The sights, sounds and smells of the old wild west are once again set to return above Cave City.
Guntown Mountain is gearing up to reopen in July with new management, remodeled attractions and a new restaurant and bar.
The tourist attraction has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but owners David and Vikki Froggett are now in the process of handing off management to businessman Nathan Frensley.
Born and raised in Nashville, Frensley said he first fell in love with Guntown Mountain when he visited the park as an 8-year-old.
He already enjoyed westerns like “Tombstone” and “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” and seeing staged gunfights and can-can shows up close only propelled that love.
Frensley said since that time he has been focused on owning his own western-themed park.
“I’ve wanted this park for the past 30 years,” he said. “We came in and talked to the Froggetts and put an offer in, and they accepted. This is my childhood dream.”
His dream is close to becoming a reality.
Frensley has signed a 30-day lease for the property with the Froggetts and both parties are in the process of switching over ownership.
“We are 99.9% sure that it’s going to go through,” Frensley said last week. “We are just waiting on all the bank loans to go through. It’s just a long process.”
Vikki Froggett spoke highly of Frensley and said they had a positive deal in place. She said Frensley had the appropriate amount of resources needed to ensure the park will be prosperous for the community.
“We are supporting him every way we can in the form of previous workers, clothing and other supplies,” Vikki Froggett said. “We have been in the works with Nathan for a while.”
The Froggetts purchased the park in 2016 and opened it in 2018 before the pandemic forced its closure in 2020.
Now, with Frensley set to take the reins by July 7, the park is looking to reopen tentatively on July 15.
The Guntown Mountain Facebook page has been advertising for workers for the attraction.
“I’ve had over 600 messages on Facebook asking about the hiring process, and how quick we are going to open,” Frensley said. “I’ve just had a huge response from the public. We have spoken with city and county officials as well. Everyone is very excited.”
Frensley is planning multiple renovation projects and new attractions to the park – some of which will be available when Guntown Mountain reopens.
The new “Gatling Gun Grill ’N Saloon” will be available at the top of the mountain and will host live can-can shows for visitors.
Frensley said he is currently applying for a liquor license to make the bar a real version of an old western saloon.
The blacklight mini-golf course will also be remodeled into a virtual reality backlight gaming arena, and the haunted hotel on site will receive new animatronics and projections.
Larger projects such as an adult-only horror Escape Room and a new resort named the “Lucky Lady Hotel and Casino” at the top of the mountain are also being planned by Frensley.
He said the hotel will have 14 rooms available for the public, and with most gambling being illegal in Kentucky, the “casino” part of the resort will be a place to play card games like in the wild west. However, only fake chips will be used in the place of actual money.
Also, Frensley is fighting to get the historic chair lift at the site back up and running.
He has set up a GoFundMe account in an effort to crowdsource funding needed to purchase new parts in order to get the lift up to code. The account can be found at the Guntown Mountain Facebook page.
Frensley’s ambitious plans for the property serve as both his fully realized dream of a wild west park and an avenue to help reinvigorate interest in Cave City.
“A lot of attractions (in Cave City) have taken a hit, and we are hoping Guntown Mountain brings a lot of people back,” Frensley said. “This is a great city and a great location.”