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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is a link from the news saying kentucky kingdom will not open this year. There is still a rally on saturday at 11 at the front gate.




The former Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom will stay closed this summer. But it could re-open with a new operator next year. The man in charge of finding a new operator says he and others are already looking ahead to 2010.


In its prime, more than a million visitors a year walked through Kentucky Kingdom's gates to enjoy thrill rides and the water park. Last year, attendance was about half that, according to state fair board president and CEO Harold Workman. This year, the state fair board landlords will keep the park locked up. "As bad as we would have loved to see it turned around immediately, it just is too big and too massive and too complicated," Workman said, after speaking with metro council members Thursday.


One member asked if the fair board could reopen a portion of Kentucky Kingdom this summer. "I was just hoping they could at least just open the water park and as we heard today, that was all part of the package, and we can't separate that out," said Vickie Aubrey Welch, D-District 13.


Workman told metro council members as many as six operators are interested in running the park. He hopes to narrow them to two by later this summer -- and negotiate a long-term lease. "We do anticipate it will be open in '11 under some scenario." Workman said any new operator would want to spend millions to spruce up the place, from new rides and attractions to a fresh coat of paint. "Not that they want to spend millions of dollars ... they're going to have to."


"You have to bring in something new and exciting every year," Workman said. That's a challenge that became harder for Six Flags, which operated Kentucky Kingdom for most of last year in the midst of bankruptcy. It closed the park suddenly in February and emerged from bankruptcy on Monday.


As for any new operator, Workman says taxpayers may be asked to help -- through tax incentives or bonds that are essentially long-term loans. Lawsuits over who owns the rides on the property and other residual issues will keep all of the park closed until next year.


No Kentucky Kingdom this year also brings the loss of about a thousand jobs.


Harold Workman would not say if any of the interested parties are local.


ADMIN EDIT: I have updated the link so it takes readers directly to the story and I have gone ahead and quoted the story so that people don't have to leave the site to see what you are referring to.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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From Screamscape:

According to this report, there is really no chance of Kentucky Kingdom opening in any way for the 2010 season, but they are very hopeful that something can be worked out with a new operator in time for the 2011 season. Now they don’t mention it in the article, but if you watch the video, the last minute of it talks about how the Fairgrounds is now asking for either money from Six Flags to be reimbursed for the loss of Chang or to have Chang brought back to the park. Since they were the ones to give Six Flags full permission to remove the ride in the first place… and in addition to the fact that Chang was placed entirely on property that Six Flags owned in full… and not on Fairgrounds property, I don’t think they’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell of getting Chang back.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Was waiting for water park to open at Holiday World and there was a family from Louisville. They have always came to Holiday World once a year, but this year they are pass holders. They had already been at the park twice this year. The kid thought T2 was SFKK best coaster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's the latest from our local newspaper:


Fair board to consider new amusement park operator



The Kentucky State Fair Board Thursday will consider selection of a new operator for the closed Kentucky Kingdom amusement park at the Kentucky Exposition Center.


Fair Board president Harold Workman said he will recommend a new operator to the fair board at its monthly meeting. But he ruled out any chance of getting the park reopened this year.


The Six Flags chain, which is in bankruptcy proceedings, shut down the park in early February, after asking the fair board that it be allowed to operate the park rent-free through the term of its lease than ran until 2019.


Workman said Tuesday that six potential park operators inquired about reopening Kentucky Kingdom. He said representatives of three of the companies visited the park and that two of the three recently submitted proposals for reopening the park. He said he is recommending one of them to the fair board.


He declined to name the recommended operator, but he said he wouldn't recommend a company unless it was well experienced in the amusement-park business.


Once the board approves the potential operator, Workman said he will try to negotiate a lease with the company. That negotiation process will probably take at least 60 days, he said.


The bankruptcy court must still make a decision on what will happen to rides on 15 acres of the park still owned by Six Flags. The fair board claims ownership of the rides on 45 acres it had been leasing to Six Flags.


Workman said Tuesday that it would be difficult, but perhaps not impossible, to reopen only the 45-acre portion of the park that the fair board owns. He said he believes, however, that Six Flags would be a willing sell its 15 acres, if a deal could be struck with either the fair board or a new operator. A few rides span both the Six Flags and fair board property.


Workman said any company that wants to take over the park probably will invest a substantial sum in upgrading the offerings.


The lease called for Six Flags to pay $1.185 million in rent this year to the fair board. In addition, the fair board was in line to receive about $450,000 from parking fees paid by amusement park visitors. Six Flags got none of the parking revenue.


Louisville city officials and officials of the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau say they desperately want the park reopened. In addition to being a boost for tourism, the park provided about 1,000 summer jobs.


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




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Here's another story about the possible re-opening of the park in 2011. I live about 2 1/2 hours away, but I do miss this little park already. But if it ever is opened again I hope it's operated better than what we've seen in recent years. What did SF take from the park other than Chang?



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hopefully the new operator will start hiring people in because i know there is alot of work that is needing to be done before it reopens. plus i just lost my job today and i would love to get hire on in the amusement park industry full time. i really do miss working at kentucky kingdom. well the meeting is at 1pm so we will have to wait till then to find out who the new operator will be.

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The KK Redevelopment Company (KKRC) has sent us a press release about their plans to redevelop the former Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom property.


The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company (KKRC), a Kentucky limited liability company under the leadership of majority member and sole investor, Edward J. Hart, has entered into an exclusive agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board for the purpose of creating a redevelopment plan and negotiating a lease to operate a theme park on the former Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom property.


A successful redevelopment of the Kentucky Kingdom property as family entertainment is important to the region for jobs and economic development. It directly and indirectly benefits local contractors and vendors, and for twenty years has been a significant part of Louisville’s tourism and hospitality industry.


Kentucky Kingdom adds to the quality of life of the region and its closing has cost both city and state government substantial tax dollars as Kentucky families travel out of state to visit major theme or water parks and regional tourists fail to choose Louisville as a travel destination. According to Louisville Convention & Visitor Bureau President Jim Wood, more than 10,000 room nights per year will go unsold due to the park’s closure. In addition, nearly 100 full time jobs and nearly 1,000 seasonal jobs have been lost.


The KKRC has recruited a proven redevelopment and operations team which has succeeded in turning around two previously failed theme parks: Magic Springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the original Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, Kentucky. After operating for 17 years, the Magic Springs theme park closed in 1995. Mr. Hart and his development team reopened it in 2000 and it remains open today. The original Kentucky Kingdom closed in 1987 after only one season of operation and Mr. Hart’s team reopened that facility in 1990 and successfully operated it until it was sold in 1997.


As part of its due diligence, the KKRC has conducted a thorough review of the Kentucky Kingdom property and amenities toward determining a strategic plan for positioning the park so that it is compatible with current market trends and local community needs.


Preliminary plans call for a reconfiguration of the property’s use including consolidation of existing and new rides as well as an expansion of the existing water park.


The KKRC will continue to develop its plan to provide an exciting, safe, well managed and well funded family oriented attraction complimentary to the activities and events that routinely occupy the Kentucky Exposition Center. A reasonable timetable and estimated costs will be determined as the plan is finalized.


KKRC has agreed to provide up to $3 million for the exclusive right to finalize a lease agreement satisfactory to both KKRC and the Kentucky State Fair Board.


In addition, KKRC’s redevelopment plans are contingent upon the creation of a public-private partnership with local and/or state agencies in order to provide the investment dollars necessary to substantially renew and improve the park to achieve the positive economic impact that the park is capable of providing for the region.


The KKRC looks forward to pursuing a successful redevelopment plan with the Fair Board and, assuming the Fair Board finds it acceptable, to finalizing the terms and conditions of a lease agreement. Recognizing that a reasonable timetable is important, the KKRC is prepared to devote its full attention and energy to the successful redevelopment of the Kentucky Kingdom property.



It's a done deal: by Thursday afternoon, Kentucky Kingdom will have a new operator. State lawmakers tell WAVE 3 that during a 1 p.m. meeting on May 27, Kentucky State Fair Board president Harold Workman will present the board with a contract for an operator to take over the amusement park. And it will be approved.


With the 60 full-time employees and 1,000 seasonal workers the park employed, it is welcome news for the state and for the city of Louisville.


Earlier this month, Workman told Metro Council members that with all the pending litigation, it would be 2011 before the park could open again. The state is suing Six Flags claiming the rides belong to the Commonwealth, not the theme park operator.


Many park employees say they have heard a former owner of Kentucky Kingdom will be named its new operator. Among the names being discussed: first owner, Ed Hart. If it is a former operator, employees say they would be very happy about it because they are hoping to get their jobs back.


"To have somebody that knows the park and has a local contact has to beneficial for the community and all the employees just so we can get the product back to where it needs to be," said Mike Sutt, a Kentucky Kingdom safety manager who was laid off two weeks ago.


"We know the park and a lot of people been here for years and years and we were a big family here," said Troy Shortridge, a former ride technician at the park. "When we heard the park was shut down, it kind of split-up the family, but we're hoping for a new owner to come in and hopefully hire the full-time staff."


But even seasonal employees, like Thurman James, a University of Kentucky sophomore, said he will be waiting for word of the new operator. According to James, being a ride operator for Kentucky Kingdom was good for his schedule and his wallet.


"It was a great place to work, a great opportunity and a great place where you can have fun and work," said James.


Workman wasn't available for comment in time for this story.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Announcement just made! Ed Hart is back!


Fair Board announces new operator of Ky. Kingdom

Posted: May 27, 2010 1:48 PM EDT


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41) -- Fox 41 reporter Rachel Collier is at a Kentucky State Fair Board meeting where she says they have just announced that Ed Hart, the operator of the park from 1989 to 1997, will become the new operator.


The reason for the decision? Board members say Hart has a proven track record -- and that he took over the park before during a difficult time and turned it around. Hart's supporters say they believe he can do it again.


Stay with Fox 41 News. We'll have more information in our 4:00 newscast.



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^^ KY State fair is in August, so there's time to get things running if all the pieces fall into place. And I'm sure they're gonna try because the SFKK rides are a huge moneymaker for the fair. Last time I was there, they wanted $6 for a ride on Chang and the queue was beyond full.

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^ When is the KY state fair? I'd assume that if they were going to open it at all during 2010 it would be during that time since the park serves as the "midway" during the fair.

To be specific: Thursday, August 19 - Sunday, August 29

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For anyone who has been to the KY State fair, did the operation of Kentucky Kingdom change a whole lot besides the fact that they would charge per ride? (Would someone with a SF Pass be able to ride the rides there without paying individually, or was it a case where it was best to wait until the next week?)


I was just kind of curious as the two state fairs I have been to were both more traditional.

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i really dont see the park opening this year. i know there is alot of work to be done before it could even open up. talking to some friends from tech service they said there is still tons of rides needing to get parts and they are still apart in the tech shops. plus there is so much cleaning that needs to be done. i look to see it opening for the 2011 season which i hope to be part of full time. ed hart was a good choice he has saved the park once and he will do it again. i know he has big plans for the water park.

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^ When is the KY state fair?  I'd assume that if they were going to open it at all during 2010 it would be during that time since the park serves as the "midway" during the fair.

The park isn't really a factor during the Kentucky State Fair. The Kentucky Fair and Expo Center has North American Midway Rides at the fair every year. Those rides are set up right next to Kentucky Kingdom each year during the fair near Kentucky Kingdom main entrance, or on the side of the park. There really is no point of the park being closed during the fair don't you think while you have other rides operating beside it and you can be making some money. No one really goes to Kentucky Kingdom because we all have the whole summer to go their and we all wouldn't wont to pay money to ride a ride we can ride for free not during the fair. Most of us all go to the North American Midway to ride rides that we only can ride once a year.

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^ but we could enter Kentucky Kingdom for free to get some good shots of the rides. I wish I could do that but the Fair is open once school starts .


How I remember how much rides cost in the Fair's Thrillway:


Fireball (inward frisbee): 5 tickets

Spin-Out: 4 tickets

Inverter: 3 tickets

Power Surge: 3 tickets

Zero Gravity (round-up): 2 tickets

Gravitron: 2 or 3 tickets


Theres more rides, but thats all I remember.

Edited by Midgetman82
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