Local News Politics

Thanks to Dan Conti, Kentucky Public Radio

The president of the Kentucky State Fair Board says negotiations with a prospective new operator of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park are going well.

Harold Workman told a Kentucky Senate committee yesterday that he expects the talks with the owners of Indiana’s Holiday World to lead to an agreement.

“We’re in negotiations with a Kentucky corporation that was formed, called Bluegrass Boardwalk. If that is successful, which we’re very confident that it will be, then we anticipate the park will be open in May of 2013,” he said.

Bluegrass Boardwalk was formed by members of the Koch family, which owns Holiday World. The family has said it would not seek any public funding from the Kentucky legislature, but is applying for state economic development incentives.

Kentucky Kingdom has been shuttered since early 2010, when its previous operator, Six Flags, declared bankruptcy. Talks with Louisville developer Ed Hart to take over the park fell through last year.

The park has provided hundreds of seasonal jobs for young people. Workman told the panel the fair board has lost about $2 million annually in revenue since the closure.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."