Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

NEWS: Guntown Mountain to become Funtown Mountain


Recommended Posts

According to their Facebook page, all activities at Funtown Mountain are cancelled as of today. This following owner Will Russell's arrest at Lebowski Fest, an event he founded in 2002. He was booked on charges of possession of marijuana, resisting arrest and menacing. There is no indication, as of now, of when or if the roadside attraction park will resume operation.

 

I always thought one of the hindrances to this park would be the eccentricity of its owner. It's one thing to promote your the excitement you feel toward your business. It's another to prance about like you haven't a care in the world. Their Facebook promotion for the park always came off to me as a group of friends looking for a place to act weird, as opposed to a place to entertain guests and showcase the history of an interesting roadside attraction.

 

I'm sure there will be more to this story after the legal proceedings run their course.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 42
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

I always thought one of the hindrances to this park would be the eccentricity of its owner. It's one thing to promote your the excitement you feel toward your business. It's another to prance about like you haven't a care in the world. Their Facebook promotion for the park always came off to me as a group of friends looking for a place to act weird, as opposed to a place to entertain guests and showcase the history of an interesting roadside attraction.

 

Well put. My thoughts exactly. I was waiting for something like this to happen. Perhaps they'll come back after he gets out, but honestly I think they'll inevitably run into trouble with finances, regulations, health and safety issues, etc. You can't just hop into this industry and throw something together. Even Wild Bill has a method to the madness.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too bad he wasn't in Washington State, Oregon or Colorado ...

 

The tourist traps in Cave City pale in comparison to Mammoth Cave, and I doubt this attraction will be able to have rides to rival Beech Bend or Kentucky Kingdom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So the owner was arrested for smoking pot in the parking lot of a festival dedicated to The Big Lebowski, yesterday they annonced that "All activites at Funtown Mountain are canceleld as of today", twenty minutes ago they annonced that Funtown Mountain will reopen today at noon but the show scheduled for today was cancelled. I'm not sure what the show was but sounds like the place will continue to operate for now despite the owners personal situation.

 

Remember this year is more of a soft openeing until they build attractions in the off season.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This story keeps getting stranger and stranger. A string of tweets from Samantha Chatman from WDRB in Louisville relating to Funtown Mountain and more specifically Will Russell don't make things sound too rosy for the future of the roadside attraction. The "artwork" in the following string of tweets, is referring to yellow paint strewn over windows and asphalt at Funtown Mountain.

 

It's noon in Cave City and @FuntownMtn doors remain locked

 

UPDATE: @FuntownMtn Facebook post on reopening today at noon has been #deleted

 

@FuntownMtn owner Will Russell: "yesterday's artwork was apart of my therapy."

 

Will Russell: "I have a lot of debt. I owe a lot of people."

 

Will Russell: "I'm bipolar. I was diagnosed back in 1995...I need to go home, back to Louisville. I need my teddy bear."

 

UPDATE: @FuntownMtn is back open for business. Will Russell says come and take whatever you'd like or leave a donation.

 

Will Russell: "I just want peace."

 

You check out the string of tweets here. I know that link somewhat time sensitive, but it's a developing story and will continue to change over the next few hours.

 

I'm not certain what is going on in this guy's mind and if he's truly bipolar I hope he gets the help he wants, but to take on the risk that he did with this attraction without any background in the industry was somewhat foolish. He has become a successful businessman in Louisville by selling products that sell themselves with little promotion. When you are trying to attract people 70 miles away from Louisville to your sideshow, you are going to require unique attractions and good marketing. Neither of which he had in place when he soft opened.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at Lebowski Fest this year (my 4th) and it was obvious that Will wasn't doing well. I wish him the best, hope that he'll regroup, I wish him the best of luck with Funtown Mountain, and look forward to many more Lebowski Fests in the future.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He has completely ****ing lost it. He's out there smearing paint all over the place and talking about how he needs to give up and go home. It sounds like he's letting people come in and scrap the park now as well?

 

UPDATE: @FuntownMtn is back open for business. Will Russell says come and take whatever you'd like or leave a donation.

 

Sounds like this whole thing is over. Hope he gets help before he goes even crazier.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, some of the early articles I read about this guy and his proejct talked about his struggles with mental illness over the years. I guess the post saying it was open today has been removed from their facebook page.

 

Hope he gets help, this project has been a lot of fun to follow and hopeuflly this isn't the end of it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I didn't know better, which I do, I would think that this is one big publicity stunt. Seriously, this is the most media attention that Funtown Mountain has gotten in a long time.

 

I've found Miller to 'look at me' guy from the get-go. He has parlayed his Lebowski Fest success into a few stores in Louisville and this project. Every time you turn around he is doing something to attract eyeballs to himself as opposed to his businesses. Jean shorts, fanny packs, and counter-culture for the sake of counter-culture only attract a select (vocal) few. Luckily for him, his Why Louisville business sells products that a lot of citizens deem desirable. Most of which are t-shirts, not fanny packs or jean shorts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
Funtown Mountain appears to be abandoned

 

CAVE CITY, Ky. — The future of a new theme park in south central Kentucky is in limbo as its new owner has had repeated run-ins with police.

 

The Daily News in Bowling Green reports the Funtown Mountain park overlooking Interstate 65 appears to have been abandoned.

 

Will Russell of Louisville bought the former Guntown Mountain earlier this year and reopened it in June under the new name. Russell is best known as co-founder of the Lebowski Fest in Louisville, a quirky annual celebration of the film, “The Big Lebowski.”

 

Russell recently indicated on social media that he has “had it” with Cave City, the site of Funtown Mountain. He was arrested on Aug. 29 during a traffic stop there and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and drug charges.

Source

 

Posted 54 minutes ago on Facebook with a photo as of this writing:

Open again today. Free costumes for the kids. Free souvenirs for the grown ups and free admission forever.

 

Edit: The Courier Journal page updated with a video after one of the journalists visited the site yesterday, finding the place seemingly abandoned.

Edited by Midgetman82
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This whole thing is pretty sad to follow. I was always kind of skeptical of the project based on the location alone but was admitadley optimistic because everything they did seemed very cool and well thought out. Everything from their website and branding and social media pages were well done and fun to follow but yeah, seems like this place is more of a mess now than when he bought it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the line of stories coming out of this and the new owner has been a bit depressing to see, more-so than just the whole place being abandoned in the first place.

----

 

Update: Sept. 9, 2015

 

From their Facebook Page:

We are taking some time to execute our plans for Funtown Mountain and plan on being a full-time amusement park by Spring of 2016. We will be working for the remainder of the year, hosting occasional events which will be announced via our social media. We appreciate everyone's patience as we iron out our business obligations and work to meet the will of the people of Kentucky. Our mission is to bring jobs to the area, elevate the reputation of Kentucky and promote Cave City. When we acquired the property in June, there were buildings and warehouses full of old stock and souvenirs that we could never use. This is why we decided to let the people of Kentucky have these items for free. This has created some good will towards the project and inexplicably some animosity from a small group of opposing voices. We know that in the end the massive disbursement of nostalgic souvenirs will not only give visitors something to remember the prior "Guntown Mountain" but will also support our mission to promote the area. We are looking forward to announcing what lies ahead for Funtown Mountain.

Outlook sounds somewhat bright for the place sometime in the future by the way they worded it... in the meantime, they also shared an eerie video shot by the Courier-Journal about the property being closed-off for safety violations.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Guntown Mountain appears to be up for auction April 20th:

 

http://www.wbko.com/content/news/Multiple-investors-interested-in-buying-Funtown-Mountain-374079071.html

 

 

CAVE CITY, Ky. (WBKO) - Boarded windows, rust, and spray paint are a sign of shame for some, but for others it's opportunity.

 

"It's just an old western theme park that looks like it's about to lay in ruin. I'd really love a chance to restore it and bring it back to life."

 

Jason Galaz said he watched the downfall of Funtown Mountain under previous owner Will Russell from his computer in Nashville. All it did for him, was peak his interest into what the property could really be.

 

"We're going to assess the damage the previous owner did to see if it's something we can work with."

 

Galaz was one of a few potential investors from Nashville and Louisville looking at the I-65 attraction Wednesday afternoon.

 

Mayor Dwayne Hatcher said ever since the April 20 auction of the facility was announced his phone has been busy.

 

"We have had a lot of interest. A lot of folks have been making appointments to come by and look at it."

 

Galaz is the owner of Muddy Roots Records in East Nashville. His vision includes music festivals bringing people to cave country from across the world.

 

"If we can take possession we'll start planning special events of all sorts. We have a history of doing music events, old country music, bluegrass, blues. I'd like to infuse that with the old western theme."

 

The new interest means another chance, for a town that wants to see one of it's biggest attractions return to former glory.

 

Right now the park has four serious potential investors with many more looking deeper into the opportunity. The park foreclosed earlier this year under then owner, Will Russell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Former 'Funtown Mountain' property sold at foreclosure auction (There's a video to accompany this as well.)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Funtown Mountain has gone to the highest bidder at auction.

 

It's been a long journey, but the former Funtown Mountain property in Cave City has a new owner.

 

"We're very excited," said Dwayne Hatcher, mayor of Cave City. "We've been waiting for this day for months."

 

One of the most anticipated auctions in the commonwealth of Kentucky attracted dozens of people from across the region Wednesday.

 

Guntown Mountain-turned Funtown Mountain was purchased by Louisville businessman Will Russell nearly a year ago, but after Russell struggled with financial, legal and other personal issues, the popular roadside attraction went into foreclosure.

 

But Wednesday's auction gave bidders a chance to bring the park back to life.

 

David Froggett Jr. purchased everything for a total of $295,000.

 

"We just had to have it," Froggett said.

 

The local buyer has teamed up with Chicago-based Gateway Development. The plan includes a theme park, retail shops, cabins, indoor water park, restaurant, and much more.

 

"We're gone put the chair lift in full-function," Froggett said. "It's going to have the wow factor."

 

Froggett says he likes the name "Mammoth Cave Mountain" for the park, which could cost roughly $20 million.

 

He says the plan is to employ at least 100 people for the first phase of the project -- and build a radio station on top of the mountain.

 

"We got our foot in the door, we got her bought, and we're ready for the next step," Froggett said.

 

Copyright 2016 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

Bumped into some live tweets from the auction today.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/