Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ozark Medieval Fortress closed this year

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 2:57 PM

THE CONCEPT: Website illustrates the plan for building a medieval-style castle in the Arkansas Ozarks over several decades as a tourist attraction.
  • THE CONCEPT: Website illustrates the plan for building a medieval-style castle in the Arkansas Ozarks over several decades as a tourist attraction.

Remember the Ozark Medieval Fortress?

It drew huge attention, from the New York Times on down, after French investors purchased property in Boone County, between Lead Hill and Omaha, to recreate a medieval fortress using authentic construction methods, from stone masonry to forging of metal fittings. It opened in May 2010. The idea, based on a similar attraction in France, was to attract paying visitors ($18 for adults in the last season) to watch and learn about the construction, which was said to take 20 years to complete. It was named one of the state's top 10 tourist attractions.

Things apparently haven't run exactly according to plan. Though a call to the phone says the fortress will reopen for the tourist season in April, the website says it won't reopen in 2012 and no reservations are being taken. I've been unable to reach any of the French leaders of the project, but Arkansas Tourism Director Joe David Rice said he'd learned the attraction wouldn't be opening this year. Agencies that have advertised the attraction in the past are making plans not to include it in advertising brochures this year.

Rice said he had only limited information. But he said the venture had attempted to find additional investors for this year. When the effort was unsuccessful, operators made the decision not to open this year but to try to retrench. I've messaged two of the venture's leaders for more information, but I've yet to find anyone so far who can tell me more, including whether anyone remains on the grounds, which are some distance off Highway 14.

Kat Robinson took the full tour on her Tie Dye Travels blog, with lots of photos of the signifcant amount of construction already completed.

Rice said he'd visited and watched artisans and craftsmen in period garb (save for some safety garb, such as helmets, required by modern law) performing such tasks as making ropes, mixing mortar and dye and looming materials. The French operation had the benefit of being within a short train ride of the huge population of Paris, he noted.

UPDATE: I just heard by e-mail from Noemi Brunet, wife of Michel Guyot, the archaeologist behind the project. She wrote:

As Joe David told you, for financial reasons, we won't be operating in 2012. Actually, we are now looking for a person to sell the project to, or an investor.

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS: Photo from website shows some of the stone work.
  • CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS: Photo from website shows some of the stone work.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (53)

Showing 1-50 of 53

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 53

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Dexter Suggs resigns as Little Rock school superintendent

    This just in from state Education Department: Today, Commissioner Johnny Key reached an agreement with Dr. Dexter Suggs that resulted in Dr. Suggs’ immediate resignation as superintendent of the Little Rock School District.
    • Apr 21, 2015
  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • More legal headaches for Dexter Suggs

    Dexter Suggs may have cleared out his office before the workday began today, but he still has lingering legal matters as defendant in lawsuits against him and the state.
    • Apr 21, 2015

Most Shared

  • World leaders set to meet in Little Rock on resource access and sustainable development

    Next week a series of meetings on the use of technology to tackle global problems will be held in Little Rock by Club de Madrid — a coalition of more than 100 former democratic former presidents and prime ministers from around the world — and the P80 Group, a coalition of large public pension and sovereign wealth funds founded by Prince Charles to combat climate change. The conference will discuss deploying existing technologies to increase access to food, water, energy, clean environment, and medical care.
  • Tomb to table: a Christmas feast offered by the residents of Mount Holly and other folk

    Plus, recipes from the Times staff.
  • Fake news

    So fed up was young Edgar Welch of Salisbury, N.C., that Hillary Clinton was getting away with running a child-sex ring that he grabbed a couple of guns last Sunday, drove 360 miles to the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., where Clinton was supposed to be holding the kids as sex slaves, and fired his AR-15 into the floor to clear the joint of pizza cravers and conduct his own investigation of the pedophilia syndicate of the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
  • Reality TV prez

    There is almost nothing real about "reality TV." All but the dullest viewers understand that the dramatic twists and turns on shows like "The Bachelor" or "Celebrity Apprentice" are scripted in advance. More or less like professional wrestling, Donald Trump's previous claim to fame.
  • Arkansas archeologist does his job, is asked to leave

    Amid Department of Arkansas Heritage project.

Visit Arkansas

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

View Trumpeter Swans in Heber Springs

Magness Lake, in Heber Springs, is a magnet for swans

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation