Wild West World
was a Wild West
theme park in Park City
that opened on May 5 2007
and closed on July 9 2007
. It was located on 130 acres along Interstate 135
. It will reopen in 2009 under new management with a new name.
Wild West World was owned, developed and operated by Thomas and Cheryl Etheredge
doing business as Wild West World, LLC.
and Restoration Farms, Inc.
. The couple also owned the Prairie Rose Chuck Wagon
entertainment venue in Butler County
The announcement for the theme park appeared in the Wichita Eagle on December 19, 2004. Groundbreaking for the development began on August 15 2005. The park was billed as the only all-western theme park in the world, and the first major theme park in Kansas. The claim to being the only all-western theme park is a mere technicality because Frontier City in Oklahoma City, OK, has one non-western-themed ride ("Mindbender") in an otherwise western-themed park. According to the Hutchinson News Wild West World's rides were off-the-shelf carnival attractions dressed up in a western facade.
On July 9 2007
-- less than two months after the park opened -- the owners filed for bankruptcy
and closed the park. They cited lagging attendance and bad weather as the main factors for the decision, but experts also point to an inadequate business plan and a poor theming choice. The Etheredge's were also forced to close and sell the Prairie Rose Chuck Wagon. The theme park is for sale, but the owners publicly stated they hope to reopen it in the future. The park fixtures, equipment, and materials will be auctioned by Bud Palmer Auctions
, with pre-bidding online at the auction house website.
Jerry Murphy bought the park on May 8th 2008. Murphy said he will change the name, and go away from the western theme. He plans to add two, maybe three roller coasters. He believes he will have much more success then its founders, and plans to open the park Easter Sunday of 2009. Admission will be $15, $10 less than it was before closing.