On Tuesday evening, WHY Louisville and Lebowski Fest founder Will Russell secured a Kentucky Tourism Development Loan of a quarter of a million dollars for his Funtown Mountain pursuit in Cave City.
Funtown Mountain will be a reimagining of the old Guntown Mountain attraction. Exit guns. Enter fun.
We’ve been following the story of Russell’s carnival-themed dream for awhile now.
Yesterday evening, Russell called in to the Terry Meiners show on WHAS radio to share the news. He was speaking from a yoga retreat, he said, in a hammock looking at the Pacific Ocean in Costa Rica.
Russell said the loan is “going to get us where we need to close the deal at the end of March.”
The original hearing for the loan was postponed from Feb. 18 due to snow, so Russell, who had already scheduled the yoga retreat, Skyped in to the meeting. Several members of his “dream team” were in attendance, including Art Embry, Philip Ruskin and Emily Carter.
Russell has plans to break ground in early April and be open on a limited basis starting in June. The “Grand Awesoming” is scheduled for June 15 with the souvenir shop and haunted hotel up and running and a pop-up version of Karter Louis’s Hillbilly Tea.
In other Funtown news, Russell, as promised, has also secured a vintage Wolfpack 5 Animatronic Band (the band from ShowBiz Pizza). The Wolfpack 5 predates the even more popular Rock-a-Fire Explosion by about two years. Created in 1978, the Wolf Pack 5 consisted of five characters that played 50s-style music: Wolfman, Fats Gorilla, Dingo Starr, Beach Bear and Queenie.
Turns out these animatronic bands can be programmed to play anything you want, and Russell plans to solicit music from local and regional recording artists.
When Meiners commented on how much Russell seems to do, Russell responded, “I don’t do anything, actually.” He gave all the credit to his team.