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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

P. 401: Herschend Enterprises named majority partner and park operator

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Ed Hart showing off progress at Kentucky Kingdom

 

http://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/blog/2013/09/take-a-look-behind-the-gates-of.html

 

"Sep 26, 2013, 3:05pm EDT Updated: Sep 26, 2013, 4:09pm EDT

Take a look behind the gates of Kentucky Kingdom

 

John Karman III | Business First

 

The target reopening date for the long-shuttered Kentucky Kingdom amusement park is still eight months away, but that didn’t stop park operator Ed Hart and his investment partners from showing off the progress they’ve made in restoring the venue to media members and other guests on Thursday.

 

Hart proved quite the tour guide as he took reporters and members of the Kentucky State Fair Board through the 60-acre park. The fair board manages the state-owned Kentucky Exposition Center, where Kentucky Kingdom is located.

 

Hart reaffirmed his promise that Kentucky Kingdom will reopen May 24, 2014, with new and refurbished rides and attractions.

 

He also said that information about pricing and new rides and features will be announced in November.

 

Hart said he and his investment partners have invested about $10 million to date on improvements at the amusement park.

 

Workers were on hand today, painting, doing landscaping work and making other repairs.

 

Kentucky Kingdom closed in 2009 and never reopened after former operator Six Flags Inc. walked away from its lease. Hart and his partners finally reached a deal with the fair board earlier this year to manage the venue after several previous bids failed.

 

The owners of the Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari amusement park in Santa Claus, Ind., also made a run at reopening Kentucky Kingdom as an attraction called Bluegrass Boardwalk but later backed out of the project.

 

Hart’s partners in Kentucky Kingdom LLLP are Bruce Lunsford, his partner in Hart-Lunsford Pictures LLC; Ed Glasscock, chairman emeritus of Frost Brown Todd LLC law firm; and the Al J. Schneider Co., led by president Mary Moseley.

 

All of the partners were present for today’s tour.

 

Hart has said he and his partners intend to spend $43.5 million to reopen Kentucky Kingdom.

 

About 60 employees currently are on the amusement park’s payroll, according to Hart. And several contractors are on site daily doing repair work and upgrades.

 

“We’re fully mobilized,” Hart said. “There’s a lot to be done. But we’ve accomplished a lot already. It’s starting to have the feel of a theme park, but we are just beginning.”

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^ Well of course. I'd be surprised if he said it was rough and boring with no airtime lol. Its a shame that so far every picture of the wheel makes the orange look so subdued. The last two days on my way to the lower portion of the wheel has popped! In the sun, that orange commands your attention; the neon yellow/green on the outer ring with the restoration work on the gondolas force you to take note if you are on I-65. When the paint job is completed it will look stunning (and I'm really not a fan of the color orange). I'm sensing high energy from the wheel......which leads me to believe the coaster will be a launched euro-fighter, don't ask me to explain how I arrived at that conclusion.

 

EDIT: There is another local story that provides a few more details on how many new rides will be added.

 

www.wave3.com/story/23542900/kentucky-kingdom-to-feature-more-than-10-new-attractions

 

Kentucky Kingdom to feature more than 10 new Attractions

Posted: Sep 26, 2013 7:25 PM EDT

Updated: Sep 26, 2013 7:55 PM EDT

By Sherrell Hubbard

 

"LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Kingdom is getting a facelift. Crews have been hard at work refurbishing buildings and getting some painting done before the winter.

 

Developer Ed Hart said many of the rides are already operational, "Thunder Run, we ran that the other day and it is phenomenal." The ride will take guests 55 miles per hour for about 3,000 feet.

 

As Hart led media and members of the Fair Board on the tour Fair Board President Mark Lynn said he is quizzed daily about the status of the park. After taking the tour, Lynn said he has no doubt that the new Kentucky Kingdom will thrive, "The progress they're making, the hours they're working, the effort they are putting into it, it's going to be a success."

 

The park was abandoned by Six Flags four years ago. Officials said at the time the park had 34 to 35 rides. Developers tout 48 rides when the park reopens including three new theme park rides and three new rides for children.

 

Workers are doing preparations for a brand new $7 million steel coaster. The water park will also add eight new attractions that will double the size of the water park.

 

Kentucky Kingdom officials said they plan to start hiring for positions at the park in January.

Hart said the gates will open in May 2014 and he is confident they will open on schedule, "There's no doubt in our mind that we'll be ready, no doubt whatsoever."

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A few pictures of the Giant Wheel Repaint from WAVE 3's tour of the park.

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A few pictures of the Giant Wheel Repaint from WAVE 3's tour of the park.

13.jpg.05761119ee2542601bd0b4da0dc91f62.jpg

A few pictures of the Giant Wheel Repaint from WAVE 3's tour of the park.

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All right, lets keep those updates coming because I've have become an addict and I want another fix!

 

I'm glad that Thunder Run is running well, but what about the Roller Skater? Am I the only one that gives a whoopy-doo about that coaster?

 

Just when we were speculating on what type of steel coaster the park will be getting, now Ed Hart has to go and torture us some more on several new rides that will also be added inside the park. I can see the Star Flyer being placed in the spot where the old Helluvator once stood, but I'm also thinking that the third ride might be the Scrambler. Why I hope it's the Scrambler? Because I like the Scrambler!

 

2014 can't get here soon enough.

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I wouldn't say it could completely be ruled out; you never know. When Ed Hart went to B&M to build Chang, he did not pay it in full before it was built. He made an initial payment, and over the course of the following two seasons paid off the rest. It is possible something like that could be in the works again. Although I'm still sticking to a launched euro-fighter. Unfortunately I no longer have the local news story that explained the origins of Chang; it was unprecedented for such a small park to get a high quality coaster, especially a B&M.

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Well, according to RCDB, the one in Magic Springs cost $4,000,000. My only concern is with how much down-time the rides have had (and not to forget one that stranded riders upside-down).

 

This is total wishful thinking, but how much did Abismo cost?

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I wouldn't say it could completely be ruled out; you never know. When Ed Hart went to B&M to build Chang, he did not pay it in full before it was built. He made an initial payment, and over the course of the following two seasons paid off the rest.

When a park says they are "making a $7 million dollar investment" that is the cost of the entire package. Not the "down payment." Most parks do not pay off rides before they are complete. Just like when buying a car, most of them are paid off over many years. Hell, parks and ride companies are sometimes lucky if the contract gets finalized and signed before a ride opens!

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My post made absolutely no sense.......I didn't realize it until just now lol. The article on Chang, just like every other article/press release/etc, mentions the full price tag; it just goes more in depth in how it all actually came to be.

 

On the speculation side of things, sky loop was my initial thought when they changed the price tag. I was really hoping not as they seem to be a bit of a maintenance headache and gimmicky but I forgot there can be room for customization à la Abismo. I want the park to make it to 2016 so we can see what the overhaul of Twisted Twins will be.

image.jpg.961fb2284f4b9027dc1c28bbf23d1244.jpg

At least this would last about 45 seconds!

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Ed Hart needs to hit it out of the park with this roller coaster and a Euro-fighter or Sky loop ain't gonna do it. Let's think about it, Chang the signature ride Kentucky Kingdom had is gone and it needs to be replaced with something to get people excited about coming to the park like Chang did back then. The attendance shot up after Chang came to the park and you need that attendance and excitement for a park reopening back up after 4 years.

 

I am a bit worried about them spending 12 million dollars for the water park expansions and that expansion going in the same spot Chang did and only 7 million dollars going towards a new roller coaster. Ed Hart must be really confident about this 7 million dollar roller coaster to get people excited about since people have been wondering what the new roller coaster is going to be and if it turns out to be something not interesting for people to travel for and those people end up going to Kings Island for The Banshee.

 

If it was me and on a budget like Ed Hart is, I would of lowered the amount the water park expansion got and put a Intamin Mega Lite where the new roller coaster is going, have the supports painted blue and track yellow. Great marketing to go along with the first Intamin Mega Lite in the United States. Enthusiasts would travel to ride the first one in the United States and not to mention it being a great fun ride with airtime etc.

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^ Well the thing is that the water park expansion would bring in more money than 1 coaster, more family's and bigger groups of people from the city and from the fairgrounds would come in and spend more money to splash in water then wait for a coaster that there whole family can't ride.

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Remember folks, Ed got control of the park a little later than expected. There may have not been enough time to get an order placed to B&M (even though he wants one). You're seeing that with the fact that T2 won't be reopening until 2015, he couldn't get his train order in before the deadline.

 

Let's just be grateful that he's getting all of this open for next year.

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While I was hoping that a Mega-Lite would be possible, as I'm hoping to do a combined Cedar Point-Kings Island-Kentucky Kingdom trip next year, honestly I'll look forward to visiting the park for the first time, regardless of what coaster they install.

 

It's really impressive that Ed Hart and his team have been able to do so much on such a short notice, especially considering the fact that the park was sitting there abandoned for so long. I'm sure that the way opening funds were appropriated for their grand re-opening was based on some very careful research, and I feel that credit is due for the fact that he made the park so successful prior to Six Flags buying it from him. Not to mention the fact that he made that seemingly-impossible fair board change it's mind!

 

To be honest, I also never even knew that Chang was purchased pre-Six Flags! I always just assumed that the park had been owned by Premier Parks prior to being "flagged". The fact that this guy knows his business so well leaves no doubt in my mind on his ability to ensure that the park is successful. I'll be happy just to go there and contribute my money and look forward to their future.

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Hmm... well, a Mega-Lite would be fun, but the GP would call it a kiddie coaster because it is slightly small, not gimmicky, and has no inversions. That's personally why I think Maverick is such a success - it has the unusual launches, inversions, and 95-degree drop. A Mega-Lite has none of that. Although it might fit in this park now that Chang is gone, I would imagine that the GP still would flock to T2 first. I hope not, but still.

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Hmm... well, a Mega-Lite would be fun, but the GP would call it a kiddie coaster because it is slightly small, not gimmicky, and has no inversions. That's personally why I think Maverick is such a success - it has the unusual launches, inversions, and 95-degree drop. A Mega-Lite has none of that. Although it might fit in this park now that Chang is gone, I would imagine that the GP still would flock to T2 first. I hope not, but still.

Yeah, the crowds totally just go for the big "badass looking" ones first. Well, a ride on T2 should cure them.

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