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So long Daisy Mae.

So Long Daisy Mae

A group of Harrison civic leaders journeyed to Little Rock late last month to meet with Melvyn Bell concerning the future of the Dogpatch them park between Harrison and Jasper.

Tourism officials say they are concerned Bell won't open Dogpatch this year because of his financial problems. Others say the situation has gone well past worried concern - Dogpatch is history.

Bell apparently told the Harrison delegation that someone needs to come up with a $2 million infusion before he'll open the park.

The delegation consisted of Jim Fram, executive vice president of the Harrison Chamber of Commerce; Charles Adair, the chamber president; Mike Mills, head of the chamber's tourism development committee; and Harrison Mayor Bill Gregg.

"Mr. Bell indicated there might be some changes," Fram says.

J.E. Dunlap, the longtime publisher of the Harrison Daily Times, says Bell has sold several of the park's featured rides.

"He may turn it into an arts and crafts park," Dunlap says.

Bell acquired Dogpatch several years ago from a group of Harrison investors who were "happy to get rid of it," according to one source.

"Melvyn is stringing these people along," says a tourism industry leader. "He has made a lot of promises and not followed through on them. He's not playing fair."

Bell does plan to open Magic Springs at Hot Springs, which turned a profit last year.
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Title Annotation:possibility that theme park in Dogpatch won't open
Publication:Arkansas Business
Date:Feb 4, 1991
Words:231
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