Wild West World timeline
Wild West World timeline
Wichita Eagle - 5/1/2008 - original

December 2004 -- Thomas and Cheryl Etheredge announce plans for a $15 million, 30-acre theme park in Park City.

April 2005 -- Etheredge finalizes the deal to buy the park site, at 77th Street North and I-135.

June 2006 -- Some of Park City's Fourth of July ceremonies are held at the park, one of the first public gatherings there.

August 2006 -- The Johnny Western Theater opens.

September 2006 -- Terry Fox's Summit Church holds its first service in the theater, and the park moves its corporate offices from Benton to the park's administrative complex. Etheredge begins to pressure sales crews to increase cash flow, the first public sign that he was running out of money.

September/October 2006 -- An unidentified group of Wichita investors is turned down in its bid to become minority partners in the park.

November 2006 -- Etheredge begins to solicit private investors for the park, a drive that continues until the park closes. State securities investigators are examining these solicitations to see whether the investors knew about the park's tenuous financial status.

December 2006 -- Etheredge begins the first of several transfers from the Restoration Farms account to the park. The transfers ultimately total a little more than $400,000 and continue into January.

January 2007 -- Etheredge begins offering the park for sale, according to Park City officials.

February -- Etheredge is unable to meet his payroll and solicits a $25,000 loan from a New York collector of Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia.

May 5 -- The park, which ended up costing more than $20 million, opens a day after a tornado destroys Greensburg, to wet weather and dire predictions of a tornado outbreak in the Wichita area.

June 24 -- Etheredge tells The Eagle that the park will survive. "Hear me well, and look me straight in the eye," he said. "We are going to meet projections."

July 8 -- Etheredge tells an Eagle reporter that rumors the park will close are wrong.

July 9 -- Etheredge calls a news conference to announce that the park is closing and is filing for bankruptcy. He blames two months of rainy weather and construction cost overruns.

July 11 -- The Kansas Securities Commission announces an investigation into Etheredge's financial dealings.

Sept. 19 -- The Federal Bureau of Investigation announces it has opened an investigation.

Oct. 5 -- A California company, Parks America, abandons its attempt to buy and revive the park.

March 25, 2008 -- Murphy Brothers Exposition of Tulsa signs a contract with the bankruptcy court to buy the park for $2 million. Plans are to revive the park under a new brand if the sale closes in late May.

Apr 30, 2008 -- Etheredge arrested