Local News
3:25 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Kentucky Kingdom Deal Encouraged By City Leaders; Tourism Bureau Commits $100,000 for 5 Years

Mayor Greg Fischer says negotiations to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are close to completion, but the parties involved remain silent about a possible lease.

Credit File photo

If a deal is reached — which could come as early as Thursday when the Kentucky State Fair Board meets — the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau will commit $100,000 annually for five years to get the park up and running, according to media reports.

“Our piece will be part of the city’s overall incentive package," said Jim Wood, CEO and president of the Louisville Convention and Tourism Bureau.

Wood told WFPL there are 16 points that highlighted a variety of marketing initiatives in the proposal that was approved by the board Tuesday.

"We did have it approved by the governor's office today," he said. Further, Wood said that the city was planning on offering its incentive package Thursday, when the Kentucky State Fair Board will like take up Kentucky Kingdom items.

Only one group is negotiating with the state. The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company led by businessman Ed Hart originally pitched a $120 million private investment over a 30-year lease. But depending on negotiations with the state, that proposal could change.

Fischer says the city is preparing to offer the group incentives on occupational taxes that other large businesses operating in Louisville are granted.

“A deal is never done until its done but we feel like the city has done everything it possibly can do to help close the deal. I know the state’s been working awfully hard on it as well and the ownership group as well," Fischer said.

Negotiations between Indiana's Koch family — also the owner of Holiday World, in Santa Claus, Ind. — and the state fell through last year leaving the community wondering if a deal would be reached. 

Hart's previous negotiations with the state were unsuccessful after Six Flags declared bankruptcy and closed the park in 2009.