Ghost Town in the Sky's future looks increasingly uncertain, with the bankrupt park set to be auctioned off on October 25 as part of foreclosure proceedings.
The theme park in Maggie Valley, North Carolina is to be sold after the owners failed to pay off debts of around ten million dollars owed to mortage holder Branch Banking & Trust. A proposed rescue deal for the park from part-owner Al Harper that was agreed in May has since fallen through, although Harper's company still hopes to buy the park before it goes to auction.
If the auction goes ahead, Ghost Town in the Sky will be sold off to the highest bidder. This could see it return to operations in 2011, if extensive repair work required to the park's attractions can be carried out it time. However, it could equally see the park's assets (including its rides) offloaded to pay off as much of its debt as possible.
Footage on WLOS ABC 13 News shows the current state of Ghost Town in the Sky, which is increasingly falling into disrepair. In July, the park's management revealed that several attractions required repairs, including the incline railroad, the chairlift and the Cliffhanger rollercoaster.
The proposed takeover deal by Harper was a controversial one, as it would have seen the park walk away from nearly $5 million in debt - much of which is owed to local small businesses. Instead, Harper's company would have paid a total of $300,000 to small creditors, plus $105,000 to Haywood county in back taxes. The majority of the $7 million on offer would have gone to the park's largest creditor, Branch Banking & Trust.
Harper was one of the three owners who bought Ghost Town in the Sky in 2006, some 4 years after a previous bankruptcy forced its closure. However, the park plunged back into bankruptcy in November 2009, just two years after reopening.