'WHY Louisville' owner Will Russell in negotiations to buy Gunto - WDRB 41 Louisville News

'WHY Louisville' owner Will Russell in negotiations to buy Guntown Mountain

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man behind Why Louisville and Lebowski Fest has announced he's in the process of buying Guntown Mountain in Cave City, Kentucky.

"It's going to be an experience," Will Russell said of his plans for the town. He talks passionately about his true love.

"I love roadside attractions. When I was 17, my dad took me to Hawk's Nest, WV on a white water rafting trip and we stopped at this place that had all these signs 'see the mystery hole'."

Mr. Wilson's Mystery Hole was where Russell's love for roadside attractions started.

"Roadside attractions to me are the heart of the American entrepreneur," Russell told WDRB.

The Louisville native already owns a few roadside attractions in both WHY Louisville stores and is about to own another.

"I've been interested in Cave City my whole life. It's my most favorite place in the world," he said.

Russell is in the process of buying Guntown Mountain but he's trading in the G for an F.

"Funtown Mountain is basically a Kentucky carnival-themed, amusement, family entertainment center," Russell said.

He plans to bring the wild west village and everything around it back from the dead.

Russell visited Cave City a few months ago and didn't like what he saw.

"Many of the businesses were shuttered, up for sale, up for lease. I talked to some business owners and they were all saying the same thing which is it gets worse every year," he explained. "They're getting old and tired and running out of customers. I looked around and I realized if I don't do something, if somebody doesn't do something to bring attention to this great place, it's going to go away."

His plans for Funtown Mountain are still in the works but he says the possibilities are endless.

"Once it's in full swing, it's going to be a daily attraction. People will travel. We'll have special events, concerts, festivals," Russell said.

He says geographically, Cave City is perfect for a unique Kentucky attraction.

"Cave City is a world of wonder. Two million people go to Mammoth Cave National Park every year from all over the world."

Russell says Funtown Mountain will bring commerce, jobs and positive publicity to Cave City. 

"I don't know how much it will cost and that doesn't matter. My focus right now is to get my foot in the door, to acquire the property, we're in the final negotiations now. It's about Kentucky and it's about bringing attention to this area of Kentucky that's so wonderful, Cave City."

Russell plans to have Funtown Mountain open to the public by the summer of 2016.

To follow the progress, click here.

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