Kentucky Kingdom confirms it has secured financing Posted: Jun 26, 2013 2:38 PM EDT Updated: Jun 26, 2013 2:50 PM EDT
LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Ed Hart and his business partners say they've secured the private funding needed to reopen Kentucky Kingdom.
It will spend $43.5 million to get the park up and running. Part of that will include refurbishing rides and buildings that have deteriorated since the park closed in 2009.
The goal is to reopen it in May of next year. The group will talk about those plans on Thursday after the monthly meeting of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which is considering the plan.
"Kentucky Kingdom has been closed for four long years," Hart said in a news release. "My partners and I are proud to announce our plans to spend $43.5 million to return the park to its former position as Kentucky's number one paid tourist attraction."
Of the $43.5 million, $36 million will be spent in the first year, and $7.5 million in the second and third years as the park "ramps up to its full potential."
Kentucky Kingdom is expected to open in May of next year.
Ed Hart, President of Kentucky Kingdom, LLLP, along with his partners Ed Glasscock, Bruce Lunsford, and the Al J. Schneider Company, today announced the biggest expansion in Kentucky Kingdom’s 25-year history. The announcement was made just an hour after representatives of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Metro Louisville, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Kentucky State Fair Board, and The Bank of Kentucky signed the agreements required for the official reopening of Kentucky Kingdom.
Standing just inside the front entrance to the theme park, Mr. Hart remarked, “The highlights of the new Kentucky Kingdom will be the addition of the first new rollercoaster in 17 years and a large expansion of the Hurricane Bay water park. We are doubling the size of the water park, adding three new waterslide complexes, a 12-000-square-foot wave lagoon, and an adventure river, which is six times faster than the existing lazy river. All in all, we will have one of the largest water parks in the region.”
“We will also reopen such signature rides as the Thunder Run wooden coaster, the Mile High Falls giant spill ride, the 150-foot-tall Giant Wheel, the rapid river raft ride, and the Thrill Park Theatre, as well as all of the park’s remaining rides and attractions.”
Added Hart, “We’re not stopping there. In 2015, we will unveil a complete makeover of our suspended looping coaster, T2, and we are well on our way to converting the two intertwined wooden coasters known as Twisted Twins into a much superior ride, which will debut in 2016. We will continue to introduce new attractions each season. In fact, per our lease with the state, we have an obligation to invest as much as $2.5 million each year for as many as 70 years. That would equal an investment of more than $200 million, including our initial outlay of $43.5 million.”
Hart thanked the Governor, the Mayor, the Metro Council, Jim King, other state and local officials, and particularly Dr. Mark Lynn, Chairman of the Fair Board, for recognizing the importance of Kentucky Kingdom to the state and the local community.”
Mr. Lynn commented, “Ed Hart and his partners, all respected local businesspersons, are the right people at the right time to restore Kentucky Kingdom to its previous success. A full-scale renovation of the park’s more than 100 buildings and 40 rides is already underway.”
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the new Kentucky Kingdom are attached. As for answers to any questions that might not be covered on that list, Hart said, “We’d like to tell you about everything we’re going to do over the next ten months, so we encourage you to follow our progress at http://www.kentuckykingdom.com, where frequent updates will be posted.”
"I've been waiting a long time to say this: 'It's a go!'" - Ed Hart, President of Kentucky Kingdom.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FIND ANSWERS HERE FIRST 1. WHEN WILL THE PARK REOPEN?
Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay will reopen on Saturday, May 24, 2014
2. ARE YOU HIRING?
Have we got a job for you! Kentucky Kingdom will be the largest seasonal employer in the region and we will begin recruiting for seasonal positions as early as December, 2013. Please check our website (http://www.kentuckykingdom.com) for further information.
3. WHO’S ON FIRST?
The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company (KKRC) consists of a team of experienced theme park professionals who have successfully revitalized two previously failed theme parks: Magic Springs & Crystal Falls in Hot Springs, Arkansas and, before that, Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky.
4. WHAT RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS DO YOU HAVE?
Where do you want to start? Wet or dry? We have something for everyone and every age! The entire 60-acre Kentucky Kingdom property is undergoing a complete facelift and the 2014 season will see the largest expansion in Kentucky Kingdom’s 25-year history.
Not only will we reopen Mt. Slide Hai and all of the park’s other water slides, the “Deluge” water coaster, the lazy river, the children’s activity pools, and our famous 750,000-gallon Big Kahuna wave pool, but we will more than double the size of the water park, adding a wave lagoon (an attraction the whole family will love!), three wet and wild water slide complexes, and an adventure river that speeds you along at six times the rate of the water park’s existing lazy river. And this is only what’s happening in the water park!
We will reopen all of the park’s remaining rides, including of course the classic marquee attractions like Thunder Run, Mile High Falls, the Giant Wheel, and the Thrill Park Theatre, and on top of that … drumroll !… we are introducing the first new rollercoaster to be added to Kentucky Kingdom in 17 years.
We will continue to add new attractions each season. In 2015, we will unveil a complete makeover of our suspended looping coaster, T2, and we are well on our way to converting the two intertwined wooden coasters formerly known as Twisted Twins into a much superior ride, which will debut in 2016.
This is just a brief glimpse into all of the improvements that will be taking place at Kentucky Kingdom, so we invite you to follow our progress on our website, http://www.kentuckykingdom.com, where frequent updates will be posted.
5. HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO GET INTO THE PARK?
We intend to make Kentucky Kingdom the region’s top destination for affordable family fun. The park will be priced more reasonably than the other theme parks in the region, especially when it comes to season passes.
6. WILL YOU OFFER SEASON PASSES?
We’re printing them as we speak! Season passes to Kentucky Kingdom have always been a great value, but now, with all the new attractions we’re adding, the value only gets better. Season passes make great gifts for the holidays and they will be available in plenty of time for Santa.
7. WHAT ABOUT GROUP OUTINGS?
We have special discount pricing for groups of varying sizes (the bigger the group, the bigger the discount). In addition, we offer a wide variety of catered picnics, one of which is sure to fit your group’s budget.
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