January 15, 2014JEFFERSON — Big change is coming to Six Gun City!
The Western-themed park has been renamed the Fort Jefferson Fun Park, and the 100-site Fort Jefferson Campground and all the rides, most of the activities, and the picnic pavilion will be integrated into an admission-free park that will open over Memorial Day weekend.
"'The West is Fun' will become the overarching theme of the whole property," explained general manager and park spokesman Tom Brady. "Cowboy skits will no longer be featured."
Some of the park's on-site buildings built to house the collections of historic carriages, wagons, and farm implements that were sold at auction on Nov. 9 will be converted into overnight cabins, available for short-term family stays.
Without any entrance fees, families will be able to come into the park to enjoy its ambiance and only be required to pay for the rides or go-karts they want to go on and the laser-tag they want to play, plus the food they want to eat, Brady explained.
This means that people won't think they have to stay for the whole day, but can fit a stop in along with other of the area's activities, he said.
Fort Jefferson Fun Park will remain family-owned, with the same five Brady family siblings remaining as second-generation partners who are adult children of Eleanor and the late James Brady: Jim, Karen, Jane, Mike and Tom.
"Starting in spring, we looked very closely at the pros and cons of selling the park, but by mid-summer I knew I didn't want to stay on the sidelines but wanted to get back into the action," Brady explained. "Some family members want to spend less time at work than others, but it will remain a family business."
"In the next year or two, Fort Jefferson Fun Park will develop an entertainment venue, possibly a small amphitheatre and likely a weekend barbecue area," he said, recalling the popularity of the music offerings at the site of the Waumbek Hotel.
"There's already a synergy between the campground and the park, and we'll just have to play it by ear precisely how we'll expand that," Brady said. "There're lots of possibilities, and we fully expect that both those who live in the North Country and those who visit the area will enjoy and embrace this new format. We envision family reunions, birthday parties, and local organizations' fundraisers taking place in the picnic pavilion."
Summer hiring will begin in the next few weeks, and that until the park comes up with an integrated website, those looking for work should go to the Six Gun City website.
James and Eleanor Brady moved from Berlin and bought the Charlie Crawford dairy farm in 1941 on Route 2, started a dairy bar in 1954 and then with the help of their eight children built, opened and operated Six Gun City in 1957.