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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread


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It leaves the question as to what happens now? Six Flags abandoned the property due to issues with the fair board, Ed Hart abandoned the property due to issues with the fair board, and now the Koch's abandoned the property due to issues with the fair board. Every month that goes by the park continues to deteriorate, which is sad given the fact that there are certainly some attractions on the property that would be of value and could easily be used (either in their current location or a new location). I have to wonder if they have a timeline on how much longer they'll wait to find a new operator before liquidating the park or if they plan to just let the park continue to rot until the only thing left is to pave over the property (or film a new Scooby Doo movie there)...

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Raptor plans scrapped.    

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Well, I heard the manager (or boss, or the head hauncho at the top) is going to be managing the KFC YUM basketball center downtown (God do I hate that name). Article: bizjournals.com

 

Maybe someone new will spring up and completely overhaul the Fair Board, like what happened with Cedar Fair... I seriously hope something like that happens, because the Fairboard seemes screwed up as it is.

 

Again, I still don't really see the park opening at all any time in the future.

 

"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, that sums it up pretty well.
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Well the good news is “Greeezed L:ightnin” (I would assume) is now up for sale at rock bottom prices. Anyone know of a small park owner who might be interested?

 

Well, it certainly is colorful enough to fit into a certain water park in Utah...

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Well the good news is “Greeezed Liightnin” (I would assume) is now up for sale at rock bottom prices. Anyone know of a small park owner who might be interested?

 

How 'bout we buy the land, and you buy the coaster?

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This remends me of a previous fair board that couldn't get anything right. The Mid South Fair and Libertyland. It's now a tailgating spot for a team that's horrible.

 

Don't forget the Tulsa State Fair Board. Fair Boards and amusement parks just don't mix anymore. Sad since it's such a win-win when things are actually done right. They've thrown millions in annual tax earnings down the drain from this poor management. Shame no one is paying attention.

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This remends me of a previous fair board that couldn't get anything right. The Mid South Fair and Libertyland. It's now a tailgating spot for a team that's horrible.

 

Don't forget the Tulsa State Fair Board. Fair Boards and amusement parks just don't mix anymore. Sad since it's such a win-win when things are actually done right. They've thrown millions in annual tax earnings down the drain from this poor management. Shame no one is paying attention.

 

Tulsa is another.

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Buying Greezed Lightnin' will be the easy part. Getting it to run again is a whole different story.

 

Hell, I'll sell anyone Greezed Lightnin' right now. Make me an offer!

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Buying Greezed Lightnin' will be the easy part. Getting it to run again is a whole different story.

 

Hell, I'll sell anyone Greezed Lightnin' right now. Make me an offer!

 

I got a pickup with an 8' bed! I reckon I can transport the whole thing in one trip if someone pays for the gas! Now we just need some hammers!

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This remends me of a previous fair board that couldn't get anything right. The Mid South Fair and Libertyland. It's now a tailgating spot for a team that's horrible.

 

Don't forget the Tulsa State Fair Board. Fair Boards and amusement parks just don't mix anymore. Sad since it's such a win-win when things are actually done right. They've thrown millions in annual tax earnings down the drain from this poor management. Shame no one is paying attention.

 

Add Libertyland and the Mid South Fair to that as well. It seems to be a deadly equation all around.

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Seems Ed Hart is being a real *ick about The Kochs pulling out, article from WHAS 11

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- One day after Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch dismissed as "absurd" the suggestion that Holiday World's owners were involved in a bid to operate a shuttered Louisville amusement park to stem competition to its Indiana property, the suggestion surfaced again on Sunday night.

 

Former Kentucky Kingdom owner Ed Hart, whose effort to reopen the park was unilaterally ended by the Kentucky State Fair Board in September, 2011, repeated his assertion of "Holiday World's delaying tactics," in a statement to WHAS11 News.

 

"These delaying tactics have resulted in our community having to wait until at least 2014 for the 1,000 jobs and other economic benefits associated with an open and vibrant Kentucky Kingdom," Hart said.

 

"The owners of Holiday World would seem to have two objectives: 1) to either reduce Kentucky Kingdom to a small water park to reduce its effectiveness in competing with Holiday World or 2) at least delay the opening of Kentucky Kingdom so Holiday World does not have to compete with it for some time to come. It would seem that the owners of Holiday World have achieved these objectives," the statement reads.

 

"The only comment I would have is those people don't know us," Koch said on Saturday. "They don't know how many hours we've spent on this project and how deeply involved we were."

 

Koch said her family was deep into planning when it pulled the plug on the deal, including maps of where rides, "Pepsi stations" and employee parking would be located.

 

"And for anyone to think that we meant ill or we were intending to cause harm, it's just absurd," Koch said. "It's just absurd. Our family is not that way. We try to do the best for the community here and we would have done the same in Louisville. And I can tell you the countless hours that we spent we wouldn't have done if that was the case."

 

The Koch family, owners of the Holiday World amusement park in Santa Claus, Indiana, entered into conversations with the Kentucky State Fair Board regarding the former Six Flags property in October, 2011, one month after the Kentucky State Fair Board cut ties with the ownership group led by Hart.

 

Six Flags announced it was closing the amusement and "Hurricane Bay" water park in February, 2010.

 

As late as Wednesday, after Kentucky approved $3.9 million in tax incentives for Bluegrass Boardwalk to operate the park, the Koch group indicated no reservations about their plan.

 

“Right now there are no major obstacles we can foresee”, Mike Kamp, General Manager of Holiday World, said Wednesday.

 

But at a meeting Friday, Natalie Koch told WHAS11 that she and three other board members decided that there was too much uncertainty surrounding re-opening Kentucky Kingdom because the company would be leasing rather than owning the property.

 

Koch said the board felt the process of getting the financial incentives and accessing the park property had been slower than they were accustomed to as independent operators.

 

“The longer it took, the more concerned we got that this might be an indication of what's going on in the future," Koch said.

 

Hart is also repeating his criticism of the Kentucky State Fair Board, which he has also sued after it ended his working agreement to operate Kentucky Kingdom.

 

"Regarding the Fair Board, it is interesting that they have never explained why they stopped negotiating with us, yet were ready to sign a less favorable deal with Holiday World which then made the Fair Board victim to Holiday World's delaying tactics," Hart said in the statement. "These delaying tactics have resulted in our community having to wait until at least 2014 for the 1,000 jobs and other economic benefits associated with an open and vibrant Kentucky Kingdom."

 

Koch was asked - regardless of intent or lack of intent - whether she believes that any delay to reopening Kentucky Kingdom helps Holiday World by lessening regional competition.

 

"I don't know," Koch replied. "There's a new park coming into Nashville, theres a park in Kentucky, there's plenty of parks in Ohio. I really dont feel like that creates any greater or less competition for us. I think even with a thriving park in Louisville, we would continue to thrive (at Holiday World). We have plenty of markets that we still have not tapped. We have not gone too far West ."

 

"I hope the park in Louisville opens," Koch continued.

 

Koch said she does not anticipate a backlash from disappointed Louisville customers.

 

"I feel bad for the people of Louisville and I think we could have done a great job, but I think people who have been here and know our family and how we treat our guests and our community will understand," Koch said. "I dont thnk it will leave a bad impression. I really dont. We negotiated in great faith. We were very hopeful. I had every confidence that it was going to work for us."

 

Hart also lashed out at Kentucky tourism officials.

 

"Also to consider is the fact that the state's tourism cabinet has recently approved two tourism tax credit applications -- one for the Ark Park and one for Bluegrass Boardwalk -- neither of which has broken ground. Yet, the tourism cabinet would not approve our application even though we had committed the substantial sum of more than $29 million to the park. Had our offer been accepted Kentucky Kingdom would be open today."

 

Asked on Friday if he was still interested in operating the amusement park, Hart had no comment.

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I just got caught up on the recent news in this thread and am a little saddened but honestly not very surprised. I really had high hopes that the Koch's had the place's best interest in mind and would be able to turn this the park into something special but now we'll never know now. The timing of the withdrawal does seem a little strange, I mean you would think that they would have performed a VERY extensive evaluation of all the existing infrastructure and thoroughly reviewed the lease agreement BEFORE agreeing to operate the park in the existing condition. Maybe lease terms have changed behind closed doors with the fair board, who have obviously been a pain to deal with in the past, but but no matter who is right or wrong everyone loses.

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^ Seriously, I mean if someone wants to open a park in that market, it would have so much more potential if it were just built from the ground up in a different location. As much as I'd like to see Kentucky Kingdom re-opened it really seems impractical at this point. With the arena downtown, and the old Cardinal stadium no longer used for hardly anything the whole fairgrounds area is really dead these days.

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^ Seriously, I mean if someone wants to open a park in that market, it would have so much more potential if it were just built from the ground up in a different location. As much as I'd like to see Kentucky Kingdom re-opened it really seems impractical at this point. With the arena downtown, and the old Cardinal stadium no longer used for hardly anything the whole fairgrounds area is really dead these days.

 

This is Memphis and Tulsa part duex.

 

Libertyland once had the minor league stadium and a busy MidSouth Colusium right next door. If a family went to check out the circus or disney on ice, Libertyland was right next door. That's all downtown now. This why I pimp Mud island for rides.

 

Drillers have now abandoned the Tulsa fairgrounds fro downtown with the new arena as well and Bell's is shut. Guns shows, gun show and rv shows at thge Expo. Yeah..........

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Koch said the board felt the process of getting the financial incentives and accessing the park property had been slower than they were accustomed to as independent operators.

 

“The longer it took, the more concerned we got that this might be an indication of what's going on in the future," Koch said.

 

This is the same reason that Six Flags pulled out of the whole deal, until the Fair Board goes bye bye and they sell the land to a park company not just lease it no one is going to want to deal with the Fair Board. The Fair Board is the problem that needs to be fixed since there are a lot of interested parties but no one wants to deal with them because of the headaches.

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I agree with you that the situation in Louisville is very similar to Tulsa and Memphis, but what the hell does this mean?

 

This why I pimp Mud island for rides.

 

 

This place needs rides with Memphis related themes and ran like Kemah and Galveston and other pier parks to draw more people to the under appreciated parts like the River Museum and River Walk, the Amphitheater is gravy though currently underused.

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Too bad, but it's not really surprising. Most of the rides were inoperable, and it would almost be like starting a new park from scratch which evidently is not something the Koch's were willing to make an attempt at. At this point, I think it's highly unlikely we see this park ever reopening.

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The Kentucky State Fair Board has decided to find a new use for the Land, sounds like they are doing away with The Kingdom all together. I think that is the best Idea, as everything is falling apart more and more each day. No one wants to put the Millions of Dollars it will take to get it operational again and not own the Park, can't say I blame them.

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