Owner of hotel near Dogpatch files to evict firm, CEO

Posted: August 21, 2018 at 12:29 p.m.

Thousands of people visited the former Dogpatch USA theme park property in Newton County in 2014. Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Bill Bowden

The owner of a hotel near the old Dogpatch theme park has filed a lawsuit to evict Heritage USA Ozarks Resort and David Hare, the company’s CEO.

The lawsuit was filed Monday in Newton County Circuit Court by Debra Nielson, who owns the property, which includes the former Hub Convention Center, Hub Hotel, Neutral Zone Restaurant, a retail building and a skating rink.

An emergency exists because insurance on the property has been cancelled because of nonpayment, according to the lawsuit. Water and electricity were turned off for the same reason, according to the court document.

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An attorney for Heritage USA Ozarks Resort responded to a 10-day notice to vacate the premises saying the matter should go into mediation in Pulaski County Circuit Court, but Nielson’s attorney wrote in his complaint that mediation would be “pointless” because defendants have “not made lease payments.” The number of payments they are behind wasn’t specified.

The lease began Jan. 15 and was to continue until Jan. 14, 2020, at which time Heritage USA Ozarks Resort was to purchase the property for $750,000 if the company didn’t opt to do so sooner.

Heritage was to pay $5,500 per month to lease the property owned by Nielson, according to the lease.

Heritage USA Ozarks Resort also leased the former Dogpatch theme park from different owners.