Ghost Town in the Sky
If you want to translate the term "thrill" into a concrete concept
then pay a visit at the Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley, North
Carolina and find out for yourself. This amusement park set in the Wild
West is really amusing in that it is located atop a mountain which can
be accessed only through a 3,370 feet chair lift. The Wild West Ghost
Town has its highest elevation at 4,650 feet, and is located in the
Catalochee Divide, bordering the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The amusement park is being promoted as the North Carolina’s mile
R. B. Coburn, the brainchild of the park’s existence, spent one million
dollars for the construction of the Russell Pearson-designed amusement
park. It became one of the most visited tourist attractions in North
Carolina and has even attracted a number of movie and television stars
of the '60s like Burt Reynolds, Irene Ryan and Dan Blocker. Although the
park was sold to the National Services in 1973, Coburn bought it back in
1986 and made a number of renovations and introduced new rides, most
popular of which is the Red Devil Roller Coaster. The park would then
suffer a big deal of mismanagement and lack of maintenance which led to
the park's closing in 2002. It was only in 2006 when it was re-opened
under a new management and million dollars worth of improvements.
Visitors of the park will be amused how the park is categorized into
themed towns designated at the different elevations of the mountain.
These themes include "Indian Village," "Mountain Town" and "Mining
Town." The park is very much a replica of a Western town, adorned with
saloons, jail, schoolhouse, bank and other common business entities. One
of the park's greatest attraction is the simulation or staging of a
gunfight. Can-can dancers are featured in the Silver Dollar Saloon while
country singers are the major features of the Red Dog Saloon.
The Chair Lift which was reintroduced in 2007 after a malfunction in
2002 is now fully-operational and has remained as the only method to
reach the park. At its terminus is the Heritage Town Square which
chronicles the history of the Ghost Town. The square includes a
restaurant and the Cliff Hanger, the new name of the very popular Red
Devil roller coaster.
Currently one of the most popular rides in the Ghost Town is the
Geronimo Drop Tower which is the latest addition in the thrill rides.
Located at 4,800 feet above sea level, this allows riders to give
themselves a new perspective of their elevation, making them realize
that they are miles above, with valleys and mountain ranges among their
eyes' reach and let them scream their lungs out as they engage in the
most amazing free fall that they will ever have. Other popular rides are
the following: Gunslinger, Round Up, Tumbleweed and Undertaker.