The last time we reported on the status of Dollywood’s SBNO Timber Tower, HUSS was seeking dismissal of Dollywood’s $500,000 lawsuit. Dollywood was suing HUSS Park and Attractions (HPA) and HUSS Parts and Services (HPS) for “breach of contract, breach of warranty, and negligence,” after having their new ride down for service more than it was up and operational during its short life, and being charged for it despite the ride never working properly.
HPA and HPS though requested dismissal of the lawsuit claiming that since they were not successors to the original company that built the ride and made the contract with Dollywood, they were not liable or responsible for the claims. The original contract, signed with HUSS Maschinenfabrik, was signed in June 2005, with a one-year limited warranty on the structure and rides operation. After filing for insolvency in October 2006, HPA and HPS took over their assets, but according to Tennessee law, “when a corporation purchases the assets of another corportation, the purchaser is not automatically liable for the obligations of the seller,” as reported by timesnews.net.
Now, it has been reported by TimesNews.net that the two entities have reached a settlement and resolved all issues without “an admission of liability by either side.” Pete Owens, media and public relations manager for Dollywood said that they came to a “mutual agreement.” While the exact terms of the settlement have not been revealed, Owens confirmed that Timber Tower would be taken down and removed before March 24, the first day of Dollywood’s 2012 operating season.
After the rides completion in March 2006, it only took a few months before the ride started experience problems and malfunctions. In October 2006, however, HUSS Maschinefabrik filed for insolvency and was taken over by HUSS Park Attractions and HUSS Parts and Services, according to The Mountain Press. Maintenance was performed by HUSS in January 2007 after negotiating a new contract with Dollywood. Again, within just a few months, by April, the ride was experiencing new problems, which led to the June 17 incident that year which left 38 riders stranded at the top of the tower. Dollywood then had to replace the ride’s main hydraulic pump and the circulation pump, in September and November 2007 respectively. Later, in June 2008, after just over two years of operation, Dollywood had to replace the gondola motor drive, and that year the ride was down for 627 operating hours.
While Owens also told TimesNews.net that the park was looking into something to replace the ride, he noted that Barnstormer to 1-1.5 years, Wild Eagle 2+ years, and Mystery Mine took nearly 3 years of planning to come online.