Wed Feb 15, 2012 2:00 pm
COASTER FREAK 11 wrote:Could it be that the Holiday World people actually were hinting at a steel coaster for this park and not for their home park?
Thu Feb 16, 2012 8:25 am
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.
Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:13 pm
Sun Feb 19, 2012 8:25 am
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:19 pm
The Koch family, operators of Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari in Santa Claus, Ind., may change the name of Kentucky Kingdom if they secure the rights to take over the closed Louisville amusement park.
The family members earlier this month announced formation of a company called Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. to negotiate a lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board to operate the theme park on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center. But they didn’t indicate at the time that they were considering putting the new company’s name on the amusement park itself.
Kentucky Kingdom has been closed since it was in essence abandoned by Six Flags amid a bankruptcy filing two years ago. The park has been called Kentucky Kingdom since it first operated in the late 1980s.
Paula Werne, spokeswoman for Holiday World and the Koch family, said in a phone interview that the Kochs selected Bluegrass Boardwalk as a “working name” for the new company and that putting that name on Kentucky Kingdom “is certainly a possibility, absolutely.”
Werne declined to comment on why the Kochs are considering the name change.
Amanda Storment, spokeswoman for the fair board, said any name for the park would be part of the lease negotiations and noted that the lease — including the park’s name — would be subject to approval by the full fair board.
The fair board and board President Harold Workman issued a statement that said the board’s top priority remains “to open the amusement and water park by 2013. The Koch family is exploring the opportunity to serve as the park operator, and the fair board is working to provide information needed in that process.”
The Koch family members who formed Bluegrass Boardwalk are: Holiday World President Dan Koch; his sister, Natalie Koch; their cousin, Kathy Kamp; and her husband, Michael Kamp, who is a general manager of Holiday World.
Dan and Natalie Koch and Kathy Kamp are grandchildren of Holiday World’s founder, Louis J. Koch, who opened the park, originally called Santa Claus Land, in 1946.
The Kochs said no public money will be requested from the Kentucky General Assembly but that they would be eligible for state tourism tax credits for money spent to improve the amusement park.
Werne declined to discuss why the Kochs are interested in operating another park only about 80 miles from Holiday World.
The fair board last fall ended more than a year of negotiations with Louisville businessman Ed Hart about operating Kentucky Kingdom.
He had raised significant money toward reopening the park.
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:39 pm
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:47 pm
Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:58 pm
Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:13 pm
Mon Feb 20, 2012 3:16 pm