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Ghost Town In The Sky Discussion Thread

P. 11: Storyland Studios selected to redesign the park

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^it would be cool, a quick and crude Google search said that the tallest/longest zip in the world is currently 6,500 feet long with a 918 foot drop, the ascent to the top of Ghost Town is 1,250 feet tall and the chair lift is apporximately 3,500 feet long. They may not be able to fit the tallest/fastest/steepest in the world but they might be able to set some type of North American record.

 

Would be cool to have an up charge attraction with a series of zip lines and ropes courses through the woods on top of the mountain leading up to a gigantic zip line all the way to the bottom.

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I'm hoping that this park will survive somehow. It always looked like one of America's most unique parks. After looking up the site on Google Earth, they would be incredibly hard pressed to expand; they're virtually landlocked as it already is if they aren't too willing to either build attractions into the steep cliff-face or excavate into the terrain to create some level ground for flat rides and buildings.

 

By the way, knowing TPR's semi-immature, college-like sense of humor, I'm surprised that so few people picked up on the epic-ness of Ghost Town in the Sky's acronym.

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^ Ah yes, you are correct; I did remember seeing something that did resemble a fort, but alas, it was

 

CLOSED!!!

 

One more thing to note in regards to Busch Gardens Williamsburg: when the park first opened its doors in 1975, it was a small park. During the years of operation, it added more and more attractions and the park got bigger and bigger. It can be said the same of other amusement parks I know; such as Six Flags America (when it was just a small park called "Wild World") and Hersheypark. Who knows, should Ghost Town in the Sky be able to get off its knees and become a very productive park, who knows how big this park could become.

 

"Want to dream about that most perfect park? Then lay your head upon mine and it can be yours!"

Also Dollywood,it was Rebel Railroad,Gold Rush Junction,SDC TN,and in 1985 Dollywood.
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By the way, knowing TPR's semi-immature, college-like sense of humor, I'm surprised that so few people picked up on the epic-ness of Ghost Town in the Sky's acronym.

 

GTITS has been known for some time...there's just no reason to talk about this park. At this point I'd put more money on Hard Rock reopening with running coasters than this park. If anything I see this park reopening as just a park, and no 'real' rides.

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http://www.smokymountainnews.com/component/k2/item/6547-dolly’s-sister-offers-to-lend-a-hand-for-ghost-town-comeback

 

Ghost Town in the Sky owner Alaska Presley has recruited singer and longtime friend Stella Parton to help her draw tourists to Maggie Valley.

 

Presley spoke to the town’s Board of Aldermen last week about the idea of hosting at least a couple of concert events this year in the parking lot of Ghost Town, an amusement park that was once kept the pace of the valley’s economic heartbeat. The park was closed for two years after going into bankruptcy. However, Presley has purchased the property and promised to restore it to its former glory.

 

Parton, sister of the famed Dolly Parton, was on hand to introduce herself to the new town leaders and speak a bit more about the possible event.

 

Although it is too late in the year to plan a Memorial Day event, Parton said she wants to host concert events, tentatively titled Pickin’ in the Parking Lot, around July 4th and Labor Day Weekend.

 

“It will be almost like a weekend festival,” Parton said.

 

Friday would feature bluegrass bands; Saturday would showcase country singers, including Parton herself; and Sunday would be reserved for gospel music. Each day would spotlight “local flavor as well as a headliner.”

 

Parton, who has roots in Haywood County, told the town aldermen and those in attendance that she is not an investor but simply someone who wants to help Presley and help the valley.

 

“We are going to bring people into the valley,” Presley said. “Ghost Town will go. I have no doubt.”

 

Presley also stated that she was grateful for the advice and kind words she has received from Maggie Valley residents since she purchased Ghost Town.

 

“This is the first time in so many years that I’ve seen the valley come together,” Presley said.

 

And, despite a couple snags in her plans, Presley is still confident that parts of Ghost Town will be open and running smoothly come summer. Topping the to-do list is getting the rides up and running, including a chairlift that takes tourists from the valley floor to the mountaintop theme park. If and when Ghost Town opens this year, the chair lift will be the sole mode of transportation up the mountain.

 

“The chair lift won’t take very much (to repair),” Presley said, estimating that it will cost about $30,000 to “perfect it.”

 

Although she originally thought that incline railway could be repaired by summer, Presley did not officially own the amusement park until the end of last month, which kept her from starting repairs earlier. When state inspectors came to tour Ghost Town a couple weeks ago, they advised Presley to hold off on the incline repairs until the end of tourism season this year, saying it would likely not be fully functional until late in the season.

 

By forgoing the incline repairs, Presley can focus more time on other important obstacles — such powering the mountain and fixing the water system.

 

After being stiffed an unknown amount of money by the previous owners, the electrical power company that serves Ghost Town said it would not restore electrical services to the mountain unless Presley shells out $30,000 before Aug. 1. And, after paying $20,000 for a new water pump to push the essential liquid up the steep mountain slopes, the municipal water district told Presley that her best opinion might be to dig wells, which could provide aqua to the amusement park.

 

On the sunny side, Presley is currently on the look out for someone to construct a zipline, one of several attractions she hopes to open this year.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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If the zip line runs parallel to the chairlift and has the same length as it, the zip line would be about 3024 feet long, and 1282 feet high. Less than half the length of the world's longest zip line, but still pretty freaking impressive.

 

And after looking up the park on the thrillnetwork database, apparently there are only 11 rides discounting the Incline Railway, though I counted over two dozen buildings (that count may be inaccurate, Google Earth's imaging of the park isn't the clearest/newest) which is less than I thought it would be from a ride perspective. There may be a chance that this place will get fixed up to a decent working order after all by this summer. I'm placing a bit more hope into it than I did in the past.

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If the zip line runs parallel to the chairlift and has the same length as it, the zip line would be about 3024 feet long, and 1282 feet high. Less than half the length of the world's longest zip line, but still pretty freaking impressive.

 

Not likely in my opinion. More than likely it will be a series of ziplines going from station to station to keep patrons amused over a longer period of time. One and done won't keep patrons in the area very long.

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^I see your point, but it would also be a lot more expensive to make those multiple stations, especially if those stations are level, you would have to make a significant amount of supports and flooring, etc. for each of those stations, and IMO it would be a major eyesore and wouldn't fit well with the theme of the park if there's a giant hunk of zipline and stations running down the cliff doing this: (side view, the slashes are the steep portion of the mountain, the minus signs are the stations, the periods are the less steep portion of the mountain, and the I's are station supports.

 

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So how does one single long zip line fit the theme of the park but multiple shorter ones doesn't.

 

Multiple stations are also not a major eyesore. The stations tend to be near trees, embedded in the canopy, and not easily visible from a distance. Whether you build one or five stations, someone is going to think just one is an eyesore.

 

While one single zip line might cost more than the series of stations it also allows for greater capacity. But that's only if your company builds and owns the whole operation. There are zip line companies out there that take all the risk in building/maintaining and the land owner takes a cut of the fees from the leased zip line.

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^^Your "visual aid" adds nothing. I see your point about having just one line (ala the one that Royal Caribbean runs on Labadee), but I think Larry's right: Ghost Town would need multiple stations to be feasible.

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^^^ It worked much better in the website's text editor, because it didn't actually skip spaces there.

 

^^^^With a single zip line, you can have the ride run parallel to the ski lift and inclined railway, below tree level, or roughly tree level, and all that would be visible would be a single steel cable and the riders going down it. I'm going to bet that the park won't be able to afford to make the individual stations architecturally pleasing, though I would not be against the idea of theming each station like an old ghost town style building like what's at the top of the mountain. And also, how else would they go up or down the mountain? I agree that a higher capacity is always a good thing, but there can be several potential flaws in that concept:

 

Let's say that instead of a single 3,000 foot zip line, the park builds four separate 800 foot zip lines going down the mountain all in line. The zip line at the bottom is zip line #1, and the one at the top is #4. If you wanted to do zip line #3, you'd have to do zip line #4. Or, if you did zip line 4 and it was too scary for you, you have no choice but to do it three more times in order to get back down the mountain, because making a pathway or a bunch of stairs down that far would not be a good idea. Or if you were at the ground level, and you wanted to do zip line #3, you'd have to take the chair lift or inclined railway up, and do the whole course anyway for the same reasons. The only way to make that configuration feasible would be to require each person to go through all four zip lines, then they would have to unhook and re-hook every single time, which although the trip itself would take one fourth as long, the hooking process would take much longer. And take a look at this zip line: It's about 3000 feet long, and lasts about a minute, which isn't that long. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mGn3EQohmOI (Start at about 2:20.) As I look at the end station, it wouldn't be as much of an eyesore as I thought, so I stand corrected on that point.

 

Two zip lines side by side roughly at tree level like the NY example I have seems okay, I'm not sure about a four wide one, as the swath of trees cut away might also be an eyesore. (I'm also trying to think from the conservative small town mayor's point of view who wants to keep their small town like a small town.)

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Has anyone else been following Ghost Town on Facebook? it seems to me like their seemingly 15 year old marketing genius is going to upset some of the loyal locals by forcing a change from the GT group to their "official" FB page. Not being a local, I can't directly speak to it, but I know I would be irritated in that situation.

 

As a distant follower, I still really hope this underdog park gets back going!

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  • 3 weeks later...

themountaineer.villagesoup.com/news/story/ghost-town-will-have-surprises-at-june-opening/807620

 

I'm not sure how much is going to be there and actually be open, but it appears as if Ghost Town is still planning to open by June. I would love to see their unique Hopkins coaster open at some point, but in all reality I'm certain that won't happen this season.

 

Ghost Town will have surprises at June opening

Apr 10, 2012

 

MAGGIE VALLEY — Less than three months after Alaska Presley purchased Ghost Town in the Sky, it looks like the much-missed amusement park is getting off the ground.

 

The most recent indication came Friday, when Presley, her lawyers and a few friends met in the Ghost Town gift shop for an official auction of the park’s inventory. The event — which concluded in Presley paying $500,000 for all of the park’s furniture, merchandise, equipment, etc. — was just a formality, but Presley treated it as a special occasion. She grinned ear to ear as all the legalese was read off and used the opportunity to treat attorneys Bob Long and Andrew Parker to a tour through the park. She took special care to show off the area near the top of the chairlift, which is the only level she still plans on opening this June, with several activities planned for all ages.

 

Later, back at her Maggie Valley home, Presley was incredibly upbeat, though she admitted this massive remodel is a bit different than she had expected.

 

“It’s busier,” she said, smiling. “But it’s fun.”

 

It’s also going faster than she thought it would. Though opening the park this year might have seemed like a pipe dream a few months back, it’s looking more like reality every day. Presley estimates she has 12 or 13 people working at the site daily, cutting away brush, filling in dirt, attending to plumbing and generally doing whatever else needs to be done. Recently, crews discovered what they believe will be a good source of water for a well, meaning that the park’s upper levels won’t have to use city water that’s been pumped up the mountain. That find should expedite things, Presley explained, as should the three engineers she’s hired to work on the park’s chairlift this week. Fairly soon, she’ll also have more crews on hand to bring in several family-friendly activities, such as zip-lines, an arcade and maybe even some kiddie rides, all of which she plans to feature this summer. There will be a few more surprise elements, too, though she’s not ready to give away all her secrets.

 

“It will be a completely new look,” she said.

Edited by larrygator
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This was posted to their Facebook Page a view minutes ago

 

We've been asked at least 100 times when we're opening so we've decided to let our Facebook fans in on the plan. Mrs. Alaska Presley PLANS (not fully confirmed) to re-open the bottom area of the park in June of 2012. No exact date yet. More information to come to ours fans!
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http://www.smokymountainnews.com/component/k2/item/6718-ghost-town’s-savior-officially-takes-title-to-retro-amusement-rides

 

The new owner of Ghost Town in the Sky tied up the final loose ends related to her purchase of the bankrupt amusement park last week.

 

Alaska Presley officially took title to the rides and buildings on the grounds of the once-popular amusement park for $500,000, bringing the total cost of buying Ghost Town out of foreclosure to $2 million. She purchased the actual land in mid-February for $1.5 million.

 

The list of equipment and buildings in the sale includes Ghost Town’s rides, the A-frame souvenir shop and ticket booth at the bottom of the mountain and the structures that make up the mock Wild West town.

 

The inventory indicates that most of Ghost Town’s rides — such as a vintage WWII-era carousel, the kiddie coaster and Sky Fighter — are more than 40 years old and have dwelled inside the amusement park’s gates since its heyday. Despite their age, Presley previously stated that she will refurbish and restore the rides if possible.

 

Ghost Town has been closed for two years after going into bankruptcy, but Presley plans to reopen the park that once brought 400,000 visitors and prosperity to Maggie Valley. But, before it can even think about opening, “there is so much more to be done,” Presley said.

 

Presley has gotten electrical power restored to a portion of the park, including the old Wild West town, which is the main focus of Presley’s revitalization efforts right now and the portion that she hopes to open before the end of the tourist season this year.

 

Haywood EMC, the electrical power company that serves Ghost Town, turned off the power after being stiffed an unknown amount of money by the former owners. The company previously told Presley that it would restore electrical services to the mountain if she shelled out $30,000 up front given the track record of the past owners.

 

Presley has also figured out a new plan to solve ongoing woes with the park’s water system. Ghost Town is on the public water supply of Maggie Valley Sanitary District, but has battled with aging pipes and system to get the water up to the mountaintop theme park. Presley now plans to build two wells to provide water to the amusement park rather than trying to pump water up the mountain.

 

“It will be so much more economical,” Presley said.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Watching their Facebook pages, it definitely seems to me that the locals, although excited, will be patient. My bigger concern is if she has deep enough pockets to keep the park going through the initial inevitable rough times. I hope she at least has the financial connections to keep it going.

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Okay, here's my take on this:

 

I will wish Alaska Presley the best of all luck and intentions to reopen Ghost Town in the Sky. If the park can be opened in June, then that will be step one completed.

 

Step two will be me reading all the reports and threads concerning Ghost Town in the Sky and see whether or not this park deserves a revisit from me (Remember folks, when I visited this park in 2007, I got BURNT!!! ). So you can see why I'm a little weary about returning to this park so soon.

 

Step three would be several years later when the park is doing well, the park had added new rides that includes something that must be on my "must ride or die list", and I plan on heading to Maggie Valley. I know that Ghost Town in the Sky counts as a small park (And I'm not knocking that down because I do love to visit a small amusement park every now and then), but I'm hoping that if Alaska Presley and the rides committee plays their cards right, then this park can grow into a major-sized themepark and become a major draw of tourists, not to mention the riders and amusement park flyers.

 

[NOTE: On an earlier post, Page 11, I made a list of additions I felt this park needs. It is worth a rereading.]

 

"I know something else that is worth a revisit: the bed - with me on it!"

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Starting to look like she just might pull this off. I hope people are patient while she gets the park up and running.

 

At least she appears to have some sort of plan. I wish her well.

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