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The future of Kentucky Kingdom is in doubt after Mayor Greg Fischer's administration said it won't help fund the reopening of the amusement park in 2012.

Ed Hart, who heads the group trying to reopen the park as a public-private partnership, recently asked Louisville Metro government to approve a $20 million bond issue to help reopen at least some of the park at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

He requested the aid after the General Assembly declined to consider financing up to $30 million for park improvements.

Hart said the city's refusal to help leaves the future of the amusement park uncertain....

http://www.courier-j...dyssey=nav|head

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The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company has posted a new video, charting the attendance of Ed and his crew in the 1990s, and Six Flags later on. This Chart that they show in this video is very interesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MEpeyqjV1Y&feature=player_embedded

I like how that video skips over the part where Hellevator cut off that girl's feet.

Currently, the rides belong to the Commonwealth of Kentucky and are on Fair Board property. As for picking them up on the cheap, unless and until the Fair Board decides what it is going to do with Kentucky Kingdom, I doubt the rides go anywhere. The park could still be saved, but it is looking less and less likely that state backed bonding will be available.

As a citizen of the Commenwealth of Kentucky, I vote for selling off the parks assets to the highest bidders if a privately backed group does not appear in the near future with the ability to open and run the park. As much as I love amusement parks, the state of Kentucky just does not have the funds to spare in the current economic climate to put into reopening the park. A venture such as this is for private enterprise, not goverment oversite.

I don't care if it's privately or government funded, if it works, it works. I'm not sure if the state possesses said funds to do so but, if a investment such as this is believed to be a, "sound," one and the funds exist, why not? If it creates jobs and revenue for the state and it's inhabitants, whats wrong with financial backing via state funds?

This is a time of people who really enjoy tea and not spending money whether they're really saving or not. Taxes and funding are big issues right now. It seems to me that the reason Hart feels the Commonwealth should help is because they are the owners and it would benefit the state fair and other conventions.

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I really hope that he can get the park back up!

Ed Hart really knows what he is doing and BEFORE Six Flags took over the park was always getting new rides! And the names where great - twisted sisters, hellavator and Chang! Even T2 is a cool name!

Better than Drop Tower and Flight Deck :)

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two Q (maybe more). are the rides the property of Kentucky- or just the land they sit will be on? I thought the lease was for the land but all the contents were that of SF.

If KK can be profitable, then the tax abatement and bonds should be viewed as an investment that returned in the form of sales tax, FICA, etc... revenue. The fact that no one seems to want to touch it leads me to think that its future profitability is in question. I imagine that if an agreement cannot be reached then we'll see the rides sold/scattered. After sitting idle for 2 years, maintenance may reach a point where you cannot easily bring them back to running properly without significant expense.

It is so land-locked that I'm not sure that a long and sustaining venture could work without reaching a plateau. I think the metro-Louisville area could support a park... but not in that location (close by, but not not unless some serious growth barriers were removed).

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I never sugarcoat... so here's my blunt $.02.

KK is not a park worth redeeming. Irregardless of pie charts and attendance graphs, the park has always financially underperformed. It's limitations are boundless, and ultimately have always comprimised the overall success of the park. Generally speaking, KK is not (nor has it ever been) endearing to the masses. Louisvillians pass by the ghost town without a second thought. And if you ask the layperson on the street, they'll all say the same... they would rather attend KI or HW and they do not care if KK is there or not. KK's clientele escewed to the lower economic class... people that couldn't afford great expenses, many of whom went to the park under very limited monetary means. Ed Hart's video (posted above) seems to dictate that attendance prooves the park's success under his leadership. But it never mentions the lacking financial profitability.

Ed Hart has thrived in business by buying, investing and re-selling various properties. His ventures, IMO, are not long lasting and are self serving. In KK's case... he dropped a ton of money into the fledgling park in the early years under the guise of successful attendance. When in reality, he was interested in passing off the business for a profit. He did exactly that, and left Premier (Six Flags) with a ton of new products in a park that was in arrears. Because of the debt, and low profit margin, SF deemed the park as virtually obsolete and maintained it in a less than desirable way until they finally walked. In the end, Ed Hart has reared his head again... now asking for $50 million from the government to re-open the park - a government that is currently dealing with it's own budget defecit. It's my speculation that Mr Hart wants to rebuild the park using taxpayer money, for his own personal gain and then plans on walking away. He's a business man, and is in the business to make money, not for some sort of emotional connection. Don't you think if the park was a cash cow under his original "leadership" that Mr Hart would have never sold it in the first place?

Harold Workman, of the KFEC, is in cahoots because a closed park sitting empty is a blemish on his record as the President of the facilities. He needs the park to secure the success of the fairgrounds, which has virtually lost all entertainment to the new YUM center. He's a good-old boy who's always been closely associated with Ed Hart.

In the end, the state (IMO) would be best served by removing and selling/auctioning the rides. Ultimately, if they re-invest in the grounds, they should do so only as a small local waterpark (ala Geauga Lake) and completely drop the "competitive regional park" facade. They should also remove Ed Hart from every business aspect, thus removing any unnecessary outsider agenda. KK can only achive success as a smaller park, state owned and operated, catering specifically to locals who are unable to afford the expenses of travel to larger parks.

That having been said, IMO the easiest and most cost affective choice at this point... is likely a bulldozer.

Shaggy

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harsh, but I agree with everything but the state ownership. A waterpark would have a fraction of the cost, a large area to expand with, and have virtually the same operating season.

You need to go spread some of that reality to some of the clowns waiting on Geauga Lake to reopen on the "ride-side."

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Like I said.

In the meantime, the park is deteriorating, the rides rotting and rusting, and Hart says another year of it being unused will only make matters worse.

"I'm not going commit to pulling the plug right now," he said.

But Hart's temporary agreement at the park ends April 30. He says he's $3 million in and won't put up more of his own money without matching dollars.

So this roller coaster ride may soon take a plunge.

Grab the Fork.

If they moved the entire park to somewhere not next to an Airport and land locked it may work.

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The city has the $$$ for the park, but doesn't want to put the money through since the state has declined to put their half forward this year. The city feels, if they put up their half, no one would come to the park outside the state. The city wants the state to put up their money first to open the park as a whole instead of segments.

City bond (15 to 20 million) = 3/4 New Flats, New Water park, Rehab Buildings/Rides

State bond (25-30 million) = 1 or 2 brand new Major Coasters, Rehab Rides, New Park Entrance, New Flats, New Parking Lot

Many people here in Louisville and Kentucky are highly shocked by the city's decision. Everyone is wondering when will Kentucky Kingdom reopen. This is the state #1 Tourist and money maker for the state! The state seems to want us to spend our tax dollars in Ohio, and Indiana, and Tennessee! We have no casinos in Kentucky, but we have one right across the bridge in Indiana, we have no amusement park, but one in Indiana and Ohio, and we have nothing to bring NO ONE into the state but the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Derby Festival which is only 2 weeks!

Someone please tell me what does the airport have to do with the park?

&

The park is definitely not landlocked everyone. The Park also has so many open areas in park.

29x897b.jpg

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I highly doubt it, the FAA has very strict height restrictions near an airport.

The height really varies on the direction of the airports runways. Where Twisted Twins is located, the limit is about 80 ft. That ride is in direct position of the runway. When your father away, the height limit jumps.

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The city has the $ for the park, but doesn't want to put the money through since the state has declined to put their half forward this year. The city feels, if they put up their half, no one would come to the park outside the state. The city wants the state to put up their money first to open the park as a whole instead of segments.

City bond (15 to 20 million) = 3/4 New Flats, New Water park, Rehab Buildings/Rides

State bond (25-30 million) = 1 or 2 brand new Major Coasters, Rehab Rides, New Park Entrance, New Flats, New Parking Lot

Many people here in Louisville and Kentucky are highly shocked by the city's decision. Everyone is wondering when will Kentucky Kingdom reopen. This is the state #1 Tourist and money maker for the state!

sccard01 - I appreciate your passion for the park. I also would love to have another viable and profitable park in the region to visit, but am struggling to understand where is the data to backup your assertion that the city has money for this.

As for the decision being shocking, I'd have said many are not surprised at all. As for it being the #1 tourist and money maker for the state - I have no data to dispute that, but it also begs the question again as to why did they not try harder to keep Six Flags as a happy tenant? If the State Fair Board had offered Six Flags the same deal (rent, parking, new entrance, etc...) that they are now trying to work for Mr. Hart - then maybe Six Flags would still be there. That would have been the best solution for the citizens of Kentucky.

As always, I will also continue to ask why Mr. Hart cannot obtain private financing for his plan. If "Every independent report has stated that this is a great project with economic impact," Hart said. (quote from article in post #256) then why is there not a line at his door looking to loan him the money to make the great return? Maybe because it isn't the sure bet he claims it is.

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It's all in our (louisville) local news. The videos below will explain it all.

vid 1

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/Kentucky-Kingdoms-former-owner-likely-wont-reopen-until-2013-119291684.html

vid2

http://www.wave3.com/category/195955/video-landing-page?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=5727480

vid3

The thing with Private investing is that it's risky, and private investment has shown us how risky it can be when Ed was operator the park in the 1990s. When Ed Operated the park in the 90s, one of his private investors (liberty bank) was bought out my Bank One. When Ed approach bank one about being a private investor, they said no. So Ed Hart had to make a decision in 1997 to sell or closed Kentucky Kingdom...and I bet you all know the rest. If something was to happen to a private investor, your park could be gone. However, I believe and I have a gut feeling If Ed really wants the park to open in 2012, he has to start seeking private investors, and thats what I think he has to do.

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I've ready many reports and watched the videos - what they explain is that both the state and city have rejected (by inaction in one case and saying no in the other case) Ed Hart's proposals.

As for the risk of private investment - banks/private equity/investment funds exist to make money. If there is a good opportunity out there, they will invest the money. Don't kid yourself that Mr. Hart is only willing to work in a public partnership and hasn't been seeking financing from other sources - it obviously isn't available because the business proposition is what is too risky.

I don't know the history of KK, but ask yourself:

  • Why did Six Flags walk away from it? Because even after emerging from bankruptcy in a better financial state as a company they didn't see KK as a viable park with a worthwhile return on investment.
  • Why would Bank One back in the 90's not invest (as you say)? Because based upon an analysis, they did not see KK as a viable park with a worthwhile return on investment.
  • Why are both private and public financing opportunities not available to KK today?

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