wouldn't sell the park unless the buyer was willing to keep it up as a park. The buyer seems to have been wanting to buy for a while, just needed that extra cash and investors to get him over the needed mark.

If Ghost Town opens next year (and I hope it does), I will be there. If they're willing to invest in the park, with it being kinda close between Carowinds AND Dollywood, it could become a competitor to both, which is a good thing, esp. since it would be an independant. I'd prefer it to be more like Dollywood than Carowinds, but even if they just keep it in it's current state and renovate it, I'll be happy.

Now I can finally get my Red Devil Credit! Honestly, after watching the current video of the park, as long as the deal moves along swiftly, they could very easily have it open in May. The current owner seems to have kept things up for the most part.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:41 PM
Not to sound stupid, but, what video are you guys referring to? I can't seem to find it. I've always been interested in Red Devil. Never had the chance to ride it, but it sounds like that may change.
Friday, November 25, 2005 1:55 AM

Just look under videos.

Friday, November 25, 2005 4:50 PM
I drove right by Ghost Town once many years ago, on the way to a wedding. I always wished I'd taken the time to stop. Hopefully I'll still get the chance.
Friday, November 25, 2005 8:10 PM
Thanks Tek. Cool Video. Don't know why I was under the impression that RD was a longer ride, even though RCDB says it is little over 2000' long. Still hope to ride it someday.
Saturday, January 7, 2006 9:37 PM
The group that is in negotiations to buy the park are very serious and intends on opening the park and making it successful. They have had several companies experienced in park refurbishment quoting on the repairs. If they can finish closing in the next seven days the park will open memorial day 2006. All the rides will be able to be repaired if the new ownership decides to keep them. The coaster is in better shape than what pictures show. I would expect to see the park open this year.
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 4:31 PM
what are the odds that its going to be opened?

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