|Press Release: |
MAGGIE VALLEY, N.C.—After being closed for five years, a North Carolina icon, Ghost Town In The Sky, one of the first family theme parks in North Carolina, will celebrate the re-opening of the amusement park on May 25. Ghost Town In The Sky, located in the town of Maggie Valley, is a family-fun destination that takes visitors back into the Wild West, featuring high-noon shootouts, live music, shows and its famous mile-high roller coaster.
"We are very excited about the re-opening of Ghost Town. Since the 1960s, Ghost Town has entertained families, and with its new ownership and additions, we know it will continue to be a vital part of our community," said Scotty Medford Ellis, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority.
The theme park, designed by R.B. Coburn in 1960 to reflect the American old western towns of the 1840s, officially opened in May of 1961. The park operated for 41 years until closing in 2002.
The 99-acre theme park was purchased by Allen and Carol Harper, Peter Hairston and Hank Woodburn, operating as Ghost Town Partners LLC, and it underwent a $4 million renovation to prepare for May's re-opening. The renovations included a new chair lift and restored incline railway, additional restaurants and concessions, expanded group facilities and special performance areas and historical and heritage-themed displays. Additionally, new shows, a museum and updated rides were part of the renovation process.
Located at the top of Buck Mountain, visitors must travel on an incline at angles of 77 degrees at certain points, or by the chair lift, which is one of the longest in North Carolina, to get to the park.
"The trip to get to the park is one of the most unique aspects of Ghost Town," said David King, sales and marketing manager of Ghost Town. "After the thrill of the incline or chair lift, the views of the Great Smoky Mountains and Maggie Valley are beautiful and create a really unique atmosphere for a theme park."
"Ghost Town will still feature many of the park's original rides and attractions, including the famous mile-high roller coaster and western exterior, but will also introduce new concepts and amusements.
Ghost Town's most legendary ride, the mile-high roller coaster originally called "Red Devil," underwent safety renovations, as well as getting a new name and facelift.
"We held an online contest that allowed fans to compete to rename the famous roller coaster," said King.
The ride, now called "Cliff Hanger," has been painted to reflect the current color theme of the park, sporting a corn husk yellow track, chili red cars and a navy blue terminal. "Cliff Hanger" riders will travel over the side of Buck Mountain, traveling 2,063 feet at the top speed of 56 mph.
Another new addition to the park is the Drop Tower ride, located at the top of the park, which will send adventure seekers 113 feet in the air, offering unbelievable views of the surrounding area.
"Ghost Town's swings, located on the edge of the mountain, give the sense that riders are swinging off the edge of the mountain," said King. "Every aspect of the park is designed to showcase the mountain and offer a thrill unlike any other—it's truly an experience you won't be able to find anywhere else."
Entertainment, including the original live shows, gunfights, can-can dancers and Indians, as well as new features, are also part of the Ghost Town experience. Ghost Town guests can expect saloon gunfights, bank robbers, high noon shootouts, old time musicians and music. A single area will host the children's rides, and Heritage Town Square will feature mining exhibits, as well as a new museum addition outlining the history of Ghost Town through photography and artifacts. The museum will also feature a community collage that represents the amusement park through the eyes of its visitors, dating back through 1960s to its 2002 closing, showcasing the park through the years.
The re-opening also marks the first time Ghost Town has ever offered season passes. Discounts will also be available for large groups, as well as other incentives, including lower rates for students with good grades or school attendance or patrons of certain companies.
"The re-opening of Ghost Town adds a great attraction to our community, but it will also create around 300 full and part-time park-related jobs, as well as reinforcing tourism attention to Maggie Valley through Ghost Town's marketing campaign, boasting the region as a travel destination," said Medford Ellis.
Long-term development plans include possible additions of a water park, retail outlets, condominiums and potential home sites.
For more information, please visit www.ghosttowninthesky.com or call (828) 926-1140 or (800) 446-7886.
Haywood County, "Where the Sun Rises on the Smokies," was established in 1808 and is located in Western North Carolina. The county is made up of four towns—Canton, Clyde, Maggie Valley and Waynesville. The county's Southern border meets the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains, and is bordered by the Pisgah National Forest to the North and the Nantahala National Forest to the West. Known for its 19 mountain peaks and rich Appalachian heritage, Haywood County was the inspiration for the Charles Frazier best selling book and movie Cold Mountain. Haywood County boasts the most peaks over 5,000 feet east of the Rockies.
For more information about Haywood County, please call (800) 334-9036 or visit www.smokeymountains.net.