Maggie can support Ghost Town without giving money

Feb 14, 2014

Alaska Presley, owner of Ghost Town in the Sky, has put forth a proposal to expand her operation to include a winter wonderland at the foot of Buck Mountain.

The winter wonderland, estimated to cost $750,000, would include snow tubing, an ice-skating rink, light and laser shows and a train ride through Santa’s workshop.

This type of project would fit in perfectly with the vision that the town of Maggie Valley has outlined in the Move Maggie Forward study.

The idea of an ice-skating rink has been floating around the valley for several years now and the town has started to gradually purchase new winter wonderland lighting to attract more tourists throughout the shoulder season instead of only Christmas.

Presley gave the town an update on her progress last week and asked if there was anything the town could do to help. The Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen showed its support of the project, but members tried to explain that there was little the town could do financially. While the winter wonderland is a venture worth pursuing, it is not something the town can just write a check for.

Ghost Town is a private business and the town can’t hand over taxpayer money to help a business expand just because it might create 20 minimum wage jobs in the winter. The amount of property tax a business owner pays has nothing to do with it.

That’s not to say the town is unwilling to be supportive of Presley’s efforts to increase tourism and bring new jobs. Town Manager Nathan Clark was directed to look for any grants that might be helpful to Ghost Town, but even those funds are pretty limited at this time.

We know how much Ghost Town and Maggie Valley mean to Presley and how hard she has worked to get it back to its glory days. We hope she is successful in the future for everyone’s sake, but she’ll need to find another way to get financing for the new project.

A winter wonderland park in town would hopefully increase tourism during the months we need it the most and tie in to the winter assets we already have — things like Cataloochee Ski Area and Tube World.

We encourage individuals and businesses that want to privately support the project to meet with Presley to see how they may be able to help. There is no doubt that it would get more people in the valley spending money at hotels, restaurants and shops.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Feb 14, 2014 11:49

              Curious thing We the people can use tax-dollars to lure/intice people here, tax them after the fact in the name of "tourism" thereby helping those in the tourism buisness, but refuse to help a buisness that would greatly help the tourism industry. Picking sides a bit, seems to me.

              How about a curling court?





Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Feb 14, 2014 20:55

Here is a perfect opportunity for the county commissioners and TDA to win those of us who are opposed to jacking up taxes on our tourists. It's time to put up or shut up and go home.

GhostTown is a proven draw for tourists who not only eat in our restaurants but spend the night in our hotels. For every 1 room I rent for "Folkmoot" (which seems you people wet all over yourselves to promote) I rent 100 rooms to families who come to GhostTown, Cataloochee, and Wheels Through Time.

Miss Alaska has spent HER money and you people won't do anything. She has faced obstacle after obstacle and you people do nothing to help. Yet you have the freakin nerve to give "Folkmoot" a building?  Seriously?

You people claim jacking the bed tax by 50% isn't about ball fields and public owned parks...well here is your chance to prove it. If you can't find one feature of her plan for drawing tourists then you need to quit lying to us.

Posted by: James Franklin | Feb 21, 2014 08:49

An ice skating rink at the foot of Buck Mountain might attract visitors, but I'm skeptical. Maggie Valley had an ice rink during the "glory days" of Ghost town in the 60's. It failed.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Feb 21, 2014 10:12

                         In tough times you have to appeal to people's basic instincts. Making Eagles Nest into a 24hr full nudity full bar strip club/eatery would help immensly. As the economy gets better people interested in a wider variety of entertainment will follow. What is needed immedietly is a catalyst.



Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Feb 21, 2014 13:37

LOL. You find someone with the courage to being the business to town I will vote for it! That should shake up the folks who have sticks firmly shoved up their backsides. I would even offer to supply enough Brasso (R) to keep the brass poles shiny.

Posted by: Charles Zimmerman | Feb 23, 2014 10:06

           It is just common sense. As prostituion was legal during OUR Founding, Maggie could become the Nevada of N.C.

            One of the funnier stories that OUR schools don't tell is that because it was well noted that OUR young radicals were spending their energies in Ben Franklin's Houses of ill-repute, Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison were asked to mix-up a batch of "salt peter" to be administered to OUR troops.


Posted by: Allen Alsbrooks | Feb 23, 2014 11:18

Prostitution is still still quasi legal... look at dating and marriage.

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