Window closing for sale of Wild West World assets

Posted Thursday, October 4, 2007 9:20 AM | Contributed by Jeff

It's time for a decision on Wild West World's fate, according to two lawyers involved in the case. Offers are rolling in for the park's rides, Wichita lawyer Ed Nazar said Wednesday. He represents Thomas Etheredge's bankrupt theme park. And the window to sell the rides is rapidly closing with cold weather approaching, he said -- although an industry expert differs on how quickly that window will close. So if California-based Parks America can't come up with a workable offer this week to buy the park, Nazar said he is ready to move ahead with a liquidation.

Read more from The Wichita Eagle.

Related parks

Thursday, October 4, 2007 12:03 PM
I am not a math genius, and this has been mentioned before, but this is one big embarrassment. You would think that the State of Kansas would have stepped in with some sort of creative financing to keep them open through the summer.

To not be able to support 1 park is unheard of. The park was new, the ride package was decent, so even with bad weather, people will eventually come out and kick the tires.

They will sell the rides, yes, but the park is worth much more intact. Once the rides start to go, anyone who wants to purchase the land for a park will have to spend more dollars to get it open.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 12:41 PM
It was also largely self-financed. I mean, the guy mortgaged his house. You don't start a business that way, especially on that scale. Any reasonable business plan will include operational financing for the first few years. He accounted for none of that. Why should the state pay out corporate welfare to this particular company? I'd be a pissed off taxpayer in that case.
Thursday, October 4, 2007 2:26 PM
Agreed, but in this case, to keep the park operating, to make sure your payroll is met, and vendors are paid, sometimes this has to be done. Its like corporate welfare.

Now they have a closed park, no future direction, and many unpaid bills ranging from vendors, consultants, bank notes, and ride leasing.

Back to the business plan. Who approved this? Most banks would like to know your business plan before forking over major dollars. Somewhere, there has to be the magic 'contingency' line item. If that was funded by this guys house, more pwoer to him.

Did any of the planners or consultants take into account weather, cost overruns, ride down time, etc. If this project was largely self funded, again, that is a huge misstake with potential liabilty from accidents, and lost revenue from poor weather are ride down time.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 2:46 PM
Well, no, it doesn't have to be done. That's the risk the banks take, not taxpayers.
Thursday, October 4, 2007 3:32 PM
I gotta agree with Agent Johnson on this one (Which I rarely do)

WTH is up with the city? I mean Joyland is basically done. They get a new park and won't even offer to help? They get their money back in TAX generated and revinew from incoming patrons.

Chuck, who don't think cities should be in the AP buisness but some breaks and help couldn't hurt. Cincinnati Owns a railroad from Cincinnati to Louisville, It operated in the Red for years and for the last 15 years has made money hand over fist from NS (Off topic but business related)

Thursday, October 4, 2007 6:01 PM
Yes, it needed in this case. Its simple. The city/state authority puts down a band-aid one shot plan, which says "hey, we will help you, but we want this back next year, or we want a piece to cover this".

This size of a project would have never been a 100% success with private funding. A secondary market always needs assistance. It happens all over with stadium and convention center projects.

Thursday, October 4, 2007 7:40 PM
The banks are going to be lucky to get their money back. How do you expect the government to get theirs in this case?
Friday, October 5, 2007 9:25 AM
State involvement on this one would be riskier than putting my money into Enron. The original plan from what I recall called for a park to be built for half of the investment level. If a market can only support a project of $15 million, spending twice that is only going to lead to trouble.

I'll go back to Jazzland, Visionland, Colorado's Ocean Journey, SuperSplash Adventure, (and there are others) where there was govt. involvement in the parks and all failed due to investments being much larger than the market could support. Of course in all of these, there were other factors that attributed to their downfall, but the key to any successful project is not to overbuild.

Saturday, October 6, 2007 12:35 AM
There are several amusement-park consultants out there that really don't know the business as well as they think, and forget basics. What you described above is one big issue.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007 4:39 PM
Judging from the reader comments following all the articles about this park, it sounds like this Etheredge guy was (is) hated. At the least, he's thought of as an unscrupulous businessman. Sounds like they could plop Disneyland, Cedar Point and Hersheypark all rolled up into one in Kansas, and if this guy has anything to do with it, people will stay away in droves.

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC