A federal bankruptcy administrator has claimed that the Ghost Town in the Sky theme park has "no chance" of emerging from bankruptcy, according to a new report.
The Smoky Mountain News reports that a court will decide this week whether or not to allow the park to continue to remain in bankruptcy, or whether it will dismiss the case. This would lead to the park's 288-acre property being auctioned off to help pay off at least some of its debts, with the bank that holds its mortgage likely to be the only beneficiary.
In order to avoid foreclosure proceedings, Ghost Town in the Sky's backers must present a credible plan for exiting bankruptcy. This looked to be edging closer in December 2010 when part-owner Al Harper agreed a deal to sell 49% of his scenic railway company to Remodel Auction, creating a combined group known as American Heritage Family Parks. The new company announced its intent to rescue the theme park, but little has been heard since.
The report from the Smoky Mountain News quotes United States Bankruptcy Administrator Linda W. Simpson as saying that "there appears to be no chance of reorganization" at Ghost Town in the Sky. The park's debts are estimated to be more than $13 million, with the BB&T bank owed some $10.5 million. The bank may now choose to auction off the property to try and recoup a portion of these debts.
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.
For full details on Ghost Town in the Sky's current situation, see the report on the Smoky Mountain News website.