Like the rising of the Phoenix out of the ashes, a North Carolina treasure, Ghost Town In The Sky, a one time iconic, fun-filled, awe-inspiring attraction is positioned to come back stronger than ever, with no limit to the possibilities of super-success. During the 1960's, when key celebrities like Bonanza's Dan Blocker were making personal appearances at Western themed Ghost Town In The Sky (replete with live gun-fights, live music in a throw-back saloon and so much more), Ghost Town In The Sky flourished at the peak of it's success, drawing huge consistent audiences on a daily basis. Fast-forward to recent years: A devastating economy, with businesses in beautiful Maggie Valley, NC dropping like flies due to the lack of a major draw in the valley. So many businesses' successes were tied to the annual draw of Ghost Town In The Sky and the synergistic lifeline that Ghost Town provided.
Enter, or shall I say, re-enter, a true National Treasure: Living Legend, Alaska Presley. Not content to sit back and watch her beloved neighbors continue to feel the tremendous hit from the economy or leave Maggie Valley's destiny in the hands of folks who simply weren't spiritually, emotionally or lovingly vested in the area, Alaska made the decision to step into the fray and bid on the legendary property. The one-time hotel and restaurant owner and superb businessperson (one of NC's best ever) won the bid, but it wasn't without expending her own blood, sweat, tears and ultimately assembling a world-class team of trusted advisors and confidants. They understood Alaska's vision for giving back and making Ghost Town In The Sky better than ever, designed to withstand anything moving forward. With a twinkle in her eye and a warm smile on her face, Alaska Presley has revived all the thrills, the games, the very real looking and sounding gunfights of the old west (with a little nod to humor infused), and so much more! First off, every customer takes a wonderful ride UP to the Ghost Town on a long ski lift (which in itself is so beautiful and scenic, this alone is worth the price of admission.)
Once families arrive at the Ghost Town itself, its multi-tiered levels of enjoyment beckon families to the adventure and wonder that awaits. Alaska and her team have astutely offered local entrepreneurs the opportunity to get in on the "ground" floor with their own stores, shops and restaurants, creating jobs and industry in the area and suddenly Ghost Town In The Sky transitions into an authentic western town with unlimited potential for income, while reemploying citizens of the valley - a brilliant, sincere offering of goodwill that will revive an area hit hard like so many other areas of the US.
With it's stunning mountain backdrop, Ghost Town In The Sky has added a major attraction that adventurers of all ages can't wait to sink their teeth into: Ziplining! Maggie Valley's Ghost Town In The Sky is unveiling one of the most breathtaking ziplining opportunities for customers who have always desired to try their hand at this exciting, new adventure. When I spoke with Alaska, she vowed to zipline herself! Ghost Town's zip guides are some of the best-trained in the world, including former military men who have sky-dived and more. Ghost Town In The Sky takes safety very seriously and it's evident to any new zipliner, like yours truly. This Reporter was extremely impressed: The guides test and re-test the newly replaced zip lines on a daily basis, to ensure their customer's safety and to essentially take no risks or chances on a bad line interfering with the best interests of customers. Alaska's attention to details like safety and well-being are unmatched and genuine.
Upon meeting this timeless legend, who is an open, loving book with so many wonderful chapters representing a life well-lived, customers are blessed to experience her angelic, beautiful presence. Ghost Town In The Sky is one aspect of a legacy that contains many thoughtful layers benefitting the children, parents, and families of the Maggie Valley area she's so dearly passionate about and advocates tirelessly.
Alaska's vision now includes the Holy Land that is in the process of being constructed and created for 2014: According to Alaska: "You will arrive at the entrance to the "Pathway to Christ" and ascend to the highest peak on the mountain." Holy Land will depict the most notable events in the Bible-knowing Alaska for the short time that I have, this promises to be a life-changing event that will draw suitors from all over the planet to lovely Maggie Valley, NC. With the Grand Opening about to take place any day now, (Ghost Town has already done their "soft" opening), folks from everywhere are now invited to experience the Wild Wild West in all it's authenticity, ride the chair lift 3500 gorgeous feet up Buck Mountain with all 75 inclines, and take in the spectacular views leading up to the Ghost Town museum (chock full of memories that can't be experienced anywhere else).
From there, everyone is treated to the amazing live piano, vocals, and the classic French Can Can dancers and emcee, who sings and guides the audience through an afternoon of fun, frolic and comedy. This is an age appropriate show for families to enjoy freely while sipping on a cool, refreshing beverage. After taking in the stellar entertainment, customers will enjoy the variety of great food, ice cream, fudge and assorted treats that the various shops offer, with something tasty for everyone.
Then, it's off to a plethora of outstanding gift shops to choose souvenirs to be displayed or enjoyed, once again, something fun and affordable for everyone, courtesy of Alaska's friendly vendors who have a feel for what the public craves.
Finally, what would the Wild West be without a historic, epic old-fashioned gun fight? To the delight of the audiences, the gun fights contain all the visuals of period-appropriate costuming, great role-playing actors who appear with their authentic clothing and all the true nuances that take customer's back to when the West was "Won." Even the sounds are authentic.
Ghost Town In The Sky will succeed well beyond Alaska's expectations because she and her team are doing things right, with a wonderful team of professionals who care to their core and truly enjoy their individual contributions to Ghost Town In The Sky's comeback. Most importantly, taking Alaska's lead, everyone involved to a person is giving 110% and reveling in the pride that she has projected through her good intentions to create a living, lasting, loyal, loving legacy! How's that for alliteration?
If you're anywhere in North Carolina, be it Maggie Valley, Asheville or points in-between, Ghost Town In The Sky is a MUST DO, and a no-brainer, certainly one for your Bucket List! Folks from the peripheral states, e.g. South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and especially folks from the Midwest and East Coast, this is one trip worth taking, if only to experience the beauty, history and wonder associated with this beautiful part of both North Carolina and the US. For more information, go to:www.ghostowninthesky.com or call: 828-926-1130 for questions answered, Zipline reservations and so much more! See you there!
Photo credit: Dylan Jordan