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story.lead_photo.caption After Dogpatch's closing, salvageable rides were sold to various parks. Those that remained, like the Wild Water Rampage, cast a stark silhouette against the rugged landscape.

Dogpatch won't be sold on the Newton County Courthouse steps on March 3, as previously advertised.

The abandoned theme park is under contract to be sold to a "solid buyer," said Stewart Nance of Eureka Springs, one of the mortgage holders.

Nance said Tuesday that he couldn't reveal the buyer's name.

He said the foreclosure auction has been postponed for two months pending contract negotiations with the buyer.

A "Motion to Cancel Foreclosure Sale" was filed Tuesday in Newton County Circuit Court.

"Circumstances have arisen which make it in the interest of all parties that the sale date be cancelled, subject to reschedule by plaintiff, in order to attempt to attain the highest and best price for the property," according to the court filing. "Plaintiffs therefore request that this court enter an order cancelling the current sale date of March 3."

Nance, his son John Pruett Nance of Rogers and their attorney Gregory Brent Baber of Little Rock hold the mortgage on the property.

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. A legal notice about the foreclosure auction was published in the Newton County Times on Feb. 12.

Stewart Nance said earlier that, if the foreclosure auction took place, he would start the bidding at $1 million.

The mortgage holders 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 since 2016, during which time the asking priced dropped from $3 million to $1,250,000.

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.

Constructed in 1967 for $1.33 million, Dogpatch USA 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.

In 1968, the first full year of operation, the general manager reported that Dogpatch had 300,000 visitors.

[DOCUMENT: Motion to cancel foreclosure sale » arkansasonline.com/226dogpatch/]

Metro on 02/26/2020

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