Author Topic: the Paragon Adventure Park in Hazleton Pennsylvania is closing  (Read 2318 times)

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origonly posted by KarlVP on nw wheelers

Article in the Hazelton PA newspaper about the lawsuit involving Paragon Off Road Park

Posted on Fri, Jan. 26, 2007

ATV park owner fights landlord
Kyle Knosp of Paragon Adventure Park says PCA Corp. wants to sell land he’s leasing.

HAZLE TWP. – An ATV park owner is facing off in court against a group with ties to a politically connected attorney in a dispute involving a potential $22 million land sale.

Kyle Knosp, owner of Paragon Adventure Park, said he believes landlord PCA Corp. is accusing him of breaching his 25-year lease in order to sell the 2,500-acre recreational site to Gladstone Partners.

Knosp learned last March that PCA Corp. had plans to sell the property. The only thing standing in the way of the major land deal is Knosp’s lease.

PCA Corp. is headed by Phillip Seltzer, who also operates Butler Enterprises, a firm that owns large parcels of land in the Hazleton area.

Before selling the parcel, PCA Corp. must dissolve the lease with Knosp.

Court documents reveal that PCA Corp. has a sales agreement with Gladstone Partners, a limited partnership formed in May 2005 that is headquartered at 10 Fox Run Road in the CAN DO Corporate Center, Butler Township.

The only building on that road is Powell Law Group, the law office of Robert J. Powell.

A receptionist at the Powell firm said Robert Powell was in charge of Gladstone Partners and indicated it was “more of a personal” project.

Lawyer Jill Moran, the Luzerne County prothonotary and a partner in the Powell firm, is representing Gladstone in the action against Knosp.

Moran says Knosp breached the lease in several ways, including refusal to provide PCA Corp. with proof of profits and insurance on request, as well as causing damage to the land by cutting roads, digging ditches and chopping down trees.

Knosp said he is being bullied into giving up the lease so politically connected people interested in development can buy the land.

He claims he never received written or verbal requests for profit or insurance information prior to the filing of the lawsuit in June. Knosp pointed to a clause in the lease that states “alterations to the leased land will not be considered damage if they are made in the ordinary course of the business operations.”

The lease specifies that Paragon will pay PCA 6 percent to 11 percent of its gross profits as rent, with a minimum monthly payment of $2,500 in 2005 and 2006. The minimum rent increases $1,000 annually beginning in 2007.

Pasco Schiavo, a lawyer who represents PCA Corp., said he could not discuss the matter or identify anyone from Gladstone Partners because of a confidentiality agreement.

Moran also said she could not identify her clients without their permission. She said they are operating out of Powell’s law offices because they can’t gain access to the Paragon property, where they plan to set up a temporary trailer, because Knosp refuses to vacate the premises.

Knosp said he is worried by Powell’s relationship to Gladstone given Powell’s political connections.

Powell, former county solicitor, is co-owner of a company that acquired a lucrative contract with Luzerne County in 2005. The county awarded a $58 million, 20-year lease to PA Childcare for use of its Pittston Township juvenile detention facility.

Powell and Gregory Zappala, an investment banker from western Pennsylvania, own PA Childcare. Zappala is the son of a former state chief justice.

The judge who assigned himself to Knosp’s case on Jan. 17 is the same judge who handled a case involving PA Childcare.

Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas Judge Michael Conahan sealed a lawsuit that was filed by PA Childcare against former county Controller Steve Flood and two state auditors in 2005. The suit sought to prevent Flood from releasing state documents that were critical of a juvenile detention center deal.

Conahan’s ruling was overturned by the state Superior Court in November.

Powell did not return calls seeking comment.

A hearing on the case is scheduled before Conahan on Monday.

While the court case plays out, ATV riders are worried they will lose one of the top-rated ATV parks in the nation.

Knosp hopes his legal fight is not in vain – for the sake of his patrons and his family. He and his wife, Stephanie, invested their life savings in the park, he said.
Jan 29, 2007 (Wilkes-Barre - McClatchy-Tribune Business News via COMTEX News Network) -- HAZLE TWP -- Off-road-vehicle enthusiasts are doing whatever they can to help keep the East Coast's premiere off-road vehicle park open, including having a benefit ride next Sunday.
Paragon Adventure Park, which sprawls across a few thousand acres in Hazle Township in Luzerne County and East Union and Kline townships in Schuylkill County, is in danger of closing because of a lease dispute between park owner Kyle Knosp and land owner PCA Corp.
Court papers filed by PCA Corp. and Gladstone Partners L.P. state that Knosp breached his 25-year lease in several ways. Knosp says he's being bullied into giving up the lease so PCA can sell about 2,500 acres of the land to Gladstone for big bucks -- about $22.5 million.
The lease is the only thing that stands in the way of the land deal, and Knosp says he's not giving up without a fight.
Knosp said he's overwhelmed by the outpouring of support he's received from park patrons, who organized a benefit ride with a raffle to attract participants.
Lee Raider, 48, of Berwick, got the ball rolling with a post to the park's online forum suggesting a benefit to help pay legal expenses Knosp and his wife, Stephanie, incur in their court dispute.
"Paragon has sponsored many fundraisers and benefit rides in the past, always donating some or all of the gate fees to that benefit. So I figured 'what goes around, comes around' is a good idea. Kyle and Stephanie have always been quick to help others, now here is our chance to help them," Raider said.
Raider, a seven-year patron of the park, said he made the initial post to the forum with the benefit idea, and "everyone else jumped in and took it upon themselves to be a part of it."
He said he received $1,000 in merchandise donations from off-road vehicle and ATV companies within 24 hours. He estimates he has received offers of about $5,000 in merchandise to raffle in the last week, and he expects more merchandise to be donated for the raffle this week.
Raider said anyone who participates in the ride will receive a raffle ticket, and they can receive more tickets if they make additional donations to a legal fund. Donations so far range from winches and gift certificates to custom-made bumpers, wheels, tires, full axels and suspension products.
"There's a little bit of everything. I e-mailed and called several 4x4 and SUV-related vendors. I haven't had any of them decline. Some called me asking why I didn't call them. All the Jeep and SUV clubs on the East Coast are getting involved. People and companies I never heard of are donating prizes," Raider said.
The Times Leader received a few dozen e-mails or phone calls from off-road enthusiasts who travel to the park several times a year from as far away as New Hampshire, Canada and Ohio, and fear they will have no quality East Coast site to ride their off-highway vehicles legally.
"The possible closing would put a huge dent in available places to recreate in this manner in the Northeast. ... There are simply no parks that allow that type of large-scale recreation four-wheel-drive vehicles or dirt motorcycles," said Dan Spalinger, 32, of Hudson, N.H.
Spalinger acknowledged that some small trails exist in some states. "But the amount of miles and acres of terrain open in Paragon is probably greater than almost all the open land combined in all those states. It's just a huge loss for that industry in the Northeast," he said.
Spalinger said closing Paragon could push enthusiasts to ride their vehicles illegally on public or private land where riding is not allowed.
He and other riders point out the devastating effect a park closure would have on the local economy.
Knosp estimates that park patrons spend an average of $100 locally on each visit. With approximately 18,000 visitors in 2005, he believes park patrons infused about $1.8 million into the local economy, and that's not including the park's profits. He estimates the park pulled in close to a half-million dollars that year.
Knosp said the lease problem has promoters, who normally schedule 20 to 25 special events there each year, fretting about the park closing and having to find a new venue.
SASed 94 pu- marlin crawler 4'' springs, 5.29s aussie R lockright F 30spline longs , crawler box and 37'' SSR's

fullthrottle [OP]

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(origonly posted by KarlVP on nw wheelers at 02/01/2007)

Oh yeah the funny part about that is the fact that they released the plans for the airport before the judge made the rulling today.


No word on paragons site yet about what Kyle and Steph plan to do next, They can appeal to the state supreme court but, i am sure that is another big chunk of money that will have to come out of there pocket. So we will see what they do next. Talk is finding new land and re-opening somewhere else. Hope so that place was a blast it will be missed.

There went the family vacation now i have to find someplace elsefor the wheelers to go.


ATTENTION I just got back off there sight and they are going to keep fighting this till the end. Hope they can pull it off. But, the way it reads is that there are alot of polliticians in this one and i don't see any way they will win. I hate to see that place close.

OK Kyle is opening the park this weekend with special rates. 5 bucks gets you in 5 bucks for every passenger. That is the best deal out there. Not to mention it will help with the court fight. THEY ARE TO BE OFF THE PROPERTY BY MONDAY.

Sure wish someone with some pull would stand up for the small bussiness owner. Oh well, our legal system at it's best. Not to mention the political corruption behind it also.

SASed 94 pu- marlin crawler 4'' springs, 5.29s aussie R lockright F 30spline longs , crawler box and 37'' SSR's


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Hug your kids, pray for a soldier, and don't sweat the small stuff.

my favorite places:

– fortysixandtwo – sorry, i prefer marlin because aside from gittinit, no one is a know it all a hole


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