Ghost Town opening is delayed until July 4

Jun 17, 2014

Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley was to open for another summer season beginning June 20, but the opening date has been pushed back to July 4 to allow time to install a water line to the top of the mountain.

Ghost Town owner Alaska Presley is hoping for a successful season after working through several obstacles last year. This year, she has added a few more features to entertain everyone in the family and has lowered the price of admission to the park.

Chris Chagnon, Ghost Town’s new general manager, said the chairlift ride to the top of the mountain, which takes about 20 minutes, would cost $24.95 for adults. If adults would rather take a bus to the park via Rich Cove Road, tickets cost $19.95. Tickets for children ages 3 to 10 cost $14.95 for the chairlift or the bus and children 3 and younger are admitted for free.

“We are just charging a transportation fee — park admission is free and that includes all the entertainment, shops, shows — everything,” he said. “This will help us maintain the chairlift, which costs several thousands each month to keep it going.”

While Ghost Town had some issues last year passing state inspections on the lift and come of the kiddie rides, Presley said the chairlift went through major renovations this year and is now in top shape, along with the train ride for kids.

A couple of new additions to the park include nature trails with picnic areas, a bounce house for children and a paint ball game area will be up and running by July. Guests can also enjoy the familiar favorites at Ghost Town, including choreographed gunfights, can-can girl performances in the saloon, the ragtime music stylings of pianist Joe Ford, old timey ice cream parlor and carnival style games.

“I think we have enough for everyone to enjoy this year,” Presley said.

Last summer, Ghost Town had a gun incident that resulted in the North Carolina Department of Labor requiring the park to use different ammunition and firearms. Presley said she has ordered all new guns and ammo and the new group of gunfighters are ready to perform with the new safety guidelines.

Ghost Town also will have several new restaurants open this season. Presley said in previous years, she has leased space out to restaurants, but this year she decided to have Ghost Town manage all of them. Food options will include Windy City Ice Cream, Stage Coach Restaurant and the Wagon Wheel Pizzeria.

Another tedious obstacle Presley has faced since purchasing the park in 2012 has been getting water up the mountain. While water had to be hauled up the mountain last year and stored in tanks, the park will be supplied with town of Maggie Valley water this year and all the 3-inch piping up the mountain is almost complete. Well water also is available for backup.

“We’ve been so lucky to be able to rework the mountain and get it to this point,” Presley said. “We’ve had so many obstacles but everything has gone much smoother this year.”

Presley said her goal is to help local businesses by bringing more people into the valley. The park will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Mondays. Presley said if there is enough business, she would open seven days a week.

Beginning next week, Ghost Town is offering season passes to guests for $39.95.  The pass is valid for one admission to all the park's attractions. The park also is giving away two, free season passes through its Facebook page promotion for opening weekend.

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