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Ghost Town In The Sky Discussion Thread

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I don't fully know why, but for some reason I have been intrigued with the drama around this park for about the last ten years. Just curious if anyone else has recently followed the struggles this park has had?


The most recent plans for the park were to rebrand it as "Ghost Town Village." There seemed to be conflicting reports as to whether there would still be ANY rides.


This morning, I saw a facebook post from the park saying that they would not be open this year, but that post has since been removed. Anyone have any insight?


The place is run by a 90+ year old woman who's wealth was obtained probably with the death of her actually successful husband umpteen years ago. Assuming the best case scenario where Alaska Presley takes excellent care of herself, she's probably still dealing with diminished mental faculties and I legitimately doubt she has any insight herself.

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Here's a story from a few days ago saying June 15th. The website says June 1st and as has been mentioned, yesterday there was a post that has since been deleted saying it wouldn't open at all. I saw the post too.


If I were a betting man I'd bet on the last option. There's no way in hell this place will open this year.

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I visited the park after it's big revival in the mid 2000s and had an absolutely amazing experience. Obviously with the thrill rides gone this experience is diminished to some extent, but the chair lift and property alone are worth the visit. I really wish they had success with that reopening because it was a fun and super unique classic park.

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And the story continues...


This news report is saying that they are still shooting for a June 15th opening. Seems this story was posted AFTER the Facebook post that was published (and then disappeared) saying the park would not open this year.


I think the only hope for this park is that she manages to get it open in whatever state it may be, and then holds to her word of selling it! Lol.

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If they haven't added one already, they should have one of those Alpine coasters

down the mountain from the park, ending up back at the skyride's entrance.


Have it be a 7+ minute ride, and call it Purgatory.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would love to have a mountain home and if I were rich I would buy this property for that and just happen to have an entire amusement park to go with it! Seriously how awesome would that be?!


Some enthusiast with money please do this and reopen Cliffhanger/Red Devil.





This is sad though. I visited the park during its last big revival as an amusement park with rides back in 2009(?) and it was a great experience with a few great rides (the placement of the swing ride and drop tower were amazing).

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^ Sounds like it.


I've never been there, but was always interested just because I thought 'Ghost Town In The Sky' was such a cool name for a theme park.


Hard to believe the flea market/religious theme didn't fly.

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^ That park name sounds....uh...dirty.


EDIT: Sorry, I thought it was written "Uncle Ernie..."



EDIT2: Wait..."Bert & Ernie's In The Sky"!



Your "In the Sky" Hosts.

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  • 2 months later...
So I'm new here but I grew up going to ghost town and I saw a video by Adam the Woo where he went up to the abandoned park, and I'd like to go--anyone here made the trek? It's a pretty steep looking mountain, wondering if it's feasible.


So you are asking if trespassing is feasible?

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  • 1 month later...
  • 4 months later...



If you're a fan of Western-themed amusement parks, have $4.5 million to spend and don't mind driving three hours from Chattanooga, opportunity awaits in Maggie Valley, N.C.


Ghost Town in the Sky, a Wild West attraction between Cherokee and Asheville that featured stuntmen squaring off for shootouts in dusty streets and girls dancing the cancan in a saloon, is for sale.


Said to be Western North Carolina's No. 1 tourist attraction after it opened in 1961, Ghost Town in the Sky advertised that it sat a "mile high" atop a mountain (actually 4,600 feet). Tourists took a chair lift, incline railway or tour bus to get to the park, which also featured such rides as a tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars and a steel-loop roller coaster called the Cliffhanger.


But the venue had problems over the years. The decline began in the 1990s, according to the Smoky Mountain News, a Waynesville, N.C.-based newspaper, and the park closed in 2002, reopened four years later and closed again in 2009 after the owners filed for bankruptcy.


The park was purchased at auction in 2012 for $2.5 million by the then 88-year-old Alaska Presley, a Maggie Valley businesswoman who hoped to revive it — and boost Maggie Valley's tourism.


The renamed Ghost Town Village reopened in 2014 and 2015, said Chris Soco, the real estate agent who's selling the property. The chair lift took visitors to the mountaintop — though many of the park's rides were too expensive to restore, he said. The plan was to rebrand the park as an Appalachian village with artisan and craft shops, and no shoot-outs, since that's not as big a draw as it once was.


"There're not any Western TV shows; you don't see 'Gunsmoke' or 'Bonanza,'" Soco said.


The shops were all leased, he said, but the 2016 season fell through because public water wasn't hooked up in time. Water is now available, he said, but Presley wants to sell. She'll part with the entire 260-acre property, which includes some houses, or sell just the 90-acre park, which includes the chair lift, the Old West town and all the rides.


"We've actually had a lot of offers on it," Soco said.


One potential buyer, he said, "wants to do an alpine slide underneath the chairlift like Ober Gatlinburg."


Presley would like to sell to "somebody that's going to take it to the next level" Soco said, and keep it going as an amusement park, though that's not a requirement for sale.


"We'd like to get it sold," he said. "I expect it will probably sell by the summer."


Bill Chapin, chairman and CEO at See Rock City, Inc., who runs another, closely held long-time tourist attraction on Lookout Mountain, sees pluses and minuses for Ghost Town in the Sky as an amusement park.


Anyone who buys it would have "to continue to make investments to improve the quality of the attraction and the general experience," he said.


"I think the toughest thing for them is you gotta take the chair lift up to get there," Chapin said. "Western North Carolina is just an incredibly beautiful part of the world to have a summer vacation."


Ghost Town in the Sky is back on the market for $4.5MM, for 260 acres, including the 90 are park. However, I'm sure Alaska Presley would part with it for her break-even price of $2.5MM.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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  • 1 year later...



Ghost Town in the Sky is reportedly in the final stages of being sold, and the potential new owners are discussing a possible Spring 2019 re-opening.


Ghost Town coming back to life?

by Raphael Pires

Monday, May 14th 2018


MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C. (WLOS) — There could soon be new owners for a once popular mountain amusement park. Ghost Town Village in Maggie Valley is in the final stages of being sold.


Ghost Town Adventures, a recently created company, hopes to restore the park to its former glory, with some modern twists. Valerie Oberle, Ghost Town Adventures executive vice president of brand and people management, said the company hopes to reopen the defunct amusement park next spring.


Oberle said they plan to bring back many of the classic old western attractions, but also add an alpine coaster and 3D attraction.


Ghost Town Village owner Alaska Pressley struggled for years trying to get the park up to code. The park was scheduled to open June 1, 2016, but that didn't happen.


Presley re-branded the park as an Appalachian Village, but eventually closed it for good and put it up for sale in 2016. The park, which has has 250 acres, 40 buildings and plenty of parking, was listed for $5.95 million.


Many people in Maggie Valley believe, because of some of the Ghost Town Adventures' executive's backgrounds with Disney, things will be different this time.


"Mickey Mouse has been with us for generation after generation and he's reinvented himself over and over and over,"Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce president Dave Angel said. "He knows how to honor the past, and he knows how to move forward with the future and I think these guys bring that with them."


Angel said if the park is successful, it will have a positive impact in the town.


"Its definitely going to be an economic boom if it even comes close to what it used to be," Angel said.


Legends Sports Grill owner Jim Pfaff agrees with Angel.


"It will create a lot of excitement for a lot of different folks that have come and visited over the years. But I think, especially for the locals, it's going to be a fantastic thing," Pfaff said. "And of course for all the business owners."


Angel said many people are excited about the idea of Ghost Town reopening.


"So many people have memories of their childhood, being here, climbing the mountain in the chair lift, seeing the gun fights, and they want to bring their kids back so their kids can experience the same thing that they did as a child," Angel said.


Oberle said the plan is to have a preview opening day before Labor Day.


Oberle didn't give an exact figure but said the remodel will cost millions of dollars.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't understand how this place is going to be successful with the "Ghost Town" brand. As cringeworthy as it was, the "Resurrection Mountain" idea had some viability in this area of the country. Ghost Town is basically the same premise as everything in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge only way smaller and less interesting. I'd say that this might appeal to locals but I mean... what locals? Nobody lives there and I don't see many people from Asheville making the drive. If you're willing to drive an hour to go to Ghost Town, drive an extra hour and go to Dollywood or Gatlinburg which is basically Ghost Town on steroids.

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