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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread


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^Yes, I enjoyed my fair share of having my senses beaten out of me. (I'm a local. 30 minutes from the park.) Honestly, I enjoyed the ride. Probably because I was able to tolerate a little more of the roughness it provided... and because I always sat at the back of the train and braced as hard as I could.

 

It's quite sad to hear this news really. Almost everyone I know (most teenagers, some adults too) have started to appreciate KY Kingdom a little more due to it being closed. Before, they would always make comments saying about how it was the worst amusement park ever and other general park-goer mumbo-jumbo. Now, they don't have an amusement park at all (within Louisville), so now they talk more about the good times they've had at the park.

 

I went to Lexington for a college visit today (Thursday), and I spoke with the tour guide about the park and she told me that she missed the park as well. KY Kingdom may have not one of the best parks to visit within the 2 hour vicinity of Louisville, but it's better than not having one at all.

 

As for losing rides such as T2, then the park would be losing one of it's most intense... no... the park most intense roller coaster. Of course, it would not be missed very much. Those who have experienced it and remember it well, would probably skip it if they ever came back to the park. Greezed Lightnin' will be missed (at least by me). Sure it was often always a walk-on, but it's a rare coaster. It's the park's only launched coaster, only ride that inverts with lap-bar restraints, and the only coaster that goes backwards.

 

Edit: lol, replace noodles with restra.ints

Edited by Midgetman82
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^

 

Seems to me like the future of the park is clear: rides go bye bye in favor of a waterpark only operation...

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I might be the only one thinking it, but it's a shame to loose a prototype SLC . . .

 

Losing a "prototype SLC" would be like waking up minus a migraine headache that's been plaguing you for weeks--quite the relief.

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I've suspected all along this would be mainly a waterpark. In fact, if they wanted to, they could make one of the biggest waterparks in the area, as long as they keep all the land and don't give some back to the fair.

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It's been so long since I last rode them, but I'm sort of bummed that Twisted Sisters (yeah, eff you, Dee Snider) is a goner. It wasn't a Top Ten ride or anything, but fun, as I recall.

 

T2, on the other hand, can rust right down into hell.

 

(I kid, of course: Dee Snider's awesome. But Twisted Sisters was a great name for that ride.)

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I've suspected all along this would be mainly a waterpark. In fact, if they wanted to, they could make one of the biggest waterparks in the area, as long as they keep all the land and don't give some back to the fair.

 

 

Before we all put the cart before the horse we have to remember that there is info that we are not privy to. We do not know what was in the paperwork that the Koch family. I suspect there are probably mandates for rides be part of Bluegrass Boardwalk. Otherwise the park name doesn't make sense in my opinion (boardwalk = rides). Also, how would it benefit the new owners to withhold this information from the public?

Edited by larrygator
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Well I may have a chance to get Thunder Run sometime in the near future. I certainly thought that the wAterpark potion of the park was really good. I honestly think that T2 should be scrapped, it was terrible.

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Basically, this all comes down to how much it's going to cost to get the rides up and running after 5 years of non use. Especially for something like Greezed Lightnin', it would take a large chunk of change, not to mention the Koch's experience is all with wooden coasters. Tackling something built by a company that doesn't even exist anymore would be a huge hurdle, among the many challenges of getting this park up and running again. Like Larry said, there is probably alot that we don't know and we will have to wait and see what happens in the next little while.

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Basically, this all comes down to how much it's going to cost to get the rides up and running after 5 years of non use. Especially for something like Greezed Lightnin', it would take a large chunk of change, not to mention the Koch's experience is all with wooden coasters. Tackling something built by a company that doesn't even exist anymore would be a huge hurdle, among the many challenges of getting this park up and running again. Like Larry said, there is probably alot that we don't know and we will have to wait and see what happens in the next little while.

 

 

I'm sure that Larson, Premier Rides and Gerstlaurer can help with Greezed Lightnin'

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I'm not surprised by this at all. And who can blame them for not wanting to waste a ton of money on rides that aren't that great anyway? It would certainly be nice to see Greezed Light'nin reopened along with Thunder Run, but I think the others aren't worth the huge expenditure.

 

I know the Twins have been closed for longer, but I'm surprised T2 is in that bad of condition. I am obviously ignorant of the specific details, but are a couple of years of non-use and weather enough to kill a steel coaster like T2, or is it likely that KK's poor maintenance was the issue? Maybe it was just at the end of it's service life anyway (God knows some of the other ones seem to be ).

 

I was in the area last summer and it was weird seeing the park just sitting there, so best of luck to the Koch family with the project!

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Basically, this all comes down to how much it's going to cost to get the rides up and running after 5 years of non use. Especially for something like Greezed Lightnin', it would take a large chunk of change, not to mention the Koch's experience is all with wooden coasters. Tackling something built by a company that doesn't even exist anymore would be a huge hurdle, among the many challenges of getting this park up and running again. Like Larry said, there is probably alot that we don't know and we will have to wait and see what happens in the next little while.

 

 

I'm sure that Larson, Premier Rides and Gerstlaurer can help with Greezed Lightnin'

 

I have no doubt that they could get the right people involved and make it work, but they might feel it's not worth the cost when they have the whole rest of the park to worry about. I hope they do restore it, but I'm not holding my breath.

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^ Yes. Milling and creating parts that don't exist anymore (even with todays computer-assisted tools) is quite expensive. It all comes down to a cost vs. benefit decision for the park. If they feel that money would be better invested with a off-the shelf ride that would require less maintenance then I would bet Greezed is going away.

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Here's some more details on the condition of the park and what it will take to get it back online.

 

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120529/NEWS01/305290070/Former-Kentucky-Kingdom-park-poor-condition-Bluegrass-Boardwalk-partners-say?odyssey=nav%7Chead

 

The Koch family partners paint a bleak picture of the conditions they face in reopening the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement park at the Kentucky Exposition Center as Bluegrass Boardwalk. The Kochs, operators of Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., have a tentative lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board to reopen the park, which last operated in 2009 before Six Flags pulled out amid a bankruptcy filing.

 

In its application to the Louisville Metro Council for financial incentives, the Kochs said in a development plan attachment that all or most of the park’s rides and attractions “need to be completely refurbished to ensure safety.” “Facilities were abandoned without concern for future viability,” they said.

 

The plan is attached as an exhibit to the city ordinance, now being reviewed by the council’s economic development committee. The ordinance, if passed as expected, would authorize the city to enter into an agreement with the Kochs to rebate a share of the occupational taxes generated by Bluegrass Boardwalk. The attached development plan gives new details of the park’s conditions, based on the Kochs’ preliminary assessment of what it will take to reopen the site primarily as a water park.

 

The Kochs last week again said that lining up financing is taking longer than expected — they also have a state application pending for up to $3.9 million in tourism tax credits — and they raised the possibility of having to push back the park’s reopening to 2014. The fair board last week granted their request and extended from June 1 to mid-August the time the Kochs have to finalize the deal.

 

The Kochs estimate it will cost $16.5 million to reopen the park.

 

Chris Poynter, Mayor Greg Fischer’s spokesman, said the city is limited in what it can contribute to the venture because it has no position in the park ownership or operation. “We want the park reopened,” he said. “But the only help we can offer is the occupational tax rebate.”

 

The council ordinance would create a district at the fairgrounds that would, for up to 10 years, allow Louisville to return to the Bluegrass Boardwalk partners as much as 80 percent of the occupational taxes generated there. The city and partners would negotiate an agreement over the incentives, which could amount to about $50,000 a year, according to the ordinance.

 

After Six Flags abandoned the park in early 2010, the fair board spent nearly 18 months negotiating with Louisville businessman Ed Hart to reopen the site. The board ended those talks abruptly and then last October sought out the Kochs.

 

The development plan for Bluegrass Boardwalk claims “at least 75 percent of the current attractions are inoperable.” And it says that “all facilities were stripped of anything of value, including roller coaster trains, lockers, innertubes, parts for rides and attractions.”

 

The plan also notes:

  • Many of the park’s commercial structures have leaky roofs. All the buildings need painting and carpentry work, the plan said.
  • Proper winterizing precautions were not followed when the park was closed, and none of the pumps for the water attractions were removed during the winter for inspection.
  • Vegetation has taken over some attractions and walkways, making them unsafe.
  • The plan also contends that nearby businesses have been hurt because of the loss of visitors to the park and that the “shuttered amusement park ... is a blight.”

In response to a request for comment about the conditions, Kentucky State Fair Board spokeswoman Amanda Storment declined to comment beyond a statement released on behalf of board president Harold Workman: “The park ... certainly is in need of renovations and refurbishing. Our staff carries out basic and normal grounds maintenance, and we look forward to working with Bluegrass Boardwalk officials.”

 

The Kochs have indicated that the reopened park may initially have only one roller coaster, Thunder Run. In the development plan attachment, the Kochs say they have budgeted $7.6 million to restore and improve the water park, including $1.9 million for a new water attraction called “The Racer” and another $1.9 million for a new water slide complex.

 

Paula Werne, spokeswoman for the Kochs and Holiday World, declined to respond Tuesday to a request for comment on the park’s conditions.

 

But in a posting Friday on the Bluegrass Boardwalk website, the Kochs urge people not to “get hung up about the first year’s plan. Because after the first year, there will be a next year. And the next. It’s a 50-year lease, after all.”

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http://bluegrassboardwalk.com/bluegrass-boardwalk-confirms-request-for-2014-opening/

 

Opening Bluegrass Boardwalk in 2013 is no longer an option.

 

Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. CEO Natalie Koch asked the Fair Board today to modify the proposed lease to reflect a 2014 opening for the 58-acre park at their next monthly meeting.

 

“When the park was closed in 2009, needed winter maintenance was not been performed on the rides,” says Koch. “For example, pumps for the water rides were not removed for off-season winterization and inspection. Plumbing and structural infrastructure are in need of extensive repair. Buildings are damaged from leaky roofs. Rides are missing parts. The list goes on and on. We believe 75 percent of the rides will require significant overhaul following in-depth inspection by certified ride experts.”

 

Koch reports meeting on site with ride manufacturers, who have agreed 11 months is not long enough to open a safe and viable park.

 

“We will begin work as soon as we have a signed lease,” says Koch. “Until then, the clock is ticking and the park and its rides continue to deteriorate.”

 

Once a signed lease is in place, Koch says ride experts will begin detailed inspection of all rides.

 

“Only then will it be determined which rides will be open in 2014,” says Koch. “We have not announced our ride line-up yet, but plan to do so in the fall.”

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The development plan for Bluegrass Boardwalk claims “at least 75 percent of the current attractions are inoperable.” And it says that “all facilities were stripped of anything of value, including roller coaster trains, lockers, innertubes, parts for rides and attractions.”

 

The plan also notes:

  • Many of the park’s commercial structures have leaky roofs. All the buildings need painting and carpentry work, the plan said.
  • Proper winterizing precautions were not followed when the park was closed, and none of the pumps for the water attractions were removed during the winter for inspection.
  • Vegetation has taken over some attractions and walkways, making them unsafe.
  • The plan also contends that nearby businesses have been hurt because of the loss of visitors to the park and that the “shuttered amusement park ... is a blight.”

 

I'm shocked, but not surprised at how bad the park's condition is. Luckily this:

 

The Kochs have indicated that the reopened park may initially have only one roller coaster, Thunder Run. In the development plan attachment, the Kochs say they have budgeted $7.6 million to restore and improve the water park, including $1.9 million for a new water attraction called “The Racer” and another $1.9 million for a new water slide complex.

 

Sounds pretty good. I honestly think the water park is of good size right now, and adding more doesn't seem that necessary. BUT! I wouldn't turn down a new ride or slide any day, so !

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