"Flintstones" fans with a few million dollars now have a chance to rule over the town of Bedrock and own a page right out of history.
The owner of Flintstones Bedrock City, a northern Arizona theme park designed around the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, said Friday she is selling the property for $2 million. Linda Speckels said she is ready to retire from operating the park and campground in Williams, about 30 miles south of the Grand Canyon.
"I'm 73 years old. I don't have that many more years of adventure time left," said Speckels, who has been trying to sell the place for more than a year. "I love the property. But I feel like it's time for somebody else to come in and enjoy it and do something with it."
The price tag, however, does not include the image licensing of everyone's favorite modern, stone-age family. Warner Bros. currently owns Hanna-Barbera properties. But Speckels has renewed her own deal over the years with different licensors. New owners would have to work out their own licensing agreement.
Speckels said she is optimistic that anyone who would care enough to buy the park would be able to work out a deal on the licensing. She, personally, would like to see the prehistoric props stay. "A lot of people think of this as art, especially architects and photographers," she said.
Speckels started operating Bedrock City with her husband, Francis "Hudi" Speckels, in 1972. The "Flintstones" attraction was a spinoff of one Francis Speckels' parents started in Custer, South Dakota. Francis Speckels died in 1990, but Linda Speckels continued running the park. The stone age village includes Fred's Diner restaurant, gift shop, theater and RV park. Among the attractions is a train that rides through a volcano and a slide down a dinosaur's tail. The $2 million purchase also includes 30 acres of land.
Speckels' daughter, Holly Hulen, who occasionally helps out, said business has been good the past year and that the park is still a draw.
"She has survived 42 years, which is really amazing for a small business," Hulen said. "But she's going to be 74. It's time for her to retire."
"The Flintstones" was one of several popular animated staples created by Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera. The program, a parody of "The Honeymooners," followed the antics of Fred Flintstone, his wife, Wilma, and their friends, Barney and Betty Rubble. The animated show was one of the most watched prime-time TV shows in the 1960s. It was revived in the 1980s and spawned several TV specials and live-action film adaptations.
A lot of parents visiting the park like being able to introduce their children to "The Flintstones," Speckels said.
"We're getting a lot of third-generation families with kids and their grandparents," she said. "Everybody can relate to Fred and Wilma."
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