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appatone

Great PTL thread

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I remember seeing a similar collection of photos about a year ago. I SO want to go down there and walk around. How creepily Scooby-Doo would that be? Are you able to do that?

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Many people who are recent arrivals to Charlotte don't realize how large some of the facilities were at PTL including the Waterpark which was larger than the one across the street at Carowinds at the time.

heritage016.jpg

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A lady I work with used to work closely with Jim and Tammy Faye in the PTL Studios when all this was going on (and when it went down). She met her husband during construction of Heritage USA. He ran the landscaping company that did all the work on the park. It's interesting to see those Christmas palms and bird of paradise on the "beach". She told me that Jim insisted on planting all these exotic tropicals in the water park area even though her (soon to be) husband told Jimbo they wouldn't survive the winters here. He wasted so much money on that exotic foliage for a single season. I wonder if any survived at all.

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There is a place in my heart for PTL, even though I happen to be a very happy atheist:)

When I lived in Florida in the 1980s, nothing else was on TV early in the mornings when I got ready for work, so I watched their show a lot. The show was so oddly compelling, mainly in an entertainment sense.

I grew to love the show, and the Bakkers NEVER failed to keep me in stitches! Of course the religious content bored me to tears, but their eccentricity and sensibility was a guaranteed laugh:)

How sad that PTL lies there abandoned.........

Oh btw Jay Bakker has been in the new some lately (AKA Jamie Charles Bakker, son of Jim and Tammy) He seems like a sweetheart of a young man. Like his parents, he is a nonconformist...... he happens to enjoy counter culture stylistic expression, but still runs an inclusive nonjudgemental christian ministry in Atlanta. Oh and yes, he is an extremely attractive young man, too:)

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Prior to the building of PTL, they used to broadcast from their studio on Park Road. I am not sure what is there today. In a strange way it was good exposure for Charlotte as their show was broadcast all over the world.

They were never the "burn in hell, political agenda" tele-evangelists that you see on TV today, and they were always good for putting forth a positive image of the Charlotte area.

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Indeed. I see Tammy Faye all over the place. She's a regular on the TJMaxx/Marshall's scene and I've run into her at Azteca in Matthews and at Manzetti's. I worked up the nerve to talk to her once and she was about the sweetest person I've ever met. I don't generally like reality TV, but I made it a point to watch the Surreal Life when she was on a few seasons ago. It was kind of touching that all the polarizing people that were on that show all gravitated to her. She really does have a glowing personality that you just can not resist.

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It was The Charlotte Observer that did not like PTL. They wrote article after article damning the place throughout the rise of PTL to its height in the mid-80s. Some of them would be the headline story in the Sunday edition of the paper.

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Here's another site with some photos of Heritage USA (PTL) taken in 2005. Some of them appear to be similar to the other pics but there are many different ones.

I visited the waterpark once back in the 80's. One thing you can't see in the photos showing the wavepool, is the restaurant inside the mountain that looks out at the waterfall and wavepool. Really neat stuff.

Anyone remember when Jerry Fallwell took the plunge down the big waterslide there?

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So no one answered my question. Can you just drive down there and walk around that ghost town? We should have a UP field trip.

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previous1.gif I know the guys that took the pictures in this link back in 2005 and they were able to just go in and walk around.

It's needs to be noted that the entire waterpark has since been flattened. There is absolutely nothing left but flat land.

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Yes who can forget Falwell going down the water slide in a $198 J.C.Penney's suit?

In my humble opinion, Falwell is the real reason PTL is closed, not the Bakkers.

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Here is a Google Aerial of the PTL water park.

It was still there when this satellite photo was taken...

You can see the tower too.

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Please don't think I'm being flippant, because I like the Bakkers----but I wonder if there would be much of a market to put a "best of Jim and Tammy Faye" compilation on DVD. 2 hours of different snippets over the years. Their ups and downs with the Charlotte Observer, when Tammy had an affair, etc

I for one would buy it. Jim and Tammy were some of the best entertainers on TV during their era! I personally knew plenty of atheists that watched the show because it was FUN. And it really wasn't a case of laughing at the Bakkers, but laughing with them. You could never accuse the Bakkers of putting on a dull show:)

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I'll add my 2 cents since Jim and Tammy used to live here in Tega Cay and I had a bunch of buddies in high school that lived in Regent Park, where the Heritage site resides.

First off, you can go and walk around, I used to in high school all the time, but be forwarned:

1.) they are huge on no trespassing and there is some several thousand dollar fine for doing so.

2.) there are a couple scary homeless people that live in the old buildings. I remember one time we were walking through the old arcade with the go kart track that looked like a castle and there was a huge pile of clothes and a hot plate. Kinda creepy.

The waterpark and surrounding area is really overgrown and in disrepair - really kinda creepy, but in a cool way. The 20 story tower was never finished and for a long time they were trying to get a movie studio to buy the building to have it be demolished in a movie. For about a decade after it closed down it was owned by a company called The Malaysian Group, or something like that, and wanted somewhere around $13 million for about 25 acres. No one wanted to buy it because the cost of demolition would be pretty high - there was the huge tower, a mall, a hotel, the waterpark, timeshare units, a huge castle with a go kart track and a small lake. I did hear recently, though, that a developer did buy it to add - you guessed it - more homes. Fort Mill is really hot right now for new homes, they are going up everywhere. It is only a matter of time before all of the old PTL site is gone.

A little side note: Jim and Tammy used to live in this big house on Lake Wylie here in Tega Cay. One day it mysteriously burned to the ground, but there were a couple things missing - all the gold faucets and door knobs had been removed prior to the house burning down. Still, it was ruled accidental but I have my doubts about that.

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I know this is south of Charlotte of I-77, but can somebody give me exact directions. Would love to go explore this!

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does anyone know exactly when Heritage USA was built?

Nevermind...found it on wikapedia. It says 1978.

Here's another great Heritage USA link with some of the same pics, but also additional eerie ones:

PTL Heritage USA

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Please don't think I'm being flippant, because I like the Bakkers----but I wonder if there would be much of a market to put a "best of Jim and Tammy Faye" compilation on DVD. 2 hours of different snippets over the years. Their ups and downs with the Charlotte Observer, when Tammy had an affair, etc

It's been done. It was an E! True Hollywood Story. Go to E!'s website, you can probably find it.

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Prior to the building of PTL, they used to broadcast from their studio on Park Road. I am not sure what is there today. In a strange way it was good exposure for Charlotte as their show was broadcast all over the world.

It's now the Presbytarian Forest Hill Church.

http://www.foresthill.org/

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I just surfed eBay and there are a couple PTL DVDs for sale!

Of course I already own The Eyes of Tammy Faye on DVD:)

Is there an actual owner of Heritage USA property, or is it being held by a holding company or something?

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It was being held by a company called The Malaysian Group, but I believe a developer either purchased it or is purchasing it for new homes.

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So no one answered my question. Can you just drive down there and walk around that ghost town? We should have a UP field trip.

When I was 16 we broke into the waterpark a few times, it was pretty eerie. I will never forget sliding down the slide and being coated with blue foam dust ... that was a hard one to explain to my mom at the time. They have security though and don't welcome vistors, although it isn't like a fort or anything..

I have a friend who lives in one of the highrise condo sites that they are refurbishing on site. I got lost on the way to it once and ended up near "the barn" In the middle of a deserted parking lot it looked like there were like 10 people standing around... It turned out to be life sized statues of Jesus and some prison guards or something with people standing around. I really don't see how that wasn't picked up by a church somewhere or something. It is freakin insane how nicely carved they are and for them to just be sitting in a deserted parking lot seemed like such a waste.

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The whole thing was/is so sad. Everyone involved was hurt--except Jerry Falwell of course~

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Directions are easy. Just take the US 21 exit (Carowinds) and follow it south. The main entrance is just about 1.5 miles south of the interchange. Follow the road in and look for the hulking 20 story tower, park the car and go for a walk.

I will warn you, though. It is a scary place and I was nervous several times (and not because I was breaking and entering) running across strange people who live in the complex (homeless folks). I was approached by a young woman willing to provide "services" for a ride to Columbia. I declined.

The bizzare thing is that the Heritage Grand Hotel is actually kept up somewhat. The carpeting had been vaccumed recently and the lights were on. The mall is a different story, as its falling apart. It is the perfect location for a horror movie.

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Sounds like a perfect place to film the next Left Behind movie. Any Kirk Cameron sightings around town?

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