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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread


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2. Each individual addition to the park MUST count for the long haul. Clones like the Boomerang and SLC that Hart has used in the past will not cut it.

 

In Hart's defense, there was only one other SLC at the time he bought T2.

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It's also not entirely true that a clone like a boomerang or SLC wouldn't work. The closest large looping coasters are 113 miles away at Kings Island.

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2. Each individual addition to the park MUST count for the long haul. Clones like the Boomerang and SLC that Hart has used in the past will not cut it.

 

In Hart's defense, there was only one other SLC at the time he bought T2.

While I will grant this one in the case of T2, I actually was wanting to reference his addition of yet another SLC at Magic Springs while he was running it which concerns me about his idea of what a good attraction is. Per Hart's own videos while T2 did cause a good attendance increase when it was added being only 2 of kind, Chang made a much more significant boost in attendance. I will say that it was likely not exclusively due to Chang but due to building up a good reputation in adding new and what was at the time significant attractions with the addition of Chang the deal maker for people to justify going the distance for the park. My underlying point is after seeing what he added at KK and Magic Springs, he needs to realize that the next move is critical and he needs to find a coaster that will repeat the success that Chang was for KK under his tenure. The fact that Chang was the only coaster SF took from his tenure, should tell you something about the rest of the selection. Simply put, they seemed like good ideas at the time but they have not aged well and looking at how the X-coaster turned out for the long haul at Magic Springs, I sure hope he has learned for some of these prior decisions.

 

It's also not entirely true that a clone like a boomerang or SLC wouldn't work. The closest large looping coasters are 113 miles away at Kings Island.

Let me elaborate. In Hart's prior proposal videos, he explained that in his vision he was wanting to get a significant amount of attendance from outside Kentucky as what he was able to reach towards the end of his tenure after Chang was added. The Boomerang and SLC were not the things that pull this portion in, but it was Chang the one that stood out from the rest that was the deal clincher. What this means is if this is what Hart is wanting to do, he needs to calculate what rides KK can offer that is not already featured at parks in a reasonable distance from KK, and this is why.

 

Scenario #1. If a person was looking at attending either their home park or KK and notices that the have virtually all the same coasters, why on earth would they waste their time, gas, and hotels rates to attend KK? It simply would not make sense. This is why I refuse to attend many of Six Flags smaller parks. When more than half of what another park has can be found at home, why bother?

 

Scenario #2. If a person is sick of their home park and wants to try some parks with other parks and their choices are King's Island with their unique coasters of the Beast & Vortex, rare finds like Flight Deck, and a long line up good coasters that can be found elsewhere. Then they look at KK and see that the wooden coasters are not quite up to what King's Island has and their steel coasters can be found at half the theme parks in America including some they know they will visit before long, why would they choose KK?

 

The reality is Hart can't give KK the budget that parks like SFMM seem to gets where it doesn't matter how good or terrible the addition is. If they get it wrong, no big deal "we'll dump it on someone else later and make a new decision in a year or two through our standard procedures of throwing darts at different random ideas while blind folded, taking a poll from our target demographic of pet rocks and broccoli, presenting the ideas to our Ouija board, check the Mayan Calendar for any predictions on this, consulting with our Tarot Cards, get a second opinion from our patented "Yes Men" (100% Guarantee or your money back)..."but I digress. Hart can't afford to make these poor decisions SF makes and if he wants the park to get back to the way it was when he left, he has to rebuild its reputation before people are going to trust it again and clones are not going to cut it. Hart needs to look carefully at what smaller parks are doing for inspiration. By the time Outlaw is finished, SDC will have added 3 unique coasters. HW has managed to accomplish the reputation they have with just having 3 wooden coasters that the enthusiasts seem to love (even though I think the Legend and Raven are overrated). One way or the other, KK needs to have rides that stand out instead of cloning.

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I think he's delusional if he thinks Kentucky Kingdom is anything more than a regional park in todays climate. Holiday World and Beech Bend are much improved since the days of Chang. I think he'd be better off building smaller rides and rebuilding a strong local visitor base before dreaming bigger...

 

But again, I don't think this is going to actually happen to begin with. Not after the casino thing came up.

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I think he's delusional if he thinks Kentucky Kingdom is anything more than a regional park in todays climate. Holiday World and Beech Bend are much improved since the days of Chang. I think he'd be better off building smaller rides and rebuilding a strong local visitor base before dreaming bigger...

 

I agree. Even though we're only 2 hours away, basically nobody in my area knows that there was a Six Flags park down there in Louisville. But Holiday World is well known since it's a good, inexpensive short vacation. Hart would be better off starting smaller and building the park up over time. Though doubling the size of the waterpark year 1 is probably a good idea. For the rides side, he could start off with a new woodie or moderately priced steel coaster. There are so many great options now that don't cost $30 million. If he can keep the momentum going for a few years, then maybe he could work his way up to something bigger like an Intamin Mega-Lite.

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I have to agree Elissa. I think its been forgotten about for too long and will never be the same. It will never be able to compete with Holiday World or Kings Island but it is at least nice to see someone willing to take it on since it provides many teens not only a good summer time job but also a good place to hang out. My question is why Ed Hart even sold it in the first place after all the work he had done and turned it around and it was becoming a pretty well known regional park and if he takes it over again will he do the same thing and then who ever buys it will they not keep improving it and strip rides from it all over again.

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I think the park was more or less out of cash when they sold to Premier Parks. As I recall, much of the transaction was assumption of debt, rather than a cash payment to the owners.

 

For what it's worth, Ed Hart purchased Chang himself, and then leased it to the park.

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^That certainly adds more fuel to the fire as to why the fair board wouldn't want to deal with Ed Hart. If he was going broke operating the park a first time, what is going to make this time around any different?

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^That certainly adds more fuel to the fire as to why the fair board wouldn't want to deal with Ed Hart. If he was going broke operating the park a first time, what is going to make this time around any different?

Not to mention the fact that Ed Hart never seems to keep his parks for very long before he sells them again. He didn't hold onto Magic Springs for very long either. His strategy seems to be adding quantity attractions instead of quality. You don't need 5-7 coasters to be credible, you need 3 great ones chosen carefully (and not necessarily always expensive ones either, just not clones).

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^That certainly adds more fuel to the fire as to why the fair board wouldn't want to deal with Ed Hart. If he was going broke operating the park a first time, what is going to make this time around any different?

Not to mention the fact that Ed Hart never seems to keep his parks for very long before he sells them again. He didn't hold onto Magic Springs for very long either. His strategy seems to be adding quantity attractions instead of quality. You don't need 5-7 coasters to be credible, you need 3 great ones chosen carefully (and not necessarily always expensive ones either, just not clones).

 

So very true. The best parks in my opinion are the family owned or parks that have been around for more than 50 years but they still manage to stay profitable and families manage to have fun and keep coming back for more.

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you need 3 great ones chosen carefully (and not necessarily always expensive ones either, just not clones).

 

Something tells my by 3 great ones, you mean Holiday World, because there awesome

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^I don't think that's what he means. In fact, I disagree with the whole three wooden coasters is a great idea in a park thing. Holiday World does well because of many things. They only do well with Enthusiasts because of the three wooden coasters. I can't tell you how many times I was at a hotel near that park and would hear the GP bitching that they'd rather go to SFKK cause 'they got loops and metal coasters'.

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I can't believe they are still trying after all this time. I never visited the park, and would love to have gotten the credits, but I think they should just sell what they can, if it's not too late.

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My argument is more closely based on SDC and not quite as much based on HW. SDC's three most recent additions (Wildfire, Powder Keg, and Outlaw Run). Although the count of the park is actually around 6, I don't count Fire in the Hole as to me it is more of a Dark Ride plus it was be no means a recent addition. I don't count Grand Exposition Center as that is a kiddie ride (make no mistake an important part that every balance park needs to offer, but not really added for an attendance booster). Thunderation was nearly 20 years ago anyhow. These three additions have little to no overlap between each other. Wildfire is a B&M traditional sit down (which is unique in this part of the country), Powder Keg is one of a kind in its layout and unique in this area of the country as an air launched coaster, and Outlaw Run is a one of a kind woodie with inversions that has the potential to be what the SoB should have been and if so will not only make Prowler and Boss seem insignificant but could present a challenge to El Toro and Voyage for the most intense woodie title. No other parks have these coasters and they do not overlap. One is a steel looper and was a completely new segment to SDC when it was added, air launched is one of a kind, and one is a woodie that inverts. The best part was that at least these rides were not that expensive. Wildfire was $14 million, Outlaw Run is merely $10 million (in comparison the failed SoB was a bit over $20 million initially), and Power Keg came from transforming a failed attraction into a successful one (I can't find info on the price).

 

Parks like SDC are in truth family parks and in a different segment than say Six Flags and Cedar Fair and in the past seemed lame to me the last time I attended (1996 I think); however, with these three new additions (especially Outlaw Run), they have made a credible challenge to their local competition (SFSTL & WOF). They also have created the case for a fan for SDC to try their sister park Dollywood because they do not share a single coaster design with each other and aside from possibly Mystery Mine and Sideshow Spin, each is a unique coaster to this park alone. Cedar Fair and even more so, Six Flags is terrible about making this mistake (see how many Six Flags have Batman clones, have B&M hypers, Boomerangs, B&M Flying coasters of the same layout, and other examples).

 

Ed Hart in comparison added 5 (excluding Roller Skater as it is a kiddie coaster, 6 if you count Twisted Sisters as two) in a matter of 8 years. Vampire ( a Boomerang), Thunder Run, and T2 were each clones (yes T2 was the first in the U.S. but it was not the first ever made and I'll cite Magic Springs as evidence that Hart would have used it regardless), and the rest did not stand out as significant. No matter how you cut it, if SDC or Dollywood had to go ten years without a brand new addition, their coasters uniqueness would help them from becoming as deflated as KK became. The reason for this is you could go to a long list of parks that had the same coasters as KK as well as many others that KK didn't have. The same cannot be said about SDC and Dollywood. This is the lesson Hart needs to learn.

 

HW while their coasters are highly ranked, I wouldn't say this as much because there is too much overlap between them (particularly Raven and Legend). I am not going to criticize the addition of Voyage as I haven't had the chance to ride it and from what it looks like, it probably is one of the best; meanwhile, I have ridden Raven and Legend, and my reaction was while these were definitely good coasters (way better than Blue Streak, Mean Streak, Rattler, Judge Roy, Timber Wolf), they were not the best I have been on (Screamin' Eagle, Boss, Beast, Prowler) and they seemed too much alike. Back in 2002, my youth group went there instead of SFSTL we were told it was going to be much better because of the highly ranked coasters and free Pepsi, my reaction after being there was "on what planet is this better than anything and why waste the money on the drive and on a room for the evening?" I regarded Legend as being HW's attempt to make what they should have made the first time and was wanting a steel coaster with inversions instead of two woodies. There is a bigger difference between Screamin' Eagle and Boss than there is between these two and I like both of those better than Legend and Raven, plus SFSTL had 3 steel coasters with inversions to add to its favor. In my opinion, if they wanted to offer another woodie after Raven, they should have went to GCI to at least provide a very different experience. Concerning the free Pepsi, I rather have house brand soda over Pepsi; therefore, that never appealed to me. Don't get me wrong Holiday World is another example of a great family park and everyone should try it once, but it isn't meant to compete against SF or CF parks yet and until they get some steel coasters, SDC and Dollywood are better options in my opinion.

Edited by Arrow Dynamics fan
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^ This is more of a pet peeve of mine more than anything else, but can you not put the word "the" in front of the names of rides? It just sounds weird in my head when I read it.

 

I know, completely random, but it was just bugging me.

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^ This is more of a pet peeve of mine more than anything else, but can you not put the word "the" in front of the names of rides? It just sounds weird in my head when I read it.

 

I know, completely random, but it was just bugging me.

Fair enough, use of "the" in retrospec was not entirely consistent on my part in accordance with ride titles. Corrections made. I will try to work on my bad habit of "the" overkill.

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So the most important question now is will the casino be named Kentucky Kingdom

Sure, why not? They can reuse some of the names or play on names for the games and other things associated with it. B2 (or Bankruptcy to the Second Power), Double Trouble: Lola and Stella (the leg breakers), Chang (or Thunder Run) Buffet, Vampire (the Elvis Impersonator), etc.

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Source

LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Louisville businessman Ed Hart is expected to meet with state officials Wednesday to talk about plans to re-open Kentucky Kingdom.

 

Hart's group is the only one known to have submitted a plan.

 

The state has rejected his two previous plans, but this one doesn't include what had been a big roadblock in the past -- a $30 million loan guarantee from the state.

 

Hart is proposing to reopen Kentucky Kingdom by 2014.

 

The state isn't saying yet who, if anyone, will reopen the closed amusement park.

 

Well, it's something.

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Louisville businessman Ed Hart is expected to meet with state officials Wednesday to talk about plans to re-open Kentucky Kingdom.

 

Hart's group is the only one known to have submitted a plan.

 

The state has rejected his two previous plans, but this one doesn't include what had been a big roadblock in the past -- a $30 million loan guarantee from the state.

 

Hart is proposing to reopen Kentucky Kingdom by 2014.

 

The state isn't saying yet who, if anyone, will reopen the closed amusement park.

 

Well, it's something.

 

The difference this time from what I heard is that Hart wants to use the rides and equipment to help secure the bank loan which there is a state law that will permit contractors or 3rd party business groups to use State Equipment to secure financing.

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