LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Dogpatch USA was purchased by Bass Pro Shop founder Johnny Morris and he plans to preserve the historic property as a nature experience.
The park has been closed for nearly three decades but people still remember it like it was yesterday.
“It was just a great place to take your family,” said Ronda West, Took family vacations at Dogpatch USA.
The Dogpatch USA property tucked away in Northern Arkansas is overgrown with trees and broken down from years of abandonment.
However through the broken park, onlookers still see their childhood memories.
“I think we started going in ’77 and we went every summer through ’82,” said West.
Ronda West said it was their family vacation and they would go three times a summer.
West said she will never forget a ride called the brain scrambler.
“You went up in this big tube and it went straight up and when you came out it just popped out and you went round and round and round and it scrambled your brain and that’s what’s wrong with me today,” said West.
West said she wanted to keep the tradition with her kids but she was only able to take her oldest son the last summer the park was open.
“When we saw it that last time it was a lot different then it had been when I was a kid,” said West.
Whats happened to the property in the past 27 years has been a roller coaster. The property had been bought, sold and vandalized however now it will finally get a photo finish with it’s new owner Johnny Morris.
Morris released a statement reading, “We are very excited to have the opportunity to restore, preserve and share this crown jewel of Arkansas and the Ozarks so everyone can further enjoy the wonderful region we call home.” He continued, “We’re going to take our time to restore the site, dream big and imagine the possibilities to help more families get back to nature through this historic and cherished place.”
Hundred of viewers took to social media to share their favorite memory and it seems everyone is excited for the next step of Dogpatch.
“It’s been sitting there with nothing going on and it was such a big part of so many peoples summer vacations like me and I think it’s great that they are doing something with it,” said West.
As of right now, plans for the park are not finalized, the new owners are still in the early stages of planning.
The official release is below:
SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris announced the purchase of the former Dogpatch USA theme park property on August 4, 2020.
Dogpatch USA is a beautiful 400-acre natural setting, in northern Arkansas’ Newton County.
The plans for the property are not finalized and remain in the early stages.
According to a press release, Morris says he is committed to preserving the historic Dogpatch property as a nature experience for future generations to enjoy.
“We are very excited to have the opportunity to restore, preserve and share this crown jewel of Arkansas and the Ozarks so everyone can further enjoy the wonderful region we call home,” said Morris, a lifelong resident of Springfield, Missouri. Johnny has worked tirelessly to promote and share the natural beauty of the Ozarks with visitors from around the world. He added, “We’re going to take our time to restore the site, dream big and imagine the possibilities to help more families get back to nature through this historic and cherished place.”