Local News
2:36 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Business Group Says It Has Financing to Reopen Kentucky Kingdom

The Louisville business partners who plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park say they’ve secured the financing needed for the redevelopment.

The group, led by businessman Ed Hart, initially had until late April to have financing in place. They were later given a month-long deadline.

The announcement that Hart's group has financing in place comes days before the deadline.

The lease agreement has already been executed, a fair board spokeswoman tells WFPL.

The group will present their financing plan Thursday to the Kentucky State Fair Board.

Hart’s group says in a press release that it plans to spend $43.5 million to redevelop the park, with a reopening scheduled for May of next year. Here are more details from the announcement:

The partners in Kentucky Kingdom, LLLP will provide $28.5 million in capital for the purpose of redeveloping the theme park. Of this total, $18.5 million is equity and the remaining $10 million is a loan. The partners have formed Themeparks II, LLC as a special purpose entity to make that $10-million loan. In addition, The Bank of Kentucky is providing a $15-million loan.

Altogether, Kentucky Kingdom, LLLP has arranged for $43.5 million in funding for the redevelopment of Kentucky Kingdom. Of this sum, $36 million will be spent in the first year and $7.5 million in years two and three as the park ramps up to its full potential.

A news conference is scheduled after Thursday's meeting of the fair board, which is scheduled to also consider a plan to build a new technical services building at the amusement park.

Kentucky Kingdom has been shut down since the end of the 2009 season. Its previous operator, Six Flags, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2010. The park's condition has deteriorated since its closing.

Hart operated the park in 1990s and attempted to reopen it after Six Flags departed, but a group from the same owners as Holiday World were selected. The Holiday World group ended up withdrawing.