Kentucky Kingdom

Local News
3:21 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Hart Formally Submits Bid to Re-Open Kentucky Kingdom

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Louisville businessman Ed Hart has—again—formally entered a bid to re-open the Kentucky Kingdom theme park.

Hart and a group of investors have responded to the Kentucky Fair Board's request for proposals to re-open the park.  The letter was delivered to Fair Board president Harold Workman today, and outlines a $40 million plan. Ten million of that would come from the group, and the rest would be borrowed but guaranteed by the state.

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Local News
9:00 am
Sat August 18, 2012

Ed Hart Shares New Proposal for Kentucky Kingdom

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If you're heading to the Kentucky State Fair this weekend, you'll notice the gates of Kentucky Kingdom remain closed. Developer Ed Hart joined us Friday on Byline to talk about his newest proposal to re-open Kentucky Kingdom; it's a $40 million proposal with a team of supporters that reads like a who's who of the Louisville business scene.

Hart says re-opening Kentucky Kingdom would add $3 billion to Kentucky's economy.

5:06 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

City Pledges Support to Reopen Old Kentucky Kingdom

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Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is pledging his support for Kentucky Kingdom days after Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. announced it was pulling out of the project to re-open the old amusement park.

Last Friday, the Koch walked away from its deal with the state fair board despite approval of hefty tax incentives. Bluegrass Boardwwalk CEO Natalie Koch told WFPL that the board voted against the deal because the group’s business model wouldn’t fit well with state regulations and oversight.

Councilman David Tandy, D-4, is chairman of the labor and economic development committee. He says council members were surprised to learn the project had failed, but city and state leaders need to move forward.

"There are a number of different amusement park operators out there that I’m sure are wanting to take a look at this opportunity now that it has re-presented itself," he says. "And we’ll go forward from there."

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Local News
5:15 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Bluegrass Boardwalk Withdraws, Will Not Re-Open Kentucky Kingdom

After nine months of planning, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. has withdrawn its proposal to re-open the Kentucky Kindgom theme park. 

According to a release, Bluegrass Boardwalk owners the Koch family—who also own Holiday World in southern Indiana—say leasing the park from the state would not fit in their business model. Further, CEO Natalie Koch cites "the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations" as a reason for withdrawing. 

The announcement comes shortly after the company pushed back the planned re-opening to 2014, and days after the state approved up to $3.9 million in tax incentives for the project. The park closed in 2009 when previous owner Six Flags went bankrupt. This is the second failed attempt to re-open the park since. Businessman Ed Hart, who owned Kentucky Kingdom before it was purchased by Six Flags, was in talks with the state shortly after the park closed. 

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5:01 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Ed Hart: Fischer, Beshear Dropped Ball on Kentucky Kingdom

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Louisville businessman Ed Hart is dismayed at the delays in reopening Kentucky Kingdom, and he puts much of the blame on Mayor Greg Fischer and Governor Steve Beshear.

For the past few months, an investment group called Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. has been trying to salvage the former amusement park. But officials confirmed this week that its planned reopening for next year is no longer an option because of serious  disrepair. The group's investors now say the earliest the park can open is 2014.

Two years ago, Six Flags abandoned the site due to bankruptcy and the state fair board spent almost 18 months negotiating with Hart to reopen the park. But those talks failed for reasons that have not been released.

Hart says the mayor and governor need to take a greater role in getting one of the city’s chief tourist attractions running again instead of offering excuses.

"I can't read their minds. The mayor, the governor, his people, legislators—everybody says: ‘absolutely we want Kentucky Kingdom reopened.’ Yet they do nothing about it. It’s the typical, political and bureaucratic words and no deeds,” he says. "The fair board keeps saying that opening Kentucky Kingdom is a number one priority. They said it in 2010, 2011 and again in 2012. Can you imagine how long it would take to open up if it wasn't their number one priority? It's ludicrous."

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1:59 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Bluegrass Boardwalk Sets 10-year Goals


The Bluegrass Boardwalk group has been granted preliminary approval for state tax incentives this week, bringing the amusement park one step closer to opening.

The group is owned by Indiana’s Koch family, which also operates Holiday World in Indiana. The Kentucky State Fair Board agreed to lease the former Kentucky Kingdom property to the Koch’s earlier this year.

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