CAVE CITY, Ky. (WBKO) - UPDATE: 6:00 p.m.
June 19th, 2015, Funtown Mountain opened it's doors. Wednesday, it was going, going, gone to the highest bidder.
"Today, new owners and a new beginning with this location," said Cave City's Mayor, Dwayne Hatcher.
"We're really happy with the way that it happened," added the buyer, David Ray Froggett Jr.
Froggett has lived in Green and Metcalfe Counties his entire life. He recently acquired 99.1 The Hoss, a radio station based in Edmonton. He and his wife, Vikki, own Froggett's South 65 Entertainment in Cave City. They plan to add both entities to the new property.
Wednesday, in partnership with Gateway Development based in Chicago, Illinois, they became the newest owners of Funtown Mountain.
"It is a piece of Americana that, quite frankly, you can't find anywhere else," the auctioneer told the crowd.
"I remember coming here as a kid, you know, we're going to make it into something that people will have memories of and be something clean and decent," Froggett said.
They have lots of plans: cabins, an indoor/outdoor water park, amusement park, 5-star restaurant, Kentucky artisan vendors, music entertainment, a zip-line, and they plan to keep the signature ski-lift.
They hope to employ "at least" 100 local employees and use local contractors throughout the renovation. They also have a name in mind.
"Mammoth Cave Mountain has been bounced around," Froggett said.
The new plans could run the group about $20 million when it's all said and done. Froggett said he realizes that everyone can "talk the talk" when it comes to ideas.
"Everyone was let down and saddened by the, if you would, fiasco, that- you know, people were expecting something- the wow factor when they got here. And when they got here, it was far from the wow factor. I think people were really let down," Froggett said.
The mayor says he plans to be there every step of the way.
"We will help any way we can to promote and make sure that we get this place up and going."
Mayor Hatcher also said that for Cave City, Funtown Mountain is more than just a fun place.
"All of my children worked here. It's just a tremendous employment opportunity for our young folks and hopefully we can return to that."
The park has a 30 day closure and 10% of the payment had to be put down Wednesday. The new owners plan to have a "community clean up" in the next 3 -6 months, rewarding volunteers with grand opening passes. They hope to have phase 1 complete within a year and a half.
Funtown Mountain, the dormant Cave City attraction was sold at auction Wednesday.
The property was auctioned in two parts - the bottom half, and the top half that contained the "old west town".
Edmonton radio station owner David Froggett, Jr. won the final bid for the bottom half at $200,000 and was the high bidder on the top half at $95,000.
Froggett, a native to Metcalfe and Green Counties, said it could take three to four months to clean up the property.
He plans to move the radio station to the top part, and add attractions, a restaurant, and to keep it an amusement park.
A possible new name for the attraction was "Mammoth Cave Mountain."