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Wednesday, 26 September 2012 12:40

Ghost Town pledges to reopen rides and attractions

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Maggie cheered when Ghost Town in the Sky reopened this summer, but with only a small portion of the rides and attractions up and running, the real potential of the amusement park to lure hordes of tourists back to the struggling town hasn’t been realized overnight.

After rescuing the shuttered park from foreclosure earlier this year, Ghost Town’s new owner Alaska Presley has been slowly whittling away at a laundry list of projects she hopes to complete before it closes down for the winter and reopens next spring.

 

Presley chose to do a limited opening of the park this year while plugging through the massive to-do list. Only the chairlift and a zip line have been open for much of the summer, but a couple of weeks ago, three children’s rides were added to its current offerings. There is also an arcade and tours of the as yet unfinished park.

“It’s looking good, and I’m proud,” said Presley.

Because not all of Ghost Town is open, employees have been sure to let people know what exactly their $15 buys them, said Robert Bradley, a gunfighter in the Wild West Town, who is helping with the repairs.

“Everybody that leaves seems to be satisfied and happy and going to come back,” he said. “We have not had any disappointments that I have seen so far.”

Ghost Town is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. After its limited opening three months ago, the park operated all week long, but with school starting up in early August, Presley said she saw little reason to remain open all seven days.

“It’s really good business on the weekend,” she said. “We had a great weekend this last two weekends.”

Despite the scant offerings, Presley felt strongly about opening at least a small portion of Ghost Town this year.

“I knew I would not make any money,” she said. Presley is independently wealthy.

The amusement park will remain open until the last week in October or the first week in November, at the latest.

Workers recently started toiling away on the plumbing and wiring in the amusement park’s famous Wild West Town, where faux cowboys and scallywags fight in the streets.

How much work can be accomplished in the next few months is unclear given the high altitude of the mountain and typical harsh Western North Carolina winters.

But, until the park opens again in April or May, employees and contracted workers will focus on repairing a cable car known as the “incline railway,” drilling another water well, refitting the A-line building at the bottom of the mountain, sprucing up the Wild West Town and possibly adding more ziplines as well as a complex, high-altitude walkway.

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