Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 48

graylen and Stephen SanderS

Distraught over the decline of something she
helped create, octogenarian Alaska Presley
purchased the park for $2.5 million at a
public auction in early 2012.

Sam boykin

Above: Ghost Town’s
revamped chair lift will
take visitors up 3,500 feet
to the top of Buck
Mountain, where the
theme park is located.
Right: The mountaintop
roller coaster is
scheduled to open next
year.

And who should emerge from all that rubble to

take up the cause?
None other than one Alaska Presley, now in her
eighth decade.
Distraught over the decline of something she
helped create, Presley purchased the park for $2.5
million at a public auction in early 2012.
“It had been part of my life for so long,” she says.
“And I just felt like Maggie Valley needed it.”
Over the past year, Presley, who lives about two
miles from Ghost Town, has invested millions in everything from new wiring, plumbing and land excavation
to repairing old rides and installing new ones.
“Ghost Town is a huge asset to Maggie Valley,
Haywood County and all of Western North Carolina
for that matter,” says Maggie Valley Alderman Mike

48 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

Matthews. “It’s great to see a person like Alaska
Presley so willing to give back to her community and
expect nothing in return. Like everyone else in
Maggie Valley – including my kids – I can’t wait for
opening day.”
Overseeing the park’s renovations and development is Larry Elliott, who has a house in both Maggie
Valley and Tallahassee. Elliott first visited Ghost
Town about 40 years ago, and later took his own kids
to the park. He and Presley both owned RV parks in
Maggie Valley, and when he learned she was planning
to reopen Ghost Town, he agreed to help her.
The change is nothing short of phenomenal.
When people come to the park this summer,
they’ll be greeted by a renovated welcome center/gift
shop at the bottom of the mountain. From there visitors can ride the chair lift 3,500 feet up Buck
Mountain to Western Town (bus rides will also be
available). Here they’ll be able to enjoy dozens of new
and restored kiddie rides, a museum, and three
ziplines – the park’s newest attraction – including one
that stretches for 480 feet, providing panoramic views
of the Smoky Mountains.
There will also be two restaurants and about eight
stores, and of course can-can dance girls and cowboy
gunfights. A roller coaster is scheduled to open next
year, and developers are also building nature trails
along the wooded 260-acre site.
“It’s going to be bigger and better than before, but
in the tradition of what Ghost Town used to be,” says
Elliott.
Presley and Elliott are also working on the park’s
final phase, called Holy Land, which will include a
replica of Jerusalem, scheduled to open in 2014.
“This had been the hardest time of my life, and
the happiest time of life,” says Presley. “Maggie Valley
is such a fine place. I’ve prospered here, and I’m just
so glad to be in this position where I can give back.”



if you go

Opening : The park began its comeback on May 25
Ticket prices: $24.95 adult, $15.95 child (3 to 12), free for
2 and under. Ghost Town Zip Lines: $45 (13 and up), $40
ages 4-12
More information: 828-926-1130; ghostowninthesky.com


http://www.ghostowninthesky.com http://www.BlueRidgeCountry.com

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013
Table of Contents
Digital Help Guide
Letters
From the Editor
From the Farm
Worth a Click
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys
Country Roads
The Hike
Mountain Report
Festivals and Events
The Best of the Mountains 2013
25 Years of Covers: Your Favorites
Ghost Town in the Sky Rises from the Dead to Live Again
Blossoms and Buddies: The Photoessay
25 Gen X and Gen Y-ers Changing Our Mountains for the Better
Beer! A Tasting Tour of Notable Microbrews in the Mountains
Then & Now: A Photo Tour
Chefs of the Mountains, Part III
Cabin in the Woods
Flavors
Mountain Garden
The Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Letters
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Great Home Buys
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Festivals and Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Best of the Mountains 2013
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 25 Years of Covers: Your Favorites
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Ghost Town in the Sky Rises from the Dead to Live Again
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Blossoms and Buddies: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 25 Gen X and Gen Y-ers Changing Our Mountains for the Better
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Beer! A Tasting Tour of Notable Microbrews in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Then & Now: A Photo Tour
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 78
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Chefs of the Mountains, Part III
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 82
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 83
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 84
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 85
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cabin in the Woods
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 87
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 88
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 89
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Flavors
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 91
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 93
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 94
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 95
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 96
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 97
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE8
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 99
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover4
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