You Won’t Believe What These Explorers Found in North Carolina’s Abandoned Ghost Town In The Sky
In 1960 R.B Coburn purchased Buck Mountain near Maggie Valley. Sitting at 4,600 ft. elevation, Coburn decided this was the perfect location to open up his very own Wild West theme park named ‘Ghost Town in the Sky.’ The park opened May 1st, 1961 and hundreds of thousands of guests rode the lift 3,300 ft. to the top of the mountain to be greeted by a sight like nothing they’d seen before.
The theme park was equipped with 40 replica buildings and thrilling rides that eventually turned it into one of Western North Carolina’s most popular attractions. In its heyday, 620,000 people were visiting the park each year.
In 1986, the famous Cliffhanger roller coaster was constructed and interest and tourism were booming. But it wasn’t all cowboys, thrills, and staged shootouts. Ghost Town had a dark side. The lack of maintenance on the equipment and property eventually led to faulty mechanics on rides, structures, and even the lift that took visitors to the top.
Eventually, visitors began to tell others about the faulty and sometimes scary mechanics of the untrustworthy rides while the millions of dollars for maintenance seemed an impossible feat. People were scared to visit and tourism dwindled. In 2002 the chair lift stopped and stranded passengers for two hours. The park was closed for the next four years.
Through the years, Ghost Town shifted ownership and loans were made to the park to help restore it. After $38 million in maintenance and renovation, Ghost Town reopened in May of 2007. But it never quite found its stride or popularity from the early days and suffered from bankruptcy, lack of funds, and constant closing and reopening for the next few years.
In 2013 it was purchased for $1.5 million by Alaska Presley, a Maggie Valley businesswoman.
Ghost Town now sits quietly in the sky, while locals, visitors, and those who have fond childhood memories of visiting the park hope to see it reopen.
It’s ironic that the Ghost Town lived to fulfill its namesake.
In the video below watch AdamtheWoo conquer thorny vines, miles of hiking up a steep incline, ‘bears,’ and possible trespassing charges just to get a glimpse at the abandoned theme park.
What did you think? Do you have memories of visiting the park as a child? Tell us in the comments!