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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

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

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I just hope they will open this year. If they can't open by mid June, it likely wouldn't be worth it for them. If they have to wait til July, they would only have 1 month of daily operations, before they go back to weekends mid August. The Governor has said the Zoo and Kentucky Kingdom will be one of the last things he gives a ok for.

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Rumor going around is that the state health director has stated pools will not be eligible to open until the end of June at the earliest. That is not good news for Kentucky Kingdom. The majority of their business comes from people going to Hurricane Bay with season passes. I'm afraid this also means staffing issues, what teenager is going to want to go through all that training just to work for one month on a $8 an hour wage.

 

I'm beginning to think Kentucky Kingdom won't open this summer at all and if it does, it will be a shell of its former self with all the cost cutting they will have to do to salvage any profit. The only good news is there were very few capital improvements at the park this off season so they aren't out any money for a new ride or attraction.

 

It's all around just sad to see a park on the incline be derailed like this. Even worse is the PR hit the park is taking. It seems just recently people in Louisville and other surrounding areas began to gain trust back in the park after the Six Flags days. Now the the park is in limbo and doesn't have the capital it requires to survive extending season passes till next year. They are taking a hit on social media and through word of mouth which will impact business long after this is all over.

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^ I think your comment about the park being a "shell of its former self" when it reopens is going to be true for every single park in the country if they can manage to open.

 

Last year in a normal season many parks (including Cedar Point) had major staffing issues leading to rides opening late or not at all... I can't even imagine how bad that whole situation is going to be this year when you're asking people to come make minimum wage to work in a petri dish of virus. Handrails, lapbars... yikes.

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Latest from the gov. says movie theaters and fitness centers can reopen June 1 during "phase 2" with some social distancing enforcement, as well as campgrounds on June 11. The state's "phase 3" is projected for July which lists bars and "groups of 50 people" for now, tho not much more details were said yet on that phase.

 

None yet was specifically said on places with larger crowds like sports stadiums and amusement parks, but it's sounding like it'd be one of the latter things to see a reopening unless the businesses take more drastic measures for social distancing and submit proof to the state. What this means for Kentucky Kingdom? Won't know yet until hearing more on phase 3.

 

-Midgetman "listens in on each 5pm KY virus update stream for work" 82

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The park, last week, posted their preparedness plan on their website that they had submitted to the state: https://www.kentuckykingdom.com/today

 

There's lots of details in there, and highly recommend reading through if you're curious about certain aspects of operations.

 

A few takeaways from the PDF:

-Discounts for online purchases to incentivize visitors to purchase tickets online instead of at the gate.

-Visitors over 65 are told not to visit (the at-risk age factor as stated by the CDC).

-Temperature screenings required to enter the park.

-Face masks are encouraged for guests to wear, and would be sold in the park.

-No more than 16,858 visitors will be allowed in the park.

 

-The park will implement stickers in queue lines to visually keep guests socially distanced while waiting for an attraction.

-Attractions: Specific seats and trains will have markings to show what's available. Unavailable ones will be blocked off.

-Water park: Attractions requiring grouping to meet minimum rider requirement will be closed (I'm assuming that's Deluge, Plummet Summit, and Tornado).

-Indoor dining areas are closed, and mobile ordering would be available.

-Workers will be wearing face masks, and can't report to work if they have signs of flu-like symptoms.

 

Still no specific date on when the state allows them to reopen.

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Yeah, I'm writing it off this year, won't be the same. I understand all the restrictions, but it just isn't worth it to me. Ky's Governor has said Ky Kingdom is one of the last things he will give a OK to. Too many thousands of people in one place, even though your outside. They done cancelled Keys To The Kingdom and I don't think if they can open before July, it wouldn't be worth it for them. Even opening in July, would be tough for them, to make any money this year. Most of the attendance comes from Season Pass holders, they will lose money. 50% of Season Pass holders, go in the park and don't spend over 20.00 on a visit. This year is just a waste and we have to face it!

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But if they don’t open at all, they have to refund those 100,000+ season Passholders. I don’t really know if the park can afford to shell out 6 million dollars right now, so even if the operating days themselves only break even it might still be worth it to open. This entire situation is a mess and the park is kind of screwed no matter what they do, to be completely frank.

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17k people at Kentucky Kingdom without a bunch of the water park and no indoor seating worries me.

A majority chunk of the water park is inner-tube slides and body slides that can take single riders thankfully. I don't quite know what this would mean for the 2 lazy rivers or the 2 wave pools, but the three raft slides in the park are for-sure going to remain closed.

 

They done cancelled Keys To The Kingdom and I don't think if they can open before July, it wouldn't be worth it for them.

An email was sent out today saying the date for Keys to the Kingdom was postponed for those still holding on to tickets, mentioning the next date would be valid for whenever it would be.

We hope to be able to reschedule it for later in the season, however we do not have a date at this time. Please hang onto your tickets, as they will be valid for the rescheduled date.
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17k people at Kentucky Kingdom without a bunch of the water park and no indoor seating worries me.
But if they don’t open at all, they have to refund those 100,000+ season Passholders. I don’t really know if the park can afford to shell out 6 million dollars right now, so even if the operating days themselves only break even it might still be worth it to open.

I don't think that Kentucky Kingdom should remain closed, but I'm with Elissa in thinking that 17,000 is a lot of people considering the circumstances. Could they have limited capacity further and still broken even?

 

These first few re-openings (Holiday World and Kentucky Kingdom) are going to set the expectations for regional parks across the country. I really hope they don't screw up, for all our sakes.

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Also, when we talk about reduced capacities, we have to remember that the actual net capacity of the park is reduced by some attractions being closed, shows not taking place, attractions running at reduced capacity, queue lines having allowance for social distancing etc, which means 17,000 will actually feel busier than 17,000 on a normal day because there aren't as many things to soak up the people.

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Also, I heard rumblings that Oak Island Creative went out of business (not covid-19 related). Can anyone confirm this? If so I wonder what this means for Halloscream as I know they produced the event last year.

 

Edit: It looks like they did close and all their assets are being auctioned off. If you google "Oak Island Creative Auction" you will find videos of forklifts and whatnot for auction in Louisville, Tampa, and St. Louis. Here is another link from the auctioneers.

 

https://www.bidspotter.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/timed/thompson-auctioneers/catalogue-id-bsctho10407

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Yes. Oak Island closed right after HalloScream. A friend who works at the park said the stuff Oak Island provided to Kentucky Kingdom stayed on sight for about 2 months with no word from Oak Island. The auction company finally showed up and gathered most of their property. The park was never planning on working with Oak Island for this upcoming year and was just using Oak Island to gain knowledge on how to operate a haunted attraction so that they could do it on their own this year.

 

Here is the other interesting thing. According to what I have been told, Oak Island filed for bankruptcy and the Six Flags cooperation was going to buy them out. Giving Six Flags ownership of every single piece that Oak Island owned (Halloween, Christmas, etc.) however I have not heard if that deal went through.

 

Lastly, on a regular Monday-Thursday Kentucky Kingdom averages 6,000-7,000 guest. An average Friday-Sunday usually averages 13,000-15,000. I doubt they see those numbers with Covid-19 still lingering, meaning the park will never get near their Covid response max capacity. It is a very good plan they have put together and hopefully, Kentucky's Governor sees that the community needs this, hell Kentucky could really use the tax revenue.

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Outdoor attractions will be allowed to open June 8th. (

)

 

Beshear announced that libraries, museums, aquariums, outdoor attractions and distilleries will be able to reopen on June 8. The state will issue rules for those reopenings at a later date.

Source

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Local news is stating that the reopening of outdoor attractions does not include Kentucky Kingdom. I am not sure if the Ark Encounter Park or the Louisville Zoo will be allowed to reopen but those places pull similar attendance numbers as Kentucky Kingdom. I would imagine if they are allowed to reopen, Kentucky Kingdom should be able to as well.

 

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Those pictures bring back so many memories! Thanks John!

 

I know Chang isn’t super well-regarded, but it did seem special having a giant B&M in Kentucky. And Twisted Twins was crap, but I remember those drops feeling SO steep. Very thrilling sitting in the back with no seatbelts!

 

Thinking back, SFKK had such a great collection of flats at one point. Intamin drop tower, Chaos, Enterprise, Rainbow, Quake (Vekoma Waikiki Wave). There’s definitely something about those times that I miss.

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Those pictures bring back so many memories! Thanks John!

 

I know Chang isn’t super well-regarded, but it did seem special having a giant B&M in Kentucky. And Twisted Twins was crap, but I remember those drops feeling SO steep. Very thrilling sitting in the back with no seatbelts!

 

 

It sure did feel special , I remember just getting into the coaster world world around 4th grade or so, then 5th grade I made my first trip to Cedar Point and rode Raptor and Mantis, then in 6th grade pretty much the only park in Kentucky and the closest to me was getting a B&M, and the tallest fastest standup in world. It felt like a really big deal at that time.

 

I don't have as many memories of Kentucky Kingdom as I do of Kings Island or Holiday World but I had some great times there. Hellavator felt like the scariest ride in the world when I was all of 11 year old or whatever. I haven't been back to the park in several years but really want to someday, these pics brought back some memories for sure.

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Great photos! I especially love the entrance for Road Runner Express.

 

Yeah I did to, between that, the Penguin river rapids ride, and the restaurant near the bridge there was a solid 3 or 4 year streak where the park had some really decent themeing installed.

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I hope someone is prepared to fight if they're allowed to open Ark Encounter but not Kentucky Kingdom!

I love it how that article explicitly noted, "not Kentucky Kingdom".

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