Local News

The bidding process for investors wanting to reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement park is being launched this week.

Once the applications are in, the state will narrow the competition to the top three bidders.

The doors to Kentucky Kingdom have been closed since late 2009.  Its previous operator, Six Flags, declared bankruptcy.

The second and latest proposal to reopen the park came earlier this year from Indiana’s Koch family, which owns Holiday World. After that fell through, the Gov. Steve Beshear requested the State Fair Board open up the contract to bidding.

The Finance and Administration Cabinet will review the applications and pick the three best bids, said Pamela Trautner, a spokeswoman for the department. 

“There are several criteria that will be evaluated and all of those are elucidated in the RFP, which is online,” she said.

A local investor group led by businessman Ed Hart announced a $40 million proposal to reopen the park the same week the state fair board announced it would open the process to bidding. Hart and his group–Kentucky Kingdom Redeveopment Company–will have to adapt the proposal to criteria developed by the state.

Hart has been critical of the state for going through the bidding process, saying the delay is costing taxpayers.

Applications are due by 4 pm on October 19.