Having said that, I am thrilled whenever I see things that I remember fondly from my childhood being preserved. In a few cases, such things have come back from the dead. Case in point: the Ghost Town in the Sky amusement park in Maggie Valley.
(Full disclosure: I'm not 100-percent sure that I absolutely loved the park as a kid; but I do have fond memories of it, which should count for something. Chalk it up as selective memory.)
The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the "Dancers, music and staged gunfights silenced in 2001 when Ghost Town in the Sky closed may soon restart, as new owners bought the Maggie Valley property Tuesday and plan to reopen the theme park in May."
David Huskins, managing director of tourism marketing and development organization Smoky Mountain Host, said the opening would create up to 50 full-time and about 235 part-time jobs while also reigniting hope that tourists will again visit the amusement park and pump dollars into the local economy.
“Everything they do there will be an asset to the community,” said Monika Brackett, owner of The Chalet, a nearby motel.
Huskins helped encourage R.B. Coburn to sell the park’s nearly 255 total acres to a group called Ghost Town Partners LLC, for an undisclosed amount. The new ownership group is made up of Allen and Carol Harper, owners of the Bryson City-based Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and two partners in Jacksonville Beach, Fla., and Miami.
None could be reached for comment Tuesday, though Huskins said the group would make a $12 million to $13 million investment in the property over the next two years. That figure includes $4 million needed to refurbish the 99-acre park,
including installing a new chairlift and restoring the incline railway.
Ghost Town was a hokey, tacky part of the Western North Carolina landscape. And like Tweetsie Railroad, it was a destination for thousands of families from not just this state but from all over. Here's a cheer to it being re-opened.