Oatman amusement park: Zoning commission give nod despite merchant protest
OATMAN – A number of merchants in the historic mining town of Oatman oppose a western flavored enterprise proposed by an Aztec, New Mexico businessman. Tim McCarthy wants to develop “The Old 66 Ranch” about one mile outside of Oatman.
“I’m looking at putting in a small western town with horseback rides,” McCarthy said during the January 8 meeting of the Mohave County Planning and Zoning Commission. “We’re putting in a zip line. We’ll have a petting zoo and various activities that come with that. We’re looking at putting in a little mining museum and a reptile exhibit.”
McCarthy said other planned attractions include gold panning, longhorn cattle and ice cream making for kids.
“I think I can work really well with schools and rest homes,” McCarthy said “I think field trips are going to be really neat.”
Topock resident Michael Buck said McCarthy will merely duplicate existing activity to the detriment of established merchants.
“He’s talking about old time photos. We’ve got an old time photo shop,” Buck said. “Gold panning. We’ve got gold panning. He’s doing rock shops and selling jewelry and this and that. It’s all in Oatman already.”
Robert Lowery told Commissioners that Oatman does not need a makeover.
“Oatman is a great little town the way that it is,” he said. “It hurts to think that somebody’s going to come in with a bunch of money and try and recreate Oatman.”
Commission member Patricia Alexander said it might be that new enterprise will push existing businesses to do better.
“It provides more competition,” Alexander said. “It makes people improve their business. Whatever it takes.”
The Commission voted 8-1 in favor of staff recommended approval of rezoning required for the project on the west side of the Oatman Highway, on the Bullhead City side of Oatman. The matter will be heard by county supervisors during their February 3 board meeting.
- Dave Hawkins
January 30, 2020 @ 4:39 pm
Put your old town in Golden Valley we don’t need another Oatman The one that’s there is just fine.And Walter likes it too
January 30, 2020 @ 6:34 pm
Why change Oatman. Zip line wasnt in that time era. We visit Oayman frequently and love it as it is. Take the “new” amusement park somewhere else like between Hackberry and Saligman. Build back up their area
January 30, 2020 @ 7:31 pm
Big mistake to allow this to happen it is going ruin alot of things for oatman.
January 30, 2020 @ 7:34 pm
That would be such a travesty. The wild burros live out there. That would be taking away their land. The Oatman burros live out there as well. This makes me want to cry because someone wants to infringe on the burros land just to make a buck.
January 30, 2020 @ 11:08 pm
Truly wrong for this area. I love spending time and the business in oatman just how it is. Very friendly enjoyable time and experience. Best service yet compared to big corporate stores which our rude,inexperienced and un accountabie to actions that require termination in my day. Blind follow the blind. Care less of small business follows care lesd about the consumer. Profit over quantity and service. Typical.
January 31, 2020 @ 8:04 pm
They need to stop this from happening at all cost……. It will destroy the town.
Gary A Leiterman
February 1, 2020 @ 3:23 pm
I personally like the way that it is now just wish there was better parking arrangements especially for the handicapped.
February 1, 2020 @ 6:30 pm
No no this can’t happen !!!
February 4, 2020 @ 8:56 am
This is a travesty. Leave Oatman the quaint spot it is. You’ll ruin Oatman!
February 5, 2020 @ 5:20 pm
Don’t do it, it will destroy oatman! Enough has changed on old 66!
February 17, 2022 @ 10:00 am
Come on, What is wrong with competition among businesses, as well as a choice to do other things. It will also bring money to the economy and create jobs. 🙂
Jo Ann Weems
August 25, 2022 @ 3:55 pm
Please don’t get me wrong about Oatmn, I have been there several times and always take my visitors there. The problem I see is the shops are offended closed and open when they feel like it. Everyone loves the donkeys and they are always a treat for the kids.
Instead of putting in another Western town why not put in a regular amusement park with a water park or some rides. There are many things that could be built for family and single peoples amusement. We do need more things for people to do here besides gamble.