Funtown Mountain Sold at Auction in Cave City, KY
21 Apr, 2016 - Tranzon Asset Advisors
Article courtesy of The Courier Journal:
Funtown Mountain was sold at auction Wednesday in Cave City to Metcalfe County's David Froggett Jr., ending a roller-coaster 12 months for the roadside attraction.
The property sold for a combined $295,000 for two tracts of land and buildings. It was an unusually active sale, said Ed Durnil of Tranzon Asset Advisors, which ran the auction. Ten bidders were active and around 85 people watched.
Froggett, 50, of Center, Ky., is a radio station owner (WHSX 99.1-FM in Edmonton) and runs two country music jamborees, in Cave City and Campbellsville.
"It's been quite an eventful day," Froggett said. "It worked out just about perfect. That's the way we had it predicted. We were prepared to do more and we're really happy with what we got it for."
Froggett said that he and Gateway Development Partners, of Madison, Ill., have plans to turn the property into a resort area with cabins, an indoor water park, a zip line attraction and live entertainment. Many of the buildings will be retained, Froggett said, although some of the older ones will be razed. He hopes to call it Mammoth Cave Mountain.
"We're not talking about a new coat of paint," he said. "We're talking about a real wow factor."
Work will begin this year, with the first major project being the relocation of WHSX to the property. Froggett and his partners have also already reached out to the producers of The History Channel's "American Pickers" about filming an episode there; the buildings are filled with Old West collectibles.
The roadside attraction began life in 1969 as the Western-themed Guntown Mountain. It was purchased last May by Louisville businessman Will Russell, who turned it into Funtown Mountain, a Kentucky-themed park that would have hosted concerts, a museum, haunted hotel and gift shop.
But after drafting a multimillion-dollar renovation plan and securing loans, including $250,000 from the Kentucky Tourism Development Loan Program, Russell was unable to follow through due to debilitating issues surrounding his bipolar disorder.
Russell opened Funtown Mountain last June but it was closed in September due to code violations and amidst a rash of legal trouble for Russell; after he stopped taking his bipolar medication, Russell was arrested four times in three months, with three involving public intoxication and drug or drug paraphernalia possession.
Russell, who is recovering, eventually filed for bankruptcy and was forced to close his retail business, WHY Louisville. He is also a co-founder of the ongoing Lebowski Fest.
Froggett, who has lived in Metcalfe and Green counties his entire life, said he wants the property to once again be a major roadside attraction.
"When I was a youngster just learning to play the drums, I was offered a job up here to play through the week on Guntown Mountain," he said. "I turned it down because I didn't want to give up my bicycle riding and my fishing all summer. I may get to play up here yet."
Edward Durnil, President Tranzon Asset Advisors
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About Tranzon: Tranzon is one of the largest real estate auction companies in the country, with 30 offices coast-to-coast. Tranzon’s accomplished auction professionals are widely recognized as leaders in the auction industry, and have conducted auctions in 48 states and the District of Columbia, selling billions of dollars in total asset value. All Tranzon companies are independently owned and operated.