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Website by Pat Adams. pat@tennesseeconcerts.com
Opryland 96 video
of Roller Coaster at Opryland "Hangman"
Opryland Train Part 1 of 3
Shot from the train at Opryland USA on October 24, 1997
Opryland Train Part 2 of 3
Shot from the train at Opryland USA on October 24, 1997
Opryland Train Part 3 of 3
Shot from the train at Opryland USA on October 24, 1997
Website by Pat Adams
Opryland Shuttering
& Demolition
from Wikipedia

From the beginning, Opryland
was severely handicapped by
its location. The park was
located on a
roughly-triangular tract of land
with the Cumberland River on
one side, Briley Parkway on
another, and the Opryland
Hotel on the third. This meant
that not only was the site
subject to occasional
flooding, but also that the
park could not expand to
include new attractions as
consumer preferences
changed. Opryland was
forced to remove older
attractions in order to add
new ones, as was the case
with the Raft Ride in 1986 for
the Old Mill Scream, and the
Tin Lizzies in 1994 for The
Hangman. By 1993, the
amusement park had reached
200 acres (0.81 km2) in size
and had nowhere else to
grow. In 1993, Gaylord
Entertainment embarked on
the largest-ever construction
project in Nashville's history
at the time: the Delta. This
project, which opened in
1996, added an enormous
new atrium, over 1,000
guestrooms, and a new
convention complex to
Opryland Hotel. The Delta,
however, utilized all of the
available land contiguous to
Opryland Themepark,
completely preventing any
further expansions.
In addition, Nashville's
climate made year-round
operations almost impossible;
seasons were largely limited
to weekends in the late fall
and early spring and daily in
the summer. Seasonal
workers became hard to find,
and Gaylord found itself with
a labor shortage. Attendance
plateaued throughout the
1990s. By 1997, Gaylord
management, in a move
toward refocusing on its core
hospitality businesses,
decided that the Opryland
property would no longer
make a rate of return equal to
that desired for its properties
and was unlikely ever to
return to doing so.
Management decided the
amusement park should be
replaced by a property which
made year-round usage of the
Rumors began to surface
during the summer of 1997
that Gaylord was considering
selling or demolishing the
theme park. The decision to
close the park and replace it
with a shopping mall named
Opry Mills was made public
that November, about a week
after the end of the park's
regular season.
The 1997 "Christmas in the
Park" season was billed as a
"last chance" for Nashvillians
to see Opryland, though only
a small portion of the park
was open for the season, and
many of the larger attractions
were already being
dismantled. The park closed
permanently on December
31, 1997.
All five roller coasters and
many other large attractions
were sold to Premier Parks
and moved to a field formerly
occupied by the Old Indiana
Fun Park near Indianapolis,
Indiana, where the company
had planned to build a new
theme park. Those plans
were soon scrapped when
Premier Parks purchased Six
Flags. The pieces of
Opryland's attractions sat
rusting in the Indiana field until
2002, when the site was sold.
Some of the flat rides were
sold for scrap metal, while the
fate of many of the larger
attractions remains unknown,
although at least two of
Opryland's former coasters
(The Hangman and Rock n'
Roller Coaster) found new life
at Six Flags parks around the
United States under different
names. One of the Wabash
Cannonball's cars appeared
at a park in Europe as part of
a Halloween display.
The themepark site was
cleared and paved into a
parking lot for Opry Mills and
the Grand Ole Opry House
by July 1999, while
construction of the mall took
place primarily on the site of
the themepark's parking lot.
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