New book offers fond memories of N.C.’s Oz “Most theme park souvenir maps were designed to help people navigate their way around the property, but the Land of Oz map was intended to be more graphically attractive than functional,” Hollis writes. “It is by no means drawn to scale. It also shows things that were not usually part of the experience and leaves out other things that were. But if readers so desire, they can use it as they proceed through the following pages and see if they can make sense out of it.” The Oz idea was conceived in 1966, by North Carolina tourism moguls Grover, Harry and Spencer Robbins — men who wanted to utilize their new ski facilities atop Beech Mountain during the summer. They brought in associate Jack Pentes, who created the “Wizard of Oz” theme, planned and developed the park. Still, the park did not quite resemble the famous movie or the Oz as depicted in L. Frank Baum’s book. Instead, Pentes interpreted his own vision of Oz — with a comical Wicked Witch and a wizard who did not turn out to be a fake.
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