The future of an amusement park in south central Kentucky looks grim as the owner faces legal troubles. Officials have closed Funtown Mountain just off I-65 in Cave City because of safety violations.
Cave City Police Chief Jeff Wright says much of the park has been destroyed since owner and Louisville businessman Will Russell announced publicly that he was giving away some of the property.
"The bottom building where the gift shop used to be is ransacked. Everything is broken, torn out. Everything that used to be inside the building like ice cream machines, coke machines, they've all just been thrown out in the parking lot," Wright told WKU Public Radio. "In all my law enforcement career, I've never seen anything like this happen. To be honest with you, it's just been an embarrassment to the city of Cave City as far as I'm concerned."
Russell himself has caused some of the destruction, claiming it was a form of art.
Russell made the following statement on the Funtown Mountain Facebook page Wednesday:
"When we acquired the property in June, there were buildings and warehouses full of old stock and souvenirs that we could never use," wrote Russell. "This is why we decided to let the people of Kentucky have these items for free. This has created some good will towards the project and inexplicably some animosity from a small group of opposing voices."
The post also noted that Russell is taking some time to execute plans for Funtown Mountain and that he intends on it being a full-time amusement park by spring 2016.
Russell has been arrested twice since July and is facing drug and alcohol charges.
Russell purchased the old Guntown Mountain property and re-opened it in June as Funtown Mountain. He received a $250,000 loan from the Kentucky Tourism Development Land Program and raised more than $26,000 through an online campaign.