(Formerly known as Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom)
PARK CURRENTLY CLOSED
Park News - (4/12/13) The local news reports that the funding is now in place to get Kentucky Kingdom reopen after $10 million in tax incentives for Ed Hart and Kentucky Kingdom LLP was finally approved. Contractors are already being hired to start working on the park.
(3/27/13) Ed Hart reports that it is going to cost more than expected to get Kentucky Kingdom back into operational shape, but he is still confident they can reopen it in 2014. “We wouldn’t be involved, if we couldn’t return Kentucky Kingdom to ‘like new’ condition, making it better than ever.” Hart will head into a public hearing on Friday about their requested state incentives, and plans to lock down his financing package within the next 60 days.
(3/4/13) Good news for Kentucky Kingdom as the park has now been approved for close to $1.7 million in state sales tax rebates to help with the funding to reopen the park. Click here to read more.
(2/13/13) While talking with the local news Ed Hart mentions that after the first week of park inspections, he fully expects to be able to reopen the park by May 24, 2014. While there are a ton of things to fix, it was interesting to note that he mentioned that Thunder Run would cost almost $1 million dollars to bring back to life, while nothing was said about the status or fate of Twisted Twins.
(1/30/13) Local news sources report that Ed Hart will assemble the first wave of management staff to arrive at Kentucky Kingdom on Monday to begun the on-site examination of the park’s rides, buildings and other equipment. One of which will be John Shanrock, who will serve as the park’s General Manager, who comes with 30 years of experience within the industry from a previous career at Cedar Fair’s parks.
The group has 90 days to evaluate the condition of the park and complete their financing before the lease is officially activated. On the financial side of things, they have applied for $10 million in tourism tax credits over the next decade from the state and will invest $20 million of their own into the park along with an additional $25 million bank loan.
There has been some questions about just what kind of new attractions will be added to the park, and while I don’t know exactly what kind of budget they are working with, I will say this... the skyline over the park needs to change. Over the last decade most of the park’s major attractions that formed the skyline of the park have been removed. There is no more Skycoaster, Chang has moved away to New Jersey and the old Hellivator drop tower has been shredded down and melted for scrap... and to be honest T2 is ready to follow behind it, and I’m not sure if Ed Hart can even save Twisted Twins. So whatever two new rides are in the works to come to the park... they are going to need to not only change the skyline, but become the park’s two new signature attractions as well as stick out as being unique to Kentucky Kingdom in that crowded theme park regional market.
(1/29/13) Ed Hart’s new plan for Kentucky Kingdom will see the waterpark area doubled in size, along with the addition to two major new thrill rides into the theme park, all in time to reopen in 2014. Hart’s plans include the refurbishment of all of the park’s existing rides, with one exception… Greezed Lightnin’, the park’s Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop.
(1/25/13) It’s official... the lease of Kentucky Kingdom to Ed Hart’s group was approved at last. They expect to possibly be able to reopen the park by Spring 2014. Click here to see more.
(1/23/13) While the final fate of Kentucky Kingdom has not yet been determined, it is a good sign that the local Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau has already agreed to provide sales and marketing support for the park to help promote the park across social media, newspapers, convention groups and visitor guides.
(1/14/13) According to the latest news report the state fair board appears to be set to finish up negotiations with Ed Hart’s group to reopen Kentucky Kingdom and is expected to vote to determine the final fate of the deal at their January 24th meeting.
(12/20/12) The local news reports that a new lease to operate the Kentucky Kingdom theme park could be signed in the next few weeks if all goes well.
(12/4/12) After several weeks, it seems there is no word on the status of a possible deal between Ed Hart and the state of Kentucky to reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park. The deadline set by Ed Hart to give enough time to reopen the park by 2014 has long since past however, so at best we may be looking at a 2015 reopening date. Catch up on the latest report here.
(11/9/12) Ed Hart is expected to finally meet with state officials on Wednesday to go over his latest plan to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park. Lets wish him the best, as they have turned him away twice previously.
(11/2/12) The local news reports that state officials are set to meet with Ed Hart about his plans to reopen Kentucky Kingdom on Wednesday.
(10/24/12) The local news reports some new developments regarding Ed Hart’s proposal to reopen Kentucky Kingdom. The grand plan would see all of the parks buildings and rides restored, except for one… as they plan on removing the Greezed Lightning coaster, and replacing it with a new $15 million coaster.
Unfortunately, it also seems that state officials are ready to poo-poo on the platter, and say they are doubtful that the proposal can be accepted due to various concerns, including the proposal to put up the park’s rides as collateral for the private loans needed to reopen the park. Hart’s proposal also encourages discussions to begin by November 1st as to allow time for the invements side of things to get worked out as well as allow time to repair and restore the park in time for a May 2014 opening date.
(10/23/12) Friday was the deadline for those looking to pitch plans to reopen Kentucky Kingdom to submit their bids. While the state isn’t talking just yet, the only group to openly confirm that they submitted a bid was Ed Hart’s group. According to this article, it would be very difficult for any group who hasn’t toured the park site to submit a bid, and the only other group to tour the park site in addition to Ed Hart’s group was from Premier Attractions Management (led by Kieran Burke & Gary Story) who confirmed that they opted to not submit a bid to reopen Kentucky Kingdom.
You can watch a video detailing Ed Hart’s currently new plan for Kentucky Kingdom, which involves a $120 million plan to reopen the park. The plan involves $50 million in startup funds, and an additional $70 that would be spent on updating the park over the term life of the lease agreement. Plan include a new $15 million roller coaster and doubling the size of the waterpark. You can download the PDF proposal yourself here.
(10/19/12) An article about the current status of Kentucky Kingdom, Ed Hart and why the state and fairboard may be ready to get out of the theme park business can be found at LeoWeekly. I’ve always felt it rather odd that while the Kentucky Governor seems to prefer Kentucky Kingdom closed, he was also championing the baffling proposal to open the The Ark, a religious themed park experience elsewhere in the state.
It reminds me a little bit of how Burroughs & Chapin forced the early closure of The Pavilion Amusement Park in Myrtle Beach, a year ahead of the opening of the new Hard Rock Park. We know how that worked out for Myrtle Beach, as Hard Rock Park failed a few months after it opened, leaving it with one dead park and a giant empty lot where The Pavilion once stood.
(9/13/12) The request for new developers to revive Kentucky Kingdom has now gone out, and interested groups have until Oct. 19th to get their proposals in. Meanwhile a support website called Save My Park has launched to help support those who want to reopen the park.
(8/23/12) Good news for Kentucky Kingdom as Ed Hart has responded that his group will officially respond to the fair board’s new open search for operators willing to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park. They are encouraged by the Governors intention to speed things up and name a new operator within 60 days. Extending the search beyond that window would jeopardize his $40 million proposal to reopen the park by 2014.
(8/20/12) Everything goes back to square one for the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park site as the State Fair Board voted to begin another formal process to find yet another sucker, err… company, to revive and run the park for them. Crazy as it sounds, this move is essentially yet another slap in the face to Ed Hart who apparently dropped a new proposal for Kentucky Kingdom to the board the very day before to reopen the park by 2014.
So the Fair Board is apparently willing to let the park’s condition further deteriorate in a lengthy attempt to try and lure in other players rather than talk to Hart about his latest proposal to take action right now. It’s almost comic in a way… like a scene in a film where a volunteer is asked for, a hand shoots up immediately from an over-eager volunteer who is only ignored as they ask for, “Do we have any OTHER volunteers?”
(6/18/12) I'll stand by my original statement... Holiday World's Koch family's plan to revive Kentucky Kingdom really made no sense at all to me. I wished them the best of luck, but I had also heard just how far gone Kentucky Kingdom really was and knew that the Koch family really had their work set out for them... not only to fix the park, but they were bound to have issues come up with the state of Kentucky and deal with the same Kentucky State Fair Board that drove away Six Flags and turned away Ed Hart after an 18 month effort to revive the park with no solid explanation.
That said... the Koch family announced late on Friday evening that they too were withdrawing from the project and would no longer pursue any kind of attempt to reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park. In the end, leasing the park instead of "owning it" just proved to be too much of a sticking point and "the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations ultimately caused them to withdraw." Can't say I blame them... it really made no sense to me. While I know the Koch family has bee hoping to somehow expand their buisness and own another park, Kentucky Kingdom really was not the right fit. (I'd like to suggest that they take a good long hard look at the former Hard Rock Park. It's still in good shape and I think really could have benefitted from their family friendly management style.
(6/14/12) Finally some good news for Bluegrass Boardwalk as the local news reports that the state has agreed to the proposed tax break incentives worth up to $3.9 million over the next decade. This will certainly help them finalize their financing now and move a step closing to finalizing the lease to take over the park before the August 16th deadline.
(6/12/12) Things are heating up it seems for all parties involved with the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park properties. It sounds like the fair board has taken offense at getting some blame for letting so much of the old theme park rot since Six Flags left. Countless buildings are said to have leaky roofs, no one bothered to winterize the plumbing and water pumps at the waterpark, and at least 75% of the rides are currently inoperable. Currently they have agreed to give the Bluegrass Boardwalk team until Mid-August to finalize their deal to take over the park.
Meanwhile Ed Hart is getting vocal over the problems as well, mentioning that while Six Flags left the park a mess, the fair board should have taken some steps to try and keep up the park a little bit. Hart has now filed a lawsuit against the state to get back the $1.4 million he spent on this initial wave of maintenance, security and more during the 18 months he attempted to reopen the park before being turned away.
(6/8/12) An interesting take on the whole Bluegrass Boardwalk situation in this interview with Ed Hart. Check it out.
(5/31/12) An official progress report frolm Bluegrass Boardwalk was issued earlier today where they have confirmed that any plan to reopen the park in 2013 is now officially off the table and no longer an option. Having time to look into some of the park’s problems a bit more, they have determined that about 75% of the park’s attraction will require significant overhauls before they can be operational once again. Meetings with ride vendors on site, going over the various problems, have also agreed that 11 months is just not long enough time to restore the park back into a safe and viable park environment.
(5/29/12) I’m a bit shocked by part of this, but according to the local news the preliminary state application to reopen Kentucky Kingdom as Bluegrass Boardwalk mentions that there will be no major coasters running in the park when it reopens due to “age, reliability and costly repairs”. The list includes T2 and Twisted Twins, but to be fair Twisted Twins was closed down at the end of the 2007 season by Six Flags and was already expected to possibly never reopen again due to previous neglect.
The Bluegrass Boardwalk team has also acknowledged that delays along the way in getting the lease signed and nailing down the needed finances may now cause the reopening of the park to be pushed back to 2014.
More details were listed in the application however, where the 2013 plan was to only reopen the park’s existing water attractions and a few amusement rides (carousel, blizzard river, flying Dutchman, himalaya, breakdance, bumper cars, antique cars and six kiddie rides.
If things went well in the first season, they would then rehab and reopen more rides for the second season including the Ferris Wheel, Roller Skater, Thrill Park Theater and the Thunder Run wooden coaster.
To be fair, the list of rides and operational plan were submitted after only a most basic cursory examination of the rides and park before Feb. 29th. They intended to update the lists once the final lease is signed and they have access to give each attraction a thorough assessment and feasibility study for reopening each attraction. However, the final lease has not been signed and has been hung up by delays with the state who has not completed their own study of the project’s requested for needed tax credits to reopen the park. The state isn’t expected to complete their own study until next month and the excessive delay has delayed Bluegrass’s plans to begin the needed work to reopen the park. They can’t begin until the final lease agreement has been signed, after all the “state tourism issues” have been settled.
Once this is complete, Bluegrass Boardwalk will make a final determination if they will even have time at all to attempt a 2013 opening or if they delays will push their plans back to 2014. Covering their own end of things, the Kochs have asked the Fair Board to adjust their own opt-out date on the lease agreement back from June 1st to Aug. 16, giving them time to walk-away from the project if need be.
I just find it shocking that once again various agencies are still finding various ways to throw their own monkey wrenches into any effort to try and reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom park.
(5/18/12) A local news reporter goes inside the former Kentucky Kingdom park with Natalie and Dan Koch to talk about their plans to clean up and reopen the park as Bluegrass Boardwalk. The park will be “G-rated” and feature the same guest rules as Holiday World. No cussing, no offensive clothing, no alcohol, etc.
(5/14/12) A local news station reports that Bluegrass Boardwalk may be ready to reopen its gates on May 11th, 2013.
(4/18/12) According to this news report, Bluegrass Boardwalk reports that they have all the needed financing in order to proceed with the plan to reopen the former Kentucky Kingdom park. They are still working to lock down the needed incentive package from the state before they can make their final plans and get the ball rolling.
(2/24/12) The Kentucky State Fair Board approved the lease terms submitted by Bluegrass Boardwalk on Thursday afternoon, clearing the way for the revival of Kentucky Kingdom. Well… Kentucky Kingdom is no more… the park will be renamed Bluegrass Boardwalk and be ready to open in May 2013 after a $15-20 million investment.
The Holiday World clan behind Bluegrass Boardwalk are going to bring along some of their most favorite perks to the park as well. “We’re bringing our business model of exceptional safety, cleanliness, friendliness and value for families,” says Natalie Koch. “That means free soft drinks, free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes.” The park is also expected to have new attractions as well for the 2013 season.
(2/22/12) The Kentucky State Fair Board will vote on Thursday about a proposal from Bluegrass Boardwalk to operate the closed Kentucky Kingdom theme park.
(2/17/12) According to Screamscape sources Bluegrass Boardwalk’s talks with the Kentucky State Fair Board have been going well. If things move ahead as planned, we could see Kentucky Kingdom re-imagined and re-opened by May 2013.
(2/8/12) A statement was issued earlier today about the formation of a new company called Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. by four members of the Koch family: Dan Koch (President of Holiday World), his sister Natalie Koch, their cousin Kathy Kamp, and her husband Michael Kamp (General Manager of Holiday World).
Through the Bluegrass Boardwalk company the group will continue to explore the idea of reopening the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement and waterpark in Louisville as early as 2013, though a lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board. While they will apply for economic development incentives from the state, they will secure their own financing and will not seek any public funds from the Kentucky Legislature.
A new official website for the company has also launched at www.bluegrassboardwalk.com as well as an official Facebook page.
(2/2/12) It looks like we may have a reason the Koch family was asked to go out to Kentucky Kingdom and kick the tires. According to this report Mary Moseley, CEO of Al J. Schneider, has been in talks with them about providing the same kind of financial backing she offered Ed Hart in order to get the park open again.
As a large hotel operator in the Louisville area, bring the park back to life would also help increase tourism to the city and increase the number of hotel beds that get filled every night. But as I said in the last update… I believe it would be entirely foolish for the Koch family to get involved with the revival of Kentucky Kingdom as they have little to gain and everything to lose, and will only end up cannibalizing their own success in the process.
(1/18/12) In an interesting turn of events the local news reports that the owners of Holiday World may be interested in taking over Kentucky Kingdom. According to the Koch family, nothing is near being finalized yet, they are just starting their initial investigation and fact finding process to even see if this is a business opportunity worth their effort to take on.
To be brutally honest, I’d be very surprised to see Holiday World take over and reopen Kentucky Kingdom. After all, Holiday World was their closest competitor park and they have the most to gain from Kentucky Kingdom remaining closed. Plus the off-sided dealings and terms from the Kentucky State Fair Board was enough to drive away Six Flags and turn away Ed Hart, the man with the most experience to revive Kentucky Kingdom. So why would Holiday World and the Koch family want this kind of headache when they can simply keep on doing the excellent work they’ve been doing with Holiday World for years and profit from it?
While it’s not quite the same situation, I’m reminded of when Cedar Point purchased Geauga Lake… and we know how well that ended. I can see Holiday World and the Koch family wanting to possibly expand their empire, but I think they would be better off doing it in another market and seeing if they can reenergize a failing park elsewhere with a little Holiday World magic.
(11/7/11) I’ve been waiting for this… Ed Hart’s company has now filed a lawsuit to recover the $1.4 million they invested in the effort to revive the Kentucky Kingdom park.
(10/5/11) According to the local news, Ed Hart is puzzled by how things turned out between his group and the Kentucky State Fair Board, especially in light of how close they were to finally putting all the pieces together to make it happen, with little no to help from the same state government who was willing pour $43 million in tourism tax incentives and $11 million in promised highway improvements for the privately owned Ark Encounter pipe-dream project. Instead they are willing to let Kentucky Kingdom rot and deny the city of the guaranteed tax dollars that it would bring in, not to mention the 1000+ jobs reopening the park would create immediately.
For the record, I’m puzzled as well... as I think Ed Hart was going to pull this off with ease. Sorry Ed, but I think there may be another struggling park project down in Myrtle Beach that could really se your help right now instead...
(10/3/11) Extremely bad news for any hope of reopening Kentucky Kingdom came out over the weekend. According to the local news, the Kentucky State Fair Board has decided to end all talks with Ed Hart and his efforts to reopen the park. According to the fair board president himself, Ed Hart is “out of the picture as a potential Kentucky Kingdom operator.”
As Ed Hart was really the only person who has had experience with not only successfully running Kentucky Kingdom in the past, but also reviving the park and building it up into a well known attraction once before, I’m shocked they would blow him off now after everyone has worked so hard over the past year to revive the park.
Meanwhile the state has thrown money at the crazy Noah’s Ark park project concept, but they’re willing to let a fully built park like Kentucky Kingdom just wither and die. They seem to think they’er going to find another qualified operator to take the problem off their hands, but I don’t think it’s going to be quite that easy, as most companies out there really are not going to want to even touch any kind of deal like this where they have to deal with the greedy Fair Board… who in the end was really to blame for Six Flags bailing out on the park as well.
With all this in mind I’ve got to say that unless they can get someone else on board before the end of the year, you might as well stick a fork in Kentucky Kingdom, because it’s done.
(9/29/11) Click here to read through Ed Hart’s presentation to the Fair Board regarding reviving the Kentucky Kingdom park.
(9/23/11) Bad news for Kentucky Kingdom this week. According to the local news, it has been confirmed that Kentucky Kingdom will not be able to reopen in 2012 due to what seems to be a lack of commitment from the various government funded groups involved who have yet to pledge any funding at all for their $20 million share of the project, despite the private funding of $29 million being available right now. On top of it all, Ed Hart’s current deal with the fair board to revive the park will expire at the end of the month unless they sign a new deal or an extension, but so far they’ve done nothing.
At this point, they now have to wait for the General Assembly to reconvene in January 2012 before they can begin the budget talks for the needed $20 million to reopen the park.
(9/15/11) According to this article, Ed Hart says he is close to an agreement for securing the $23 million needed to reopen Kentucky Kingdom. However Hart only has the rights to do this until September 30th and currently he is waiting for the Fair Board to offer him new lease terms he can accept. In the conditions are right, he would consider waiting until 2013 to reopen the park, which is likely to be necessary anyway give how little time they have left for a 2012 reopening. Given that Hart has nearly doubled his original $3 million put into the park, he does expect to be able to swing a better lease deal with the fair board. You can view Ed Hart’s latest press conference over at YouTube. And finally, one of the local news stations takes a detailed look at the park from the ground and the air and has posted a video of it here.
(8/25/11) Good news for Kentucky Kingdom as negotiations have begin with an investor who has pledged as much as $20 million to help get the Kentucky Kingdom park reopen again. Click here to read more.
(8/1/11) Some new information about the current plans and thoughts for Kentucky Kingdom over the next few years, if they can get the funding needed to reopen, can be found at ThemeParkTourist.
(7/25/11) The latest status report on Kentucky Kingdom claims that they may pursue tax credits as the primary incentive package to reopen the park. Read more here.
(6/23/11) According to this article, a deal that would see Kentucky Kingdom reopen again in 2012 is very close to being signed.
(6/2/11) A giant set of pictures taken around the edge of Kentucky Kingdom have been posted to AmusementParkAuthority.
(5/13/11) Curious about how the inside of Kentucky Kingdom looks today, after sitting empty since Six Flags closed up shot last February? From the look of the pictures posted here, it doesn’t look like it will take much to get it reopen. Other than obviously being in a winterized state for the off-season, the park looks like it is being well taken care of right now by a staff of groundskeepers and protected by a 24/7 security force in anticipation of reopening under Ed Hart’s leadership.
Meanwhile a few more details about the new pending deal to finance the re-birth of the theme park have been published by the local news.
(5/5/11) Louisville’s Mayor is on board with the plan to issue $17.5 million in bonds to get Kentucky Kingdom up and running in a limited condition for the 2012 season and back in full operation by 2013 pending the approval of a second bond for the remainder that was asked for. Now we just have to wait and see if the council approves it or not. Read all the details here.
(5/2/11) A deadline between the Kentucky State Fair Board and Ed Hart’s group to come to an agreement to revive the Kentucky Kingdom theme park has been extended through to September 2011. The original terms of the agreement would have ended on April 30th otherwise.
(4/18/11) Facing problem after problem with getting funding from the state to reopen Kentucky Kingdom, one might think Ed Hart may just throw up his hands and walk away frustrated. However, as the man who had previously revived this park into a major league player in the industry in years past, only to watch it fail again under Six Flags’ ownership he has a personal mission to see this through it seems. As such, Ed Hart has now promised to increase his own investment in the park, as well as seeking a $17.5 million bond from the city rather than the state. The new plan would give the local government a greater share of the revenue generated from the park, as well as start bringing it to them sooner than with the previous plan. If approval can be granted quickly enough, there is still a chance for a 2012 re-opening for Kentucky Kingdom.
(4/7/11) Bad news for Kentucky Kingdom, after failing to pass a request for a $50 million bond needed to overhaul the park in 2012, they have now officially rejected a second request for a smaller $20 million bond needed to just get the park open at all in 2012. The head of the fair board says they will now renew their quest for the $50 million bond in 2012, and shoot for a 2013 reopening.
(3/3/11) Amusement Park Authority is planning out an interview with Ed Hart and needs your help to submit questions about Ed’s plans to revive Kentucky Kingdom. Click here to read up on the details on how you can submit your burning questions.
(2/28/11) Bad news for Kentucky Kingdom’s plans to reopen in 2012 as the state now seems unlikely to approve the $50 million bond needed to pay for improvements.
(1/31/11) According to the local news, the city is hoping to make a final call on the bond issue for Kentucky Kingdom sometime between late February and early March. The park is also planning on adding 30 areas to the existing property for future expansion, provided by the KFEC, so it wont be landlocked anymore. This will increase the total possible park size from about 60 acres to 90, making it more competitive with other local parks. More land could also possibly be made available to the park for a future parking lot also.
(1/17/11) Fans awaiting the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom may want to check out In The Loop Monday night (tonight) as they will talk live with Ed Hart and even take live calls and questions. If you want to ask a question in advance, you can submit your questions to Clint by e-mail.
(12/29/10) Lets be honest for a moment, anyone who has visited Kentucky Kingdom in the last decade (under Six Flags management) probably was not very impressed with the park. However those who visited it in the years leading up to the Six Flags purchase would have seen an entirely different park, one that was proud to have added major new attractions each year for a good number of years, which also saw the park’s attendance soar. A great video mapping out the attendance history of the park under Ed Hart’s run and what followed under the Premier Parks Six Flags run and then under Mark Shapiro’s Six Flags run has been posted to YouTube, which is quite an eye opener if you watch the entire video.
(12/21/10) An interview with Ed Hart about Kentucky Kingdom has been posted to ParkThoughts. The big surprise is that Ed claims that the new coaster he wants for the park will be a B&M, though the exact type was not mentioned. With so many other B&M’s in the Ohio area (Diamondback, Mantis, Raptor) I would almost thing that Ed might want to look into a coaster design not already used in the area.
That knocks out Hypers, Stand-Ups and Inverted designs, and due to height restrictions a Dive Machine is right now as well (unless they go deep underground), so to me that leaves Floorless, Flying and the new Wing Rider style design under construction in Europe right now.
Any of these would be a good idea, but I think a really classy Flyer may be a great idea for the park, and as SeaWorld has shown with Manta, a nice intense Flyer with lots of low to the ground elements can be a fantastic addition. Plus it would blow away Firehawk at nearby Kings Island, which is always a plus.
Other news from Ed Hart included: a dedicated parking lot for the park, with free parking for guests, plus the prices of food will be competitive with outside food vendors in order to keep guests IN the park rather than leaving to eat elsewhere.
(11/29/10) Over 100 pictures taken around the perimeter of Kentucky Kingdom have been posted to the park’s Facebook page this week.
(11/23/10) Kentucky Kingdom has updated their website once again…including a new picture of a Maurer X-Car coaster once again on the front page.
(11/17/10) A few new videos (five I think) have been added to the Kentucky Kingdom YouTube page, where they answer a few more questions about rides and the project’s status. One question addresses the intended new use of the 10 acres used for the old entrance (for bigger/taller rides!), as well as questions about Chang, Quake and Twisted Twins. Oh… and Chang’s replacement is promised to be an “equal if not better than Chang”. The old Chang site will however be used to expand the waterpark.
Twisted Twins, which may have it’s name changed back to Double Trouble perhaps (the intended name Ed Hart had for it) will undergo a $3 million refurbishment and reprofile, as well as have brand new trains purchased for it.
(11/15/10) According to the official Kentucky Kingdom facebook page, the new park operators do plan on restoring and reopening the Twisted Twins wooden coaster. In a public response to a question about that coaster, the official answer was, “At this point, our plan calls to completely renovate it and re-open the dual wooden coasters!”
(11/13/10) Kentucky Kingdom has launched an all new website at KentuckyKingdom.com. While there isn’t much to see, perhaps the most interesting thing is that they have put a picture of a Maurer X-Car coaster right on the front page. A hint about the park’s intended new coaster project perhaps?
(11/4/10) Kentucky Kingdom now has a YouTube channel, complete with several videos of Ed Hart (no relation… I think…) talking about the park plan and answering various questions. A key question of interest is where he explains just how he revived Kentucky Kingdom the first time in just 9 years as well as pointing out how Six Flags pretty much destroyed everything they built in the following decade of their ownership of the park, sending it into a downward spiral. The key to a park’s success? “The Rides”… yep… The Rides. Ed knows what he’s talking about.
(11/3/10) The local news has confirmed that Kentucky Kingdom will not be ready to reopen in time for the 2011 season, so they’re now shooting for 2012.
(10/2/10) The Road Runner coaster at Kentucky Kingdom is coming down. They’ll pack it up and send it all to Six Flags New England soon enough.
(10/1/10) The Kentucky Kingdom Dedevelopment company has come up with an official Facebook page to support the return of Kentucky Kingdom.
(9/13/10) According to this report, Ed Hart is proposing a $50 million investment into Kentucky Kingdom to get it up and running again. $20 million to rehab the park and $30 million in new attractions that will include a plan to double the size of the waterpark. Free Parking and value priced food options are also being considered. Also as part of this additional report, he is working on a deal to add an $8-10 million new roller coaster to the park as well.
(8/31/10) According to this report, the last major legal hurdle to clear the way for Kentucky Kingdom to reopen will take place in a heading on September by a bankruptcy judge, and then Ed Hart’s final business plan will be presented to the Fair Board in October. According to what we’ve seen of the plans, they wanted to make a new entrance and only open the larger side of the park. However Greezed Lightning is located on the smaller side of the park that would be closed, and there are no plans to reopen Twisted Twins for 2011.
(7/24/10) The Kentucky State Fair Board settled the dispute with Six Flags over the Kentucky Kingdom property that will see Six Flags turn over the 20 acres of property that they actually do own to the to the Fair Board, and all but ONE ride. Which ride? The Road Runner Express coaster, a Maurer Sohne Wild Moue that was installed back in 2000 which Six Flags will move to another Six Flags park instead. (Hmmm… a link to another story perhaps?) In exchange they will pay Six Flags $2.35 million, and forgive a $2.5 million tax debt and $2.8 million in rent to the Fair Board.
On the flip side, Ed Hart’s team is working on plans to revitalize the park in the hopes of reopening it on Memorial Day weekend, 2011, if feasible. They just have to get the right financing to back their plans.
(5/28/10) It looks like Ed Hart has come back to the fold and is the one who has been picked by the fairboard to come up with a new business plan to revive and reopen Kentucky Kingdom through a new company, KK Redevelopment. Part of his plan is to expand the waterpark and move the main entrance to a better location.