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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

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

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  • 2 weeks later...



King Louie’s Winter Walk-Thru is Saturday, February 24th from 10am -3pm. We had a great turnout from TPR last year and it would be awesome to see many of you attend this year! To confirm your attendance to this event, please send an email to: rhouse@kentuckykingdom.com with your name and and contact information. Please be sure to let them know you are from TPR.


Here is what the event includes:


- Free lunch


- Souvenir KEY TO THE KINGDOM for each guest


- Q&A with Senior Management


- Tour of our Operations building and Command Base building


- Tour of new ride locations in the park


Please take lots of pictures and post a trip report to TPR!

Edited by robbalvey
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  • 2 weeks later...

Kentucky Kingdom workers could lose overtime pay under Senate-backed plan



Ed Hart, president of Kentucky Kingdom, said the measure would allow payroll flexibility to keep seasonal workers who want additional hours but don't want to get a second job.


He didn't ask for this legislation, he said, but supports it because he can't afford to pay overtime to employees who work more than 40 hours a week. That situation often arises when his younger summertime staff, many of whom make up to $16 an hour, return to school in August.



"You don't want someone to leave a 40-hour-a-week job here and catch a bus or whatever, and work part-time someplace else," Hart said. "I'd much rather they stay here, work the overtime, get paid a good wage but not get paid time and a half. I can't afford that."


Kentucky Kingdom closes for the season based on the Jefferson County Public Schools schedule, Hart said. It remains open on weekends, however, until the last week of September. ...


In February 2013, the city approved a $2.5 million incentive package to help Hart and his partners reopen Kentucky Kingdom, which had closed four years prior.


Among the items meant to entice the park's redevelopment was a $100,000 annual job tax rebate for a decade that was approved by Metro Council; another decade-long $100,000 allocation from the city's general fund; and a five-year agreement that the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau would provide the park with $100,000 a year.


Council President David James said he was shocked to learn about the state measure, adding that his office is looking at what options council members have in terms of amending those incentives.


"It says they don't value their employees, and I think that's a horrible message to send," he said. "It sounds to me like we're lowering the values of employees to create a better profit to business, which to me is really unacceptable."


Hart said Kentucky Kingdom, which employs about 1,400 people, makes a profit but that it all goes back into the park. He said the park's partners have invested about $60 million but haven't seen any return on their investment since it reopened in 2014.


Fischer spokeswoman Jean Porter said they are continuing to study the proposal, "but have serious concerns with legislation that could negatively impact an employee from earning their fair wages."


Rich Seckel, director of the Kentucky Equal Justice Center, a nonprofit civil legal aid group, said the proposal is astonishing given that Kentucky hasn't raised its $7.25-an-hour minimum wage while many of its surrounding states have. Missouri, Illinois, Ohio and West Virginia all have higher minimum wages than Kentucky, while Indiana, Tennessee and Virginia have the same rate, according to the U.S. labor department. ...

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I don't like this. I'm pretty suspicious of any employer who says he can't afford overtime. Considering the cost of training, insurance, and other benefits, it can often be less to pay overtime than hire a new employee. Plus you tend to get your best people working overtime, as they're the ones willing to commit more than is required by the job. The race to the bottom with wages never works out well for anyone but the very wealthy. It hurts the poor and working class, but it also hurts business owners, as those people whose wages are deflated give up things like theme park trips to save money. This idea sounds like another short term gain, long term loss that we see very often these days in politics and business.

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Don't take this as I'm defending this, but...


Many states already have this exemption for seasonal employees. Ohio for example does. Seasonal businesses (amusement parks, ski resorts, zoos, etc..) do not have to pay seasonal employees for overtime. When I worked at GL the typical work week for us was 70 hours or more. All of it paid as straight time.


That said, I don't think he's pursuing this to be malicious or because he's cheap. It could be more to be competitive in a seasonal employment market. Kids looking for summer jobs may be more willing to take a job that'll gladly give them 70 hours a week versus 20-40 at similar hourly pay rates. I know I would and did. He also has dumped a lot of cash into a park we all thought was dead to bring it back. He may need some help to keep it successful.


And honestly speaking, I loved every second of those summer jobs. I would gladly work 70 hours a week without overtime pay at an amusement park again then 40 a week with available overtime at a job I'm only meh about.

Edited by WolfBobs
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Sounds to me the headline is false because no one gets overtime because no one works over 40 hours a week, he won't pay overtime. If they change the rules, they will have the option of working longer at the same rate. Hart implies at least some of them are well above minimum wage and some work another job for more hours, which is more questionable, although probably many do work another job due to inconsistent hours and still will have to.

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Yeah when I worked there this summer as a lifeguard they wouldn't let me work more than 40 hours. One Sunday I got sent home at 12:30 because I was about to hit 40 hours that week. The only people that worked overtime were the managers who were paid more anyways.

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Waited till (nearly) the last minute, but we are confirmed for the event as well! Will definitely be taking plenty of photos. I'm also not sure if I had a smart-phone the last time this event happened (I got mine exactly a year ago), but I do now and can hopefully do some live tweeting and IG posting!

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Going to be a wet day, for King Louie's Winter walk through. 100% chance of rain, Severe flooding going on around Louisville now and rain in the forecast everyday through Sunday. I'm going to bare it, because this will be my first event.

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Has anyone gotten an email from the park yet with instructions for the event?


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