Ghost Town In The Sky was built literally on top of a mountain in one of America's most beautiful regions, and the park's uniqueness and incredible location has attracted families to Western North Carolina for decades.
Ghost Town In The Sky was conceived by the late R. B. Coburn, who was inspired to build a park with a western theme after visiting several ghost towns in the American West. In 1960, Coburn purchased Buck Mountain near Maggie Valley as the sight of his town, and construction began in September of 1960 with the help of a few investors, including Ms. Alaska Presley. Over two hundred locals were hired to construct the 40 replica buildings that comprised the Western Town, which is located at the Mountain's peak. A double incline railway was also constructed to bring its passengers to the entrance of Ghost Town, located at over 3300 feet up the mountainside. The park opened in May of 1961, and since then new rides and attractions have been added throughout the years.
Ghost Town has entertained millions of guests throughout the country. Ghost Town was built and opened in a time of uncertainty: bomb shelters were common, Americans were faced with the Cold War and Bay of Pigs, and the President was assassinated. The sixties movement was stirring up the conservatives from the fifties. Popular movies on the Silver screen were Westerns with hero-figures such as John Wayne and Roy Rogers. Television was becoming a household commodity, and shows such as Bonanza, Big Valley, Rawhide and Gunsmoke featured Wild West heroes that children could admire.
Ghost Town brought that Hollywood glamour and action to life. Cowboys interacted with the children, much in a similar manner that they do today, and were heroic. Ghost Town was a true escape from reality.
Ghost Town closed its doors in 2002 after 41 years of successful operation. Coburn sold the property to in August, 2006, who attempted to revive the park, but ended up closing at the end of the 2009 season. Alaska Presley, one of the original investors, purchased the park in the spring of 2012 and will be opening the park in various phases.
Those children who have been to Ghost Town now have kids and grandchildren of their own, and the parents that took their kids in the past now have grandchildren and great grandchildren that will enjoy Ghost Town again.