Failed Theme Park Auctions Off Assets

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wild West World is no more. The final auction for the failed theme park was held Saturday.

In 2004, Wild West World was a dream. By May, 2007, the brand new theme park had become reality. But nearly two months later, the new owner filed for bankruptcy and closed it down. Now, everything has been auctioned and only memories remain.

Dust blowing in the breeze will soon be the only sign of Park City's failed Wild West World. Saturday, the final items were auctioned off, as the city looked to move on and bidders searched for good deals.

Rick Regan was one of the five creative directors of the park. he says seeing the items on the auction block is disappointing after hard work was into hopes of making the park a success.

The Johnny Western Theater went for a mere $40,000. Thirty other buildings and nearly 200 trees were sold, along with the 100-foot tall neon cowboy digital reader sign that served as a landmark for the park. All of the items cost much more to purchase the first time.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A failed theme park goes up on the auction block Saturday. So Friday, hundreds stopped by to catch a final glimpse of Wild West World.

Friday marked the last of four previews before the public will get the opportunity to buy pieces of the park.

During the preview, cars carrying potential buyers drove through the streets where families once strolled. Because now, Wild West World is more like a ghost town, and the story of what happened there is something most people have already heard.

"Yes I have, it's unfortunate, but that's life," said one potential buyer, Roy Frank.

Most of those looking to buy pieces of the failed theme park know it was only open two months. They know the former owner is now behind bars for fraud. But they also know the property that has represented failure now presents opportunity.

"Somebody should get it and put it to some good use," said Frank.

From every tree on the property, to every building, there are about 500 items up for sale. And auctioneers say they expect almost everything to go, partially because of the history of Wild West World.

"It was just in the media so much that there's so much curiosity," said Eric Malone, of Malone & Associates Auctioneers.

Now, the curiosity surrounding the park is bringing in hundreds of potential buyers.

"What's good for us is that curiosity also translates into buyers, because they're finding stuff they want," said Malone.

And there's a lot of stuff to want, according to auctioneers. Wild West World signs have restaurant and bar owners interested, while some buildings could make for new businesses. One building of note is the 20,000 square foot Johnny Western Theater.

"I don't know of a building that's been sold off that's as new as the Johnny Western, and as big as that is, ever being sold off in this fashion, in Kansas anyway," said Malone.

The auction starts at 9:00 a.m. Saturday at the Sleep Inn & Suites located adjacent to the park.

The auction will also be available live online. You can visit the website by clicking here.

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