The abandoned Dogpatch USA theme park in Newton County has a new owner.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, according to paperwork filed in Newton County Circuit Court, Dogpatch has been sold for $1.12 million.
The buyer is Down by the Falls LLC, which was incorporated in Delaware on May 28 but has a Springfield residential street address.
Beyond the name of the buyer and the selling price, no other details have been made available.
The sale was announced in a short news release from Cantrell-Griffin Business Brokers of Springdale. Even the news release did not identify the buyer or the amount of the sale.
“The new owner’s plans for the property were not divulged but his representative assured it will be good for Arkansas,” according to a short news release that described the property as a “400-acre nature and water wonderland.”
Doing business as Great American Spillproof Products Inc., Charles “Bud” Pelsor and his business partners James and Susan Robertson of Newbury Park, California bought the Dogpatch property for $2 million in 2014. Besides a $1 million promissory note, they paid $1 million.
Pelsor envisioned turning Dogpatch into an “ecotourism village,” but those plans soon fell through.
Pelsor had been trying to sell the Dogpatch property since 2016, with the asking price dropping from $3 million to $1.25 million.
Stewart Nance, who lives in Eureka Springs, his son John Pruett Nance of Rogers and their attorney Gregory Brent Baber of Little Rock held the mortgage on the property.
They filed suit in September against Great American Spill-proof Products, after it fell behind on lease payments and missed a balloon payment for the total amount due in August.
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.
A decree of foreclosure indicated Great American Spillproof Products owed $1,031,885 on the property.
Dogpatch was to be sold on the Newton County Courthouse steps in a foreclosure auction March 3, but then a “solid buyer” surfaced, Nance said in February. The auction was postponed for two months pending contract negotiations.
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.