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Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:16 pm

News tommorow on the current condition of the park.

If Kentucky Kingdom was to reopen tomorrow for a grand reopening, how many people do you think would visit the park from then until the end of the season?

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:25 pm

lilsam1993 wrote:News tommorow on the current condition of the park.

If Kentucky Kingdom was to reopen tomorrow for a grand reopening, how many people do you think would visit the park from then until the end of the season?

There's a lot of factors that go into a guess like that.

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:13 am

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20130212/NEWS01/302120046/Hart-says-he-fully-expects-reopen-Kentucky-Kingdom-schedule
A week into assessing conditions at the long-abandoned Kentucky Kingdom amusement park, investor Ed Hart says he “fully expects” to reopen the park on May 24, 2014.

“We are very encouraged by what we’ve seen, but obviously, there is a great deal of work to do” to get the park ready for business, said Hart, president of Kentucky Kingdom LLLP. He heads the investment group that was recently granted a lease by the Kentucky State Fair Board to reopen the park that last operated in the fall of 2009.

Hart held a news conference Tuesday morning at the Kentucky Exposition Center in front of the closed main gate to the park. He introduced the top management staff he has hired and gave a report on his preliminary assessment of the park’s condition.

Hart, who had previously operated the park, noted that the review includes looking at about 100 buildings, 40 rides and 60 acres of property. The preliminary review, he said, has included some “surprises and setbacks,” but he added that they have been mostly “small things” that are not expected to deter him from reopening the park on schedule.

The lease gives him 90 days to arrange financing -- approval of incentives are pending with state and metro officials -- and make a final decision to proceed. In the interim, the fair board continues to pay for park security and upkeep.

Under the lease, Hart and his investment partners -- businessman Bruce Lunsford, lawyer Ed Glasscock and the Al J. Schneider Co. -- have agreed to invest $45 million in park improvements by 2017. That includes $20 million in partner equity and $25 million in loans. The group is to spend at least $1 million a year on park upgrades.

He acknowledged that readying the rides may not be cheap. He said that one coaster alone, a wooden ride called Thunder Run, may need up to $1 million of repairs to make sure it is both safe and a smooth ride.

“We intend to have a complete makeover of Kentucky Kingdom,” Hart said. He affirmed that he plans to add two major rides and double the size of the water park for the opening. Hart said he will soon begin to line up contractors and suppliers, intending to use as many local providers as possible.

Hart said he plans to hire about 50 full-time park staff in the near future, with up to 1,000 seasonal employees when the park begins operating.

Hart introduced his top management staff that will feature people with long experience in the amusement-park industry. Several who have worked with Hart previously at the old Kentucky Kingdom or other parks he has operated. The group includes:

• John Shanrock, who will be the Kentucky Kingdom general manager and had worked for 30 years with the Cedar Fair organization.

• William Hargrave, director of technical services and capital improvements. He has been in management positions with the local Sam Swope automotive organization.

• Dave Scharfenberg, manager of technical services, who worked for Hart at the old Kentucky Kingdom and has expertise in ride maintenance.

• Lesly Birkner, director of operations, whose background in the amusement industry includes human resources, training, operations analysis and policy development.

Other hires include Marty Cogan as director of community relations, Cathy Sullivan as chief financial officer and Gaylee Gillim, Hart’s spouse, as general counsel and head of the safety committee. In addition, Carol Monheimer will be the park’s chief of staff, and Victoria Strange will be executive assistant.

Hart operated Kentucky Kingdom for nearly a decade before selling it to Six Flags for around $80 million in the late 1990s. Six Flags abandoned its lease on the park in early 2010 and filed for bankruptcy.

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:16 am

Hart is also very tight-lip on what's NEW coming to the park.

http://www.wlky.com/news/local-news/louisville-news/Hart-hopeful-Kentucky-Kingdom-will-open-in-2014/-/9718340/18511694/-/8k3j4sz/-/index.html?absolute=true

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:45 am

“We intend to have a complete makeover of Kentucky Kingdom,” Hart said. He affirmed that he plans to add two major rides and double the size of the water park for the opening. Hart said he will soon begin to line up contractors and suppliers, intending to use as many local providers as possible.


And so the conversion to water park only begins!

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:03 pm

I get that there is a trend for water parks right now, but really? This is frustrating how little drive for actual rides there is. Now granted, KK is pretty awful in terms of coasters, but still, I wish there was a greater emphasis on the rides.

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:03 pm

coastercrazy216 wrote:I get that there is a trend for water parks right now, but really? This is frustrating how little drive for actual rides there is. Now granted, KK is pretty awful in terms of coasters, but still, I wish there was a greater emphasis on the rides.


The park was not awful in the terms of coasters in the 1990s. Now, well it is. The park is just so outdated.

Ed Hart main concern isn't the waterpark. Kentucky Kingdom's waterpark right now is smaller then your average waterpark btw. I don't understand why there is so much talk about how great the waterpark is when there really isn't that many attractions inside of it. Before Ed Hart left the kingdom in 1997/1998 the waterpark had a wave pool, a kids area, a treehouse water attaction, a lazy river, and one slide complex with 4 water slides. The only thing Six Flags added was a Tornado waterslide and a Deluge Water Coaster. A Waterpark expansion is needed as you can see. After this expansion, Ed Hart said that he is going to start adding in brand new rides, reopening twisted twins, and most importantly, brand NEW coasters.

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:35 pm

Jew wrote:
“We intend to have a complete makeover of Kentucky Kingdom,” Hart said. He affirmed that he plans to add two major rides and double the size of the water park for the opening. Hart said he will soon begin to line up contractors and suppliers, intending to use as many local providers as possible.


And so the conversion to water park only begins!


Say hello "Kentucky Wildwater Kingdom" in 2014! :lmao:

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:59 pm

DarienLaker wrote:
Jew wrote:
“We intend to have a complete makeover of Kentucky Kingdom,” Hart said. He affirmed that he plans to add two major rides and double the size of the water park for the opening. Hart said he will soon begin to line up contractors and suppliers, intending to use as many local providers as possible.


And so the conversion to water park only begins!


Say hello "Kentucky Wildwater Kingdom" in 2014! :lmao:

:lmao: pretty much the only thing that can operate if Ed Hart does not get moving fast enough

Re: Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:09 pm

In duck hunting we use a term called "short stopping." That's where someone or something in the typical migration pattern does something that causes the ducks to stop their instinctual flight south for a longer stop over along the way until the weather overcomes it. While in Nashville I noticed quite a bit of Holiday World advertising (bilboards, tourist pamlet racks, so on) One of Hart's goal is to stop those folks from going on to Holiday World. To do that, he has to offer a better, more compelling product. Holiday World bilboards in Nashville boasted of Holiday Worlds Water Coaster. It's called Goliath right? The waterpark is the easiest and quickest fix for this. It has the added benefit to attract locals more often and fleece them of their concession money. It's all about bodies. Trying to campete with Holiday and other parks more northernly with dry rides will require more time and lots more money. Sounds like good business.
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