Archived News

Ghost Town under contract again

Ghost Town under contract again

Beloved but long-shuttered Maggie Valley mountaintop amusement park Ghost Town in the Sky is once again under contract, giving new hope to those who long for the park’s revitalization.

“There is a new person involved in Ghost Town,” said Nathan Clark, Maggie Valley’s town manager. “They are in the due diligence period, and they do have a contract to the best of my understanding. They’re looking at what can be done at Ghost Town.”

Linda Taylor, broker/owner of ViP Realty, has been representing the developer and confirmed that he signed the contract in mid-August, but cautioned that the due diligence period is a long one — 120 days or more. 

The developer is using that time to fully investigate the infrastructure problems that have plagued the site for years. 

“Right now there are just very general conversations about how sewer was planned to go to the mountain,” Clark said. “We’ve met with them on some water and sewer issues a couple of times. They have looked at former grant applications and former sewer plans that previous ownership groups had looked at but never completed.”

In addition to the water and sewer problems, any potential developer would also have to deal with another more recent but no less unfortunate situation at the park, which failed to reopen in 2016 after several years of sporadic operation. 

“There has been some vandalism,” said Taylor said, adding that the site was now under the control of the developer and that enhanced security measures had already been implemented. “There is zero tolerance for trespassing.”

Taylor couldn’t reveal the identity of the potential buyer, but did release a few tantalizing details, namely, that he’s not in any way affiliated with the property’s most recent suitors. 

Former Disney execs Valerie and Spencer Oberle, along with business partner Lamar Berry, attempted to buy the park from owner Alaska Presley last year, but left only liens and lawsuits in their wake after the deal fell through. 

Unlike Berry and the Oberles, the current prospective buyer has the “wherewithal” to line up funding for the deal, according to Taylor. 

Taylor also said that the mystery buyer’s recent visit to the top of Buck Mountain wasn’t his first. 

“He has some really good childhood memories of the park,” Taylor said. “Just like generations of people in the Southeast.”

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.