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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread


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Bluegrass Boardwalk has sent us a press announcing their withdrawal from the Kentucky Kingdom revival project.

 

Following nine months of planning to reopen Louisville’s shuttered amusement park, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. today withdrew from the project.

 

“We entered into this discussion last October with full expectation of leasing the park,” says Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch. “However, we have come to the realization that leasing a park rather than owning it would take us too far from the business model my family has followed for more than 60 years.”

 

Koch says she and her partners were financially prepared to meet the challenge of reopening the abandoned park, however the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations ultimately caused them to withdraw.

 

Koch says she and her partners believe reopening the Louisville park is still a worthwhile project and they wish the future operator well.

 

“It’s been a lifelong dream for my family to operate a second park,” says Koch, whose family owns and operates Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. “It’s hard to walk away from what we believed was a winning partnership for Kentucky and our team. But at the end of the day, the terms of the project did not fit our business model. It was time to withdraw.”

 

A letter terminating the proposed lease agreement was delivered to the Kentucky State Fair Board this afternoon.

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Two things -

 

1. I can't say I'm surprised - but happy they came to this conclusion now rather than later.

 

2. I don't ever see this park re-opening again.

 

--Robb

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AAAAAND...cue makeshift campaign to save Greezed Lightnin' with nothing but a pickup truck and some rusty wrenches in 3, 2, 1...

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...

 

Speechless... Absolutely... and utterly... speechless...

 

I'm not sad or mad, nor am I shocked. I just can't believe how hard it seems to reopen a park that a large company abandoned after plucking a few of it's good feathers, and I can't believe how the two groups who tried to save it blame it's condition and the state of Kentucky for making it too difficult.

 

I give up on this park.

 

Edit: Even Six Flags commented that leasing the park was something they didn't like, especially when they were near bankruptcy.

Edited by Midgetman82
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I thought something was strange when I tried to talk to Pat Koch about the project at Holiwood nights as she gracefully side stepped any reference to it.

 

Just goes to show that anytime a board or government body is involved things can turn south quick.

 

And it is very true, we all know this, that without proper maintenance and upkeep any property be it a mall or amusement park that is unoccupied, the facility will deteriorate to the point of no return. So shame on the fairboard for not doing more to protect the tax payer's property, only they are to blame for the parks condition.

 

Edit: Did you guys watch the news footage of the park posted here? Reminds me of SFNO. I'm afraid I'm gonna have to agree with Robb, stick a fork in it, it's done.

Edited by chadster
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...

 

Speechless... Absolutely... and utterly... speechless...

 

I'm not sad or mad, nor am I shocked. I just can't believe how hard it seems to reopen a park that a large company abandoned after plucking a few of it's good feathers, and I can't believe how the two groups who tried to save it blame it's condition and the state of Kentucky for making it too difficult.

 

I give up on this park.

 

Edit: Even Six Flags commented that leasing the park was something they didn't like, especially when they were near bankruptcy.

The problem is after you took what was good. They didn't close up properly. They just took the rides and left. Nature moves quick when its not maintained. Plus even when it was open Six Flags didn't always give it TLC.

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Sometimes it's best to just cut your losses. The Kochs have been very successful with Holiday World--why take on a risky endeavor like the old Kentucky Kingdom park?

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Sometimes it's best to just cut your losses. The Kochs have been very successful with Holiday World--why take on a risky endeavor like the old Kentucky Kingdom park?

 

That's what I've been thinking all along. It seemed like a...strange...move in the first place.

 

I can't help but feeling the fair board should've just stuck with Hart and let him do what he could from the get-go. Now he's not coming back, Holiday World has no reason to care, and surely no one else is interested. Bad moves on everyone's parts. (Except for the Koch's---I'm guessing this whole deal hasn't/won't hurt them in any way?)

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It's sad to see something like this unfold, but we have to give it to the Kochs for at least making an attempt. Maybe they would be better off just buying some land (perhaps just outside of Louisville) and opening up a smaller park.

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This was a smart move for them it was going to end up as a big flop anyway....

 

Sadly this park was too far gone to save.

 

I'm not sure but the Kochs may have only taken interest in reviving the park when Hart's bid failed because had he succeeded a revitalized KK might've brought more competition for HW,even if it was very small at best.Still you can't fault them for trying so passionately.

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Not surprised at all. This place is officially done. I think there are too many layers of government involved to make this a project worth taking on for any company.

 

dt

 

QFT!

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well, well, well, no surprise but the Koch family has withdrawn from the Bluegrass Boardwalk project. Its never going to reopen because no one wants to deal with all the headaches that come with dealing with the Kentucky State Fair board. Here is the official statement from the Bluegrass Boardwalk website:

 

Bluegrass Boardwalk withdraws from project

June 15th, 2012 Paula

 

We’re so sorry to share this sad and disappointing news. Thank you to all who expressed their unbridled enthusiasm in this project. We will remove this website plus our Facebook and Twitter pages within the week. The following news release was emailed to the news media this afternoon:

 

Bluegrass Boardwalk withdraws from project

 

(June 15, 2012) Louisville, Kentucky —Following nine months of planning to reopen Louisville’s shuttered amusement park, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. today withdrew from the project.

 

“We entered into this discussion last October with full expectation of leasing the park,” says Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch. “However, we have come to the realization that leasing a park rather than owning it would take us too far from the business model my family has followed for more than 60 years.”

 

Koch says she and her partners were financially prepared to meet the challenge of reopening the abandoned park, however the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations ultimately caused them to withdraw.

 

Koch says she and her partners believe reopening the Louisville park is still a worthwhile project and they wish the future operator well.

 

“It’s been a lifelong dream for my family to operate a second park,” says Koch, whose family owns and operates Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. “It’s hard to walk away from what we believed was a winning partnership for Kentucky and our team. But at the end of the day, the terms of the project did not fit our business model. It was time to withdraw.”

 

A letter terminating the proposed lease agreement was delivered to the Kentucky State Fair Board this afternoon.

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I'll take "Things That Aren't Surprising in the Least Bit" for $500, Alex.

 

"This theme park project failed after the second interested party left the table due to poor local governmental choices and a general state of disrepair."

 

Yeah, not really surprising at all. What WOULD be surprising is if Ed Hart or the Kochs decide to try their hand at a certain park in Myrtle Beach...

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What's sad is that if the Koch's were able to get the park up and running, it probably would have worked quite well for them. Selling combo passes probably would have helped both parks. Too bad government red tape got in the way.

 

Now what's left of the park will most certainly be sold in pieces so the fair board can recoup something from this mess...

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Well This really is a shame! But again it's not surprising. As we all know the board has a history of being . . . difficult. Oh Well I'm sure in the end this is a wise choice for Holiday World. Although I was really looking forward to going to that park with Koch family Running it! It was a basic guarantee of a world class wooden Coaster for the park! Oh Well.

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Not surprised in the least! Although I do wonder if now shady investment firms (ala HRP) are going to come sniffing around soon.

You mean like Uncle Pennybags?

 

 

I've never been to Kentucky Kingdom in any of its previous incarnations, so I have no opinion on the park's quality (or lack thereof). Wouldn't have minded riding Deluge, though.

Edited by cfc
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