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Ghost Town in the Sky theme park 'restart?' Despite lawsuit, 'It's still a go!' project rep says
Friday, 16 September 2022 21:15

From Staff Reports

MAGGIE VALLEY — Despite a lawsuit filed on behalf of one of the key parties in the limited liability corporation that owns the long-shuttered Ghost Town in the Sky theme park here seeking to dissolve the L.L.C., the project is “still a go!” and nothing has changed in the commitment and planning, Dave Angel, the local spokesman for the project, told the Daily Planet in a Sept 11 telephone interview.

Beyond stating the project remains fully on track, Angel said, “There’s nothing else I can really say at this point because of the lawsuit.

“It’s still a project ‘to go’ — and we’re moving forward. If there is any outcome that materializes in the lawsuit, we’ll manage it” — and still proceed forward to esnure that a restart of the theme park with a new twist happens, he said.

As reported in the Aug. 28 edition of the Daily Planet, the drama swirling around Ghost Town in the Sky recently took a new twist when a  lawsuit was filed that seeks to “dissolve” the two development companies (Ghost Town in the Sky, LLC., and Maggie Valley RV Park, L.L.C.,) established by Frankie Wood and the Alaska Presley — before she died.

To that end, Park News reported on Aug. 13 that the lawsuit is being filed by Jill Holland McClure, the niece of Alaska Presley, who apparently inherited the “membership interest” in both of the corporations following the death of Presley in April 2022.

“Frankie Wood, however, denies it can happen because ‘Alaska Presley was my partner, not her (McClure),’” Park News stated. “However in the operating agreements for each corporation, Alaska Presley had the foresight to include language to clearly dictate what would happen to her interests in each upon her death that state that McClure would succeed to all the ‘interests, rights and duties’ held by Presley. 

“In the agreement for Ghost Town in the Sky, L.L.C., the deal was set for Presley to contribute the Ghost Town theme park property, while Wood’s company would be responsible for contributing the ‘cash or financing and labor for the development of the real property,’ with profits or losses to be shared 50/50,” according to Park News.

 The report in Park news also reported the following:

"Thus far, McClure has been denied access to either corporation properties, denied information about the development timeline and apparently has been forced to contribute funds to the corporation for ongoing expenses (taxes, utilities, insurance, etc).

"With all that in mind, it makes sense that McClure is now seeking to use her inherited rights to dissolve the corporations through one of three methods included in the agreement: (1) Mutual Consent of all Members, (2) Upon the Sale of the company, or (3) A decree of judicial dissolution.

"Thus far, Frankie Wood has declined the options of a voluntary dissolution or to purchase the assets for “a fair market value," Park News' report concluded.

Meanwhile,  an October press release from Storyland Studios noted that it had signed a contract to redesign Ghost Town in the Sky. (Storyland is a company run by Disney "imagineers" with a successful 20-year history in the themed entertainment industry.)

A story in The (Waynesville) Mountaineer on Oct. 25 noted that Storyland "specializes in theme park master planning, architecture and integrated marketing."

The release quoted Frankie Wood, magaining member of Ghost Town in the Sky, L.L.C., as saying the following:

"We selected Storyland because of their experience on so many theme parks around the world. They have a team that can help us get our brand story right, redesign the park and help us bring it to life and make it successful."

The Mountaineer story added that "Wood has been meeting with part-time Maggie Valley resident Matt Ferguson, chief innovation officer for Storyland Studios, on the project for about a year."

What's more, The Mountaineer quoted Ferguson as saying the following:

"We wat to bring back everything people remember and loved about Ghost Town.

"We will plan to have the Old West town.

"We expect to have stunt showdowns, can-can shows, music and entertainment.

"But we also plan to update the attractions to compete with the best storytelling experiences in the world and have stronger connections with the park's location in the Great Smoky Mountains."



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