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Archive for Friday, June 6, 2008

Park City Officials back new Wild West park offer

June 6, 2008

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— A Tulsa, Okla., carnival company has apparently defaulted on its $2 million offer to buy the defunct Wild West World, and now a Wichita businessman has the city's blessing to buy the property.

The Park City Council held an emergency meeting Wednesday and unanimously approved a letter of intent to issue up to $5 million in industrial revenue bonds to Wink Hartman. Hartman has offered $2 million to buy the land and develop it.

Tulsa-based Spectacular Attractions had asked for a 60-day extension to complete its financing package to buy the amusement park. But the park's consortium of lenders objected to the extension.

Park City officials say the offer by Spectacular Attractions, headed by businessman Jerry Murphy, defaulted at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Murphy was surprised Wednesday night when a Wichita Eagle reporter told him of Park City's action. He said his group needed until July to finish putting financing together, and that he had no idea someone else wanted to buy the property.

"I really don't know anything about this," Murphy told The Eagle. "It's a total surprise. Why would they give someone else IRBs when they couldn't do it for us?"

Wild West World, a $30 million Western-themed amusement park, opened in May 2007. It closed two months later after its owner, Thomas Etheredge, said low attendance and construction cost overruns pushed the park to bankruptcy.

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