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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

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Also, if Six Flags paid for Chang, wouldn't they get some sort of amendment to the lease allowing them to keep it no matter what.


Six Flags didn't put Chang in. Chang opened for the 1997 Season and the park was sold to Premier at the end of that season.

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I went on the Jefferson County website to try and find out what plots of land are owned by Six Flags. From the looks of it, "KKI LLC" owns the land on the south side of the park, south and west of the waterpark. This would include:



-Penguin's Blizzard River

-Twisted Twins

-Mile High Falls



But does not include the waterpark, Thunder Run, Top Eliminator Dragsters, ferris wheel, or picnic pavilions. The funny thing is that it looks like Twisted Twins was built on land owned by someone else, being Mary and Douglas Gillim and First Kentucky Trust Co.


All in all, it adds up to right around 20 acres, the amount of land Six Flags is listed as owning in the area. The entire park sat on 58 acres, 38 of which were leased from the fairgrounds. I would venture a guess to say that this is the land Six Flags owns and that those are the few rides they can remove from the property.


If you'd like to play around with it for yourself, check out: http://www.pvalouky.org/en/propertymap.php

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And this is where we hit the wall where nothing makes sense... Did sf just take over the lease? I doubt it would have cost them much then.... If they purchased the existing rides equipment etc. then it gets muddy. If the lease says that everything currently installed there stays on the land.... They're in trouble. If it says rides installed by six flags become part of the property, then older rides might be grandfathered in and still be part of sf property, since they bought the park.... If chang wasn't complete, sf probably had to pay it as part of the park purchase price. I don't get this clause at all, it's like renting a house where your posessions and cars become the property of the land owner. If it is like that, then six flags got burned horribly. If six flags had to pay the previous park owners for the rides, and still has to leave them with the land owners... That just sucks.

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Thank you reality! See that would make sense then. They bought that part of the park and those rides from previous owners.... So the only disputes would be lease related not property related. And since the state played it down as sad that chang left, it seems sf owns most of kk then. Since the lease was broken sf should be in the clear and right. It seems both sides were trying to make the other seem like the bad guy to shine their own shoes...

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I still don't understand how Six Flags is not allowed to remove the rides that they own. Just because Six Flags has rides sitting on someone else's property, doesn't mean the landlord can claim ownership of those particular rides.

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I don't know whether this was the smartest or most obnoxious thing Six Flags has ever done. Could possibly be both!


I'm going with brilliant move.


Whether or not you agree with the Fairgrounds side or the Six Flags side, you have to admit that Shapiro and company probably learned a valuable lesson after the Cedar Fair and the Geauga Lake fallout.


Six Flags put such a spin on the story ahead of the Fairgrounds and they solely put the fault on the Fairgrounds making them having to go on the defensive instead of the offensive.


I think it's brilliant if this was the game plan all along, to shut down SFKK, and to get Chang, a B&M coaster that arguably belongs to the Fairgrounds out of the picture.


Not to mention they were selling Season Passes at a ridicously low rate possibly knowing what they were going to pull. Sure they are going to return a lot of the monies they collected on these passes but this all the passes purchases in late 2009 will help the 4th Quarter numbers when those are released and I'm sure they've gained a little interest on those funds from their financial institution.


In the business scope, I think it was unethical what Six Flags did but brilliant none-the-less.

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I still don't understand how Six Flags is not allowed to remove the rides that they own. Just because Six Flags has rides sitting on someone else's property, doesn't mean the landlord can claim ownership of those particular rides.


It's all in the contract. While it doesn't make sense, we have to remember that it was Premier Parks who bought the park, and they aren't remembered for making smart business decisions. I hope this problem can be resolved, but if not, there isn't much Six Flags can do.

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Why make sf the bad guy? They paid for a lot of the park and bought a lot of the rides. If the owners of the property were unwilling to cut their profit to allow sfkk to make money... They had to expect this. Don't bite the hand that feeds....


Btw: where is gl on that list? Sf land or state land? Stuff on state land might be out of luck, the rest can be moved.

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^Even with the land on the other side of the road, they do not own all of it. The Thunder Run area, water park and Giant Wheel are large areas of the park.


I still don't understand how Six Flags is not allowed to remove the rides that they own. Just because Six Flags has rides sitting on someone else's property, doesn't mean the landlord can claim ownership of those particular rides.

I'm willing to bet there is a part in the lease that says they must improve the park by X amount of dollars each year. Removing Chang (or any other ride) would count against that number. So even if they own it doesn't mean it is theirs to do with as theme please.


One does have to remember there are not many rides in the park that Premier or Six Flags put in. Outside of the water park and some kids rides, only 5 rides are post 1997 in the park: Twisted Twins, Greezed Lightin', Road Runner Express, Blizzard River and the Sky Coaster. Even then, it is debatable on who paid for the Twisted Twins ride as it's timing based around the sell.

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Btw: where is gl on that list? Sf land or state land? Stuff on state land might be out of luck, the rest can be moved.

Greezed Lightnin' is on the north side of the park, land leased from the fairgrounds. Here's a complete list of who owns what rides if you go according to the property lines:



Thunder Run

Roller Skater

Road Runner Express

Greezed Lightnin'


Bluebeard's Bounty

Tin Lizzies

Bumper Cars


Thrill Park Theatre


Giant Wheel

Flying Dutchman

International Carousel

The Zeppelin

All 11 children's attractions





Penguin's Blizzard River

Mile High Falls

Twisted Twins

Top Eliminator Dragsters (what's left of them)


Going off that list, we don't know if Six Flags or the Fairgrounds owns the rides that were installed prior to the sale to Premier Parks at the end of 1997. If they aren't, then T2 and Mile High Falls move over to the Fairgrounds' list.


The only part I find confusing about this is some of the removals already. For example, the rides that went to Worlds of Adventure in 2001, the Vekoma boomerang that's now at Six Flags New England. If Six Flags didn't own the rides, then how did they have the right to move them to a different property?


I know absolutely nothing about the lease agreement or any contracts that Six Flags had with the fairgrounds, but I would wager a guess that, from the sounds of it, any rides on the Fairgrounds' land at the end of the lease (or upon termination) is the property of the Fairgrounds, but until that point they have full rights to remove rides as long as some kind of replacement is made. For example, the value of Road Runner Express had to be equal to the value of the boomerang they removed to install it. Again, this is all speculation on what I think the contract might be.

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Look... Rides on six flags property belong to six flags.... That's the bottom line, unless they had a deal with the fair board to sell the land and rides upon termination of the lease. I'm not sure they would want to run this entire park, or afford it. Do you really think the previous owner would buy a 20 million dollar ride then sell the park? Six flags wouldn't pay for chang if they didn't get to keep it, or at least get cash for it when they leave? Every business I've ever worked for got reimbursed for every improvement they made to the property. This would likely get decided in court now that the lease is broken.

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^^But if the landlord approved for you to make physical changes to your place (say for example, you put new shelves in your closet)...You'd either be stuck leaving those behind or returning it to its original state. The foundations/footers/etc for rides and their support buildings are actual physical changes to the property.


I'm guessing that's the logic the fair board is using. They may not have a right to the rides themselves that SF put in on their own, but they possibly have the right to force Six Flags to spend extra cash on the ride removals to return things back to how they were (or even force them to leave the rides there if that is the only possible solution). It may very well be a fair argument depending on the wording in the lease.

Good point, in the case of a multimillion ride like Chang I figure Six Flags would want to opt for returning the site to its original state (getting rid of footers, etc.) if at all possible.

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I just saw this on Screamscape


Park News - (2/10/10) A local area reader tells us that they’ve heard Compagnie des Alpes has starting talks with the Kentucky State Fairgrounds board about the possibility of taking over the Kentucky Kingdom property. CdA currently operates a number of attractions and theme parks in Europe including the Walibi parks, Bellewaerde, Hellendoorn and Parc Asterix.




No word if it is true or not but either way I would not be surprised if another company was interested in operating the park.

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^ Though they would really have to work on the park if they want a lot of people to come.


Like brand new coasters and not to name it anything with the words Kentucky Kingdom in the name. The only, and I mean only, way I would ever feel the need to go back is if they got some nice new coasters in. But you still have to cross that stinking bridge just to get to the big rides area with a water park in the middle of it.


A word of advice to anyone who trys to make that park nice, put some signs where the bridge is. They might have been added since I been there, but I couldn't find it at first.

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^ The park will do great without Six Flags in the name! Six Flags has been the main problem! The park was great when it was Kentucky Kingdom "The Thrill Park"! Something nice and shiny should go in Chang's old spot however as well as a general rehab on the entire park! Also, I believe the park can expand into the area behind Chang's old spot and T2. I hope if someone takes it over, the park will grow and prosper a little instead of being taken over for absolutely no reason and neglected like SF did!

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4 companies interested in operating Kentucky Kingdom

Fair board chief is optimistic park will reopen this summer



At least four amusement-park companies have made inquiries to the Kentucky State Fair Board about taking over operation of Kentucky Kingdom, which the Six Flags company has said it will no longer operate.


“I'm optimistic we can get a new operator by this summer” and the park will reopen by then, said Harold Workman, fair board president.


Fair board officials are taking Six Flags at its word and assume that there is no chance for reaching a new lease deal with the company for some of the land it has used since 1998 at the Kentucky Exposition Center.


Workman said the board may issue a request for theme-park companies to submit proposals for reopening Kentucky Kingdom — once a bankruptcy court judge in Delaware frees Six Flags of its Kentucky Kingdom lease obligations. Workman said he expects that to happen within a few weeks.


“I am encouraged by the inquiries (of interest). We didn't solicit them. The calls came to us,” he said in an interview. He characterized the inquiries as being from “legitimate operators, people experienced in the amusement-park industry.”


Workman declined to name the companies, and he acknowledged that he had not yet responded to the inquiries. He said he didn't think it proper to respond, as long as Six Flags holds lease rights to the park.


Workman said there is “nothing new to report” in the way of renewed talks with Six Flags officials. And Sandra Daniels, a Six Flags spokeswoman in Dallas, indicated that no further negotiations with the fair board are planned.


Daniels affirmed that Six Flags plans to move some Kentucky Kingdom rides to its other amusements parks.


In a statement posted on its corporate Web site, Six Flags said it decided to reject its lease with the fair board. It said that in recent weeks, Six Flags had proposed a new arrangement to the fair board that would have enhanced the viability and future of the park.


“Unfortunately, those proposals were not accepted, and the park will cease operations and the company will move expeditiously to relocate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets.”


Workman said that Six Flags was leasing about 45 acres from the fair board and owned an additional 15 acres, which are on the site of a former drive-in theater.


Workman said he hasn't yet surveyed how many of the park rides are on Six Flags' property and how many are on the fair board's land. He said one or two rides may even span both properties. Workman said it will be the fair board's position that Six Flags can't relocate any rides on state property and that anything attached to state-owned land belongs to the state. Some of the major rides cost several million dollars to develop.


Daniels said in an e-mail response that Six Flags has been “paying property taxes on those rides for the past 10 years. If it's the board's contention that they own the rides, why are we paying the taxes?”


Jefferson property valuation records indicated that Six Flags was paying taxes on personal property assessed at just over $6 million. But it wasn't clear Wednesday what the value was of all the real property Six Flags owned. Donna Hunt, deputy chief property valuation administrator, said records show Six Flags owned at least 18 tracts near the exposition center.


According to the Six Flags lease for Kentucky Kingdom, the company was to pay $1.185 million in rent this year. Workman said the fair board usually received another $450,000 or so a year from the parking fees that visitors to Kentucky Kingdom paid. Six Flags received no share of the parking revenue.


Workman said the current lease was to run through 2019 and provided for four 10-year renewal options. “In a four-line e-mail (Six Flags) was asking to pay zero rent through 2019, and, if they made a profit, they would share it with us,” he said.


He said the bankruptcy court recently had approved an agreement extending the deadline for renegotiating the lease until April 9. And Workman said Six Flags had told him just recently “that the park was doing well.”


Meanwhile, the Louisville Metro Council is scheduled to consider a resolution Thursday night “encouraging the Kentucky State Fair Board to find a way to reopen one of the state's top tourist attractions.”


The resolution, which has no force of law, is sponsored by two Metro Council members who are candidates for mayor, David Tandy, D-4th District, and Hal Heiner, R-19th. The resolution is expected to have broad bipartisan support.


The resolution said that Louisville residents “desire to see Six Flags or another operator move in to ensure” the park's operation “for many years to come.”


It notes that the park provided more than 1,000 summer youth jobs and drew tourists to Louisville. The resolution says the council “strongly endorses actions” by the city, the state and the fair board “to take all appropriate actions to keep Kentucky Kingdom open and operating.”


Reporter Sheldon S. Shafer can be reached at (502) 582-7089.



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He characterized the inquiries as being from “legitimate operators, people experienced in the amusement-park industry.”


I bet anyone here $20 that Danny Rogers is one of the "legitimate operators".

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"Oh Boy, oh boy, oh boy: here we go again. First we lost Astroworld and now we lost Kentucky Kingdom. Six Flags is slowly, but surely turning into 'Sick Flags'!"


I have been to Kentucky Kingdom a few times in my life, and hearing the news of this park closing its doors is shocking, althought I shouldn't be regarding all the problems I've been hearing about. But if Six Flags is planning to remove some of its rides and relocate them to other parks, I'm hoping that a few of them could go to Six Flags America (the "bastard" park of Six Flags, the Mr "we-need-rides-badly" park, and the park that still is holding on although almost all my faith into that park is gone). But that has happened before with Astroworld: while the rest of the Six Flags parks got some neat ride to add on, all Six Flags America got was some junky old coaster that couldn't be fixed up with costing a bundle. The Road Runner Express Coaster and the Roller Skater would make great additions since Six Flags America doesn't have either of those types of coasters. As for the flat rides, the balloon ride and the big ferris wheel would also be welcomed attactions.


That's what I'm hoping, but the park has been burnt before with the redistribution of rides when Astroworld closed, and they might get burnt again.

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But if Six Flags is planning to remove some of its rides and relocate them to other parks, I'm hoping that a few of them could go to Six Flags America (the "bastard" park of Six Flags, the Mr "we-need-rides-badly" park, and the park that still is holding on although almost all my faith into that park is gone).


I know right ! I've been saying that for a while. I've been to Six Flags America and they seriously need rides. I've always thought if any ride is being relocated to other parks, then at least let most of them go to SFAm. I even said SFGAm doesent even deserve Chang, let it go to SFAm.

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The way it looks, Six Flags will not get flat rides what so ever because none of the ride are on Six Flags property. Kentucky Kingdom was the park the needed new rides the most! I hadn't seen any rides since Six Flags took over, and that had been over 12 years! Six Flags can get one Coaster which is T2. (The worst head banging coaster in the world) I don't believe six Flags will relocate Blizzard river (raft ride) or Twisted Twins and Mile High Falls. Those rides would get scrap if Six Flags try to say those rides are theirs.

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I hope another company can take over. It might take a lot of money to fix up the park, but the park seems to have a charm to it. The rides aren't the best, but that doesn't mean the park should go to waste.... I still think Kentucky Kingdom has what it takes to make it through!

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Will this property ever work as a large scale corporate amusement park? It's wedged between Holiday World and Kings Island. A "coaster war" would likely be a fail. Also, this property, being in an ugly part of town and cut in half by a bridge, doesn't exactly project "squeaky clean wholesome family fun".


What if they took more of an Indiana Beach approach where they:


1) Embrace the quirkiness of the property. Do not try to make it something it is not.

2) Be really good at what you do. IB has never had the biggest or fanciest rides, but almost everything they have is really fun. And not run in a lame, corporate way with low forces and short ride cycles.

3) Bring in some decent food.

4) Have more Louisville-friendly prices on concessions. I remember not buying an ICEE because it was like $5. Then, when I was at the Quick-E-Mart up the street, I had almost the exact same thing 10 minutes later for $1. That is another problem with this property. It had almost no "lock-in" effect to where you'd just say, "Screw it! Give me that damn $5 ICEE."


Also, I guess a lot goes into how they work the property to their advantage. For example, when Ravine Flyer II flies over the road, I think, "Damn, this ride ROCKS!" When I was at Kentucky Kingdom walking over the street on the bridge, I was thinking, "Damn, this place is GHETTO!"


I dunno. I'm just brainstorming. I know I wouldn't want to try to turn this property around. It sounds like a tough job! Good luck to anyone who tries.

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