Eviction notice filed against company leasing Dogpatch theme park

Newton County property owner Debra Nielson filed suit Monday against Heritage USA Ozarks Resort, Inc. and company owner David Hare individually to evict them from the buildings and property on the hill above the old Dogpatch USA theme park.

The Harrison Daily Times reports the unlawful detainer suit filed Monday includes the terms of the lease agreement.

The lease agreement executed in February notes Heritage agreed to pay $5,500 a month to lease the former Hub Motel, former Hub Convention Center, former Neutral Zone restaurant, the former skating rink and a retail building consisting of about 3,520 square feet.

The lawsuit says Heritage has failed to make any payments, and Hare “has continued to unlawfully occupy the real estate and the remaining principals of Heritage USA Ozarks Resort, Inc. have vacated the premises.”

In response to a 10-day eviction notice in July, Heritage claimed it was a breach of the lease agreement. The company said a dispute between the parties that can'’t be resolved must go to mediation. If the dispute can’t be mediated within 90 days, the proper venue would be Pulaski County Circuit Court.

The lawsuit, filed in Newton County Circuit Court, said mediation is pointless because Heritage hasn’'t made any payments on the lease.

In addition, an emergency exists because liability and casualty insurance on the property has been canceled for non-payment, as have water and electric service, the suit said. It also alleges an inspection showed “significant damage to the premises.”

The suit asks the court to schedule an immediate hearing on the matter and the County Clerk’s Office to issue a writ of possession to allow Nielson to take possession of the property, with the help of the sheriff’'s office if necessary.

In February, Hare told Newton County business leaders his interest in Newton County is a desire to return to a rural environment.

Growing up in Irvine, California, he said, he saw the countryside consumed by development. He said he formed the corporation made up of investors and developed a business model based on the Disney environment he was exposed to earlier in his business career.

Hare said Dogpatch is important to Arkansas. The company wanted to create “a little Disney World experience” here.

In December last year, the owners of the former Dogpatch theme park reached an agreement to lease the property to Heritage USA to develop it into Heritage USA Dogpatch Resort.

Heritage USA is not affiliated with the former Christian theme park of the same name that closed in 1989 in South Carolina.

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