Grogan and Hatcher Properties, LLC of Arlington, Ky., has purchased the property. Travis said he doesn't know what the new owner plans to do with it, but he is quite certain that it will no longer be operated as an ATV park.
According to the Kentucky Secretary of State's Web site, Grogan and Hatcher, LLC is a Kentucky limited liability corporation owned by Bobby L. Grogan and Mark Hatcher. The two are partners in a farming enterprise and are affiliated with several other Kentucky companies individually. Grogan is president of Grogan's Sausage in Arlington.
Crittenden County Judge-Executive Fred Brown said Paddy's Bluff had become a western Kentucky landmark which was known far and wide.
"It was an attraction that brought in a great deal of tourism and benefited our local economy," Brown said. "I think a similar type enterprise would be very viable here. We have plenty of undeveloped property where someone could start up something like it elsewhere."
Brown said the county and the local economic development corporation would be willing to work with anyone interested in developing a new ATV park in the county. Travis said some entrepreneurs have already contacted him about starting up an off-road vehicle park in a nearby county. They were consulting with Travis on the feasibility, he said.
"It was a very good business and we appreciate everyone who supported us and came to the park," said Travis, who opened the 650-acre facility in April of 2003.
"I thought it would be a weekend job, but it turned into be a whole lot more than that," he said.
The park hosted three- and four-day events during most holiday weekends, drawing hundreds of ATV riders and Jeep enthusiasts. It had also become host to a national off-road buggy event.
"Our biggest weekend was Memorial Day last year when we had about 1,800 people," said Travis.
In addition to off-road trails, the park offered overnight camping. Travis said several camper trailers are still located inside the complex. Owners need to contact him within the next 20 days to make arrangements to move them. He can be reached at 836-4297.
Paddy's Bluff had always been a local landmark. There is a legend surrounding the bluff overlooking the Cumberland River. It was there that an early Irish pioneer named Paddy rode a team of mules off the bluff into the river, one legend says. It was also a site used during the filming of “How the West was Won.”
Travis bought the property several years ago from the former Westvaco Corp., and a private landowner. About 200 acres was known as the Eugene Duvall farm with the balance previously belonging to the timber and paper company.
Travis, who also operates a private timber company, had been logging portions of the property while operating the ATV park, too.
"I really hated to let it go, but I had already signed the option back before we opened Paddy's Bluff," Travis said. "The people who had that contract exercised their option to buy it last week."
From The Crittenden Press, Feb. 7, 2008. Used with permission.