The abandoned Dogpatch theme park will be sold at auction at 9:30 a.m. on March 3, according to a legal notice published Wednesday in the Newton County Times.
The auction will be held at the east door of the courthouse in Jasper.
A "Notice of Commissioner's Sale" was filed Jan. 23 in Newton County Circuit Court, two days after Circuit Judge Gordon Webb signed a decree of foreclosure on the property.
According to the decree, Great American Spillproof Products Inc. had 10 days from Jan. 21 to pay $1,031,885 owed on the 400-acre property.
If that didn't happen, the property was to be advertised for sale at auction for 10 days in a newspaper published and circulated in Newton County, according to the decree.
Stewart Nance of Eureka Springs, his son John Pruett Nance of Rogers and their attorney Gregory Brent Baber of Little Rock hold the mortgage on the property.
They filed suit in September against Great American Spillproof Products after it fell behind on lease payments and missed a balloon payment for the total amount due in August.
Great American Spillproof Products bought the Dogpatch property for $2 million in 2014. Besides a $1 million promissory note, the company had paid $1 million.
Charles "Bud" Pelsor, president of Great American Spillproof Products, said in December that he was giving up on his dream of turning the abandoned theme park into an "ecotourism village."
Pelsor and his business partners -- James and Susan Robertson of Newbury Park, Calif. -- had been trying to sell the Dogpatch property for years. The property is listed for sale at $1,250,000 -- down from $3 million when it was first posted for sale in 2016.
The Robertsons are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, along with David "Shawn" Smith, who had a $2,840 lien on the property. The Robertsons took out a second mortgage on the property in 2014 in the amount of $1.2 million, according to the lawsuit.
Stewart Nance said he will start the bidding at $1 million for the property.
Constructed in 1967 for $1.33 million, Dogpatch originally featured a trout farm, buggy and horseback rides, an apiary, Ozark arts and crafts, gift shops and entertainment by characters from Al Capp's "Li'l Abner" comic strip, according to the Central Arkansas Library System's Encyclopedia of Arkansas. Amusement rides were added later.
Dogpatch had about 300,000 visitors in 1968 but never publicly reported more than 200,000 a year after that, according to arkansasroadstories.com.
Metro on 02/13/2020