Ghost Town hires new general manager

By Julia Merchant • Staff Writer

Ghost Town in the Sky has named Kevin Bailey as its new general manager effective Oct. 1.

Bailey hails from the Boone area, where he worked as retail director for Tweetsie Railroad for 18 years. He left Tweetsie and the theme park industry in 2005, but was haunted by his decision.

“I knew immediately it was a mistake,” Bailey said.

Bailey was intrigued by the possibilities he saw at Ghost Town, which re-opened in May after a 5-year closure.

“It just has huge potential. Name another theme park on top of a mountain! I think that had some amazing qualities by itself. Starting from scratch is a wonderful thing for me,” he said.

Bailey already has plenty of ideas he wants to put into action to make Ghost Town even better. Specfiically, he highlighted three main areas he’ll work to improve. One is the atmosphere of the park, including scenery, landscaping, and themes. The next is food service excellence — he’d like to increase and upgrade the park’s food service “pretty dramatically.” The final arena of improvement will be in entertainment. Bailey plans to budget for larger name personalities and acts to perform when the 200-seat country music hall opens.

Also in 2008, Bailey plans to have the Cliff Hanger roller coaster, the incline railway and the scenic railroad all up and running.

Ghost Town has helped breathed new economic life back into Maggie Valley since its much-anticipated re-opening in early summer. Since then, nearly every hotel and motel in Maggie has reported an increase in visitors. As a result of its contributions to the community, Ghost Town was presented with the Business of the Year award by the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce last month.

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