Tue February 12, 2013
Kentucky Kingdom Group 'Encouraged' By First Impressions From Shuttered Park
Leaders of a group that’s expected to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park say their team is on the ground and money has been spent.
The state fair board approved a lease agreement last month with the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company led by local businessman Ed Hart, who once operated the park before Six Flags took over.
Hart's group agreed to spend $45 million in private funding over the first few years to reopen the park that’s been closed since 2009.
But first the group must assess the park and Hart says they will be committing up to $2 million before accepting terms outlined in state's 50-year lease agreement, which has been signed by both sides.
Hart introduced the eight member management team Tuesday that has been reviewing the park conditions the past week. The group has 90 days to assess the park and figure out if its a fair deal, according to the budget it has proposed.
“This management team will be coordinating that assessment by bringing in all the manufacturers, equipment suppliers, all the electricians, plumbers, all the people we rely on to feed us the information determine if our budgeting is correct to go forward,” Hart says.
During the 90-day period--which began when the lease was signed--KKRC is also expected to secure its financing package which partly relies on the state's approval of tourism tax credits.
Hart says he’s confident the project will move forward and the park is expected to be open in May next year.