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Kentucky Kingdom (SFKK, KK) Discussion Thread

P. 401: Herschend Enterprises named majority partner and park operator

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http://www.whas11.com/news/local/Ky-Fair-Board-160736025.html

 

The Kentucky State Fair Board met for the first time Thursday since plans for the proposed Bluegrass Boardwalk theme park fell through. Board members said they were disappointed, because there were no signs that the Koch family of Indiana intended to walk away from the deal.

 

The Koch family, who owns Holiday World, announced in February that they planned to open Bluegrass Boardwalk at the site of the former Kentucky Kingdom. They backed out, saying it was too difficult to deal with the red tape that came along with a state lease.

 

Now, the Fair Board says it will ask the state and city to help find a new use for the property.

 

The Fair Board also voted Thursday to terminate their lease to operate the Kentucky Yum! Center on behalf of the Louisville Arena Authority. The arena authority has hired the firm AEG to take over day-to-day operations of the Yum! Center beginning July 1st.

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Herschend was and is a different brand than Six Flags.   There is one certainty. Kentucky Kingdom will not be receiving a launched wooden roller coaster any time soon.

Yeah, I think the only 'concern' is because people see this park going more the way of Celebration City or Wild Adventures than becoming the next SDC or Dollywood.  I think it will stay pretty much th

Yeah, that's what I've thought too.

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The fact that even the arena management is changing hands should speak volumes as to why this deal fell through.

 

Then again, in general, any appointed "boards" are basically just politicians awarding their dumb friends with high priced government

jobs.

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The fact that even the arena management is changing hands should speak volumes as to why this deal fell through.

 

Then again, in general, any appointed "boards" are basically just politicians awarding their dumb friends with high priced government

jobs.

 

Very political!

 

Interesting to see if they ever get anyone interested in the land. Someone is going to have to pay to clear the site.

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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.

I looked in the TPR store for the secret decoder ring for this, but I'm unfortunately out of luck. Babelfish was of no help either.

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  • 3 weeks later...

^ I believe you mean "sense", but I have to agree with you - it doesn't make since nor sense.

 

I guess that ( and this is just my craziest theory yet - mind you) the state of Kentucky and Louisville probably don't want us riders and amusement park flyers around anymore. Here we had was not one, but several attempts to reopen the park, and those higher ups in charge end up throwing out roadblock after roadblock, thus causing so much delay that the project got stalled and soon was cancelled.

 

PAUSE TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH

 

Now I'm not an expert, but I think that this sort of tactic can cause some unexpected side effects, and I think we should show them we are NOT HAPPY about this situation one bit!

 

ANOTHER PAUSE TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH

 

But what can we do to protest this in a way that won't leave us arrested and blackballed on a terrorist watch list for the rest of our days? The solution is simple: we boycot Kentucky! We don't travel to any destination inside Kentucky, we don't tour any attraction site within the state of Kentucky, and we don't spend any travel money inside Kentucky, PERIOD! If enough travelers took that sort of action, the lack of revenue should cause an alarm, inasmuch cause those higher ups to beg for anyone to come in and reopen Kentucky Kingdom. Of course, that is wishful thinking, but it could work and it's something I know I'll be doing this summer.

 

PAUSE TO LAUGH LIKE AN EVIL MASTERMIND

 

So anyway, that is my take and the main reason why I'm traveling to St. Louis and Branson this year, and not to Louisville.

 

"And now pause to go to bed and lay your head upon mine."

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But what can we do to protest this in a way that won't leave us arrested and blackballed on a terrorist watch list for the rest of our days?

 

You should start a Facebook group! That'll show 'em!

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You should start a Facebook group! That'll show 'em!

 

How could that not work?! The 'Save The Wildcat", "Save The Space Spiral" and "Save The Disaster Transport" pages really were huge successes!

And let's not forget the pave the Deja Vu page and the save the Metro page .

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But what can we do to protest this in a way that won't leave us arrested and blackballed on a terrorist watch list for the rest of our days?

 

You should start a Facebook group! That'll show 'em!

 

 

Petitions work so much better!

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^Thanks to all of you for enjoying my take on humor, but how about I'll just boycott Kentucky and just urge anyone else to join me if they want to.

 

Anyhow, I hear THE ARCH and Silver Dollar City is calling for me.

 

"Oh really? They're calling for you and you don't hear little old me? You are a crumbcake!"

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Waiting for the auction to be announced. Is there anything semi-salvagable there? I would at least think the Giant Wheel would make a nice addition to another park along with whatever flats are left on the property.

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^ I second that opinion.

 

^Thanks to all of you for enjoying my take on humor, but how about I'll just boycott Kentucky and just urge anyone else to join me if they want to.
But... but... I don't wanna move out. Where else will I be able to zipline underground, bet on horses, and eat to-die-for fried chicken?
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I think a large part of the problem is that the Kentucky State Fair Board is naive. They seem blissfully unaware of how many theme parks do not reopen after they close. The more time that goes by, the lower the chance is of it reopening. Six Flags was clearly mismanaging it as they have with pretty much all of their parks outside of SFMM, SFGAdv, SFGAm, and SFOG since Premier took over and I have doubts that it would ever have gotten better with the way they were running it. They need to stop looking at this with the vision that this is golden and anyone who gets involved should be grateful to be graced with it, the facts are the park is in about as bad shape as SFNO. Most of the good attractions have already been removed, the buildings all need extensive repairs, most of the water rides are shot (no thanks to them not winterizing them), and what is left is either dated or not highly rated.

 

Any offer they get should be taken more seriously than they have. They also need to get the idea in their head that either they are going to have to put down some serious money to get things operating again or they need to sell it and take a hit on it. They are not in the position of advantage and they need to realize it, otherwise they will continue to let it sit and decay until it is a complete and total loss. Sometimes you win, sometime you lose. What you do is learn from your mistakes and move on.

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^ I don't think its a matter of being naive... I think its a matter of not having motivation and not caring. Is the reopening of KK at the top of the average Louisville residents mind? Doubtful! They know they won't get much outside pressure so why care or try?

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  • 3 weeks later...

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20120815/NEWS01/308150091/1001/-Kentucky-Kingdom-gets-40-million-proposal-reopen-from-Ed-Hart-Louisville-business-leaders

 

Three prominent Louisville business leaders have joined former Kentucky Kingdom operator Ed Hart in a new $40 million proposal to reopen the abandoned amusement park in 2014.

 

The proposal to the Kentucky State Fair Board is a second try by Hart to reopen the park. His group’s new bid seeks no state funding, except for tourism tax credits, which allow developers to recover a share of their investment by letting them keep some sales tax revenue the project generates.

 

The new proposal was offered at almost the same time that the fair board disclosed Wednesday that Gov. Steve Beshear had asked it to issue a request for proposals from potential operators of the ride and water park at the Kentucky Exposition Center. The park was last open in the fall of 2009 before Six Flags pulled out amid a bankruptcy filing.

 

Fair board chairman Ron Carmicle said in an interview Wednesday that the fair board is expected to approve Beshear’s request to issue the request for proposals. The board meets Thursday morning on the first day of the Kentucky State Fair.

 

Carmicle said at mid-afternoon that he was not aware that Hart’s new group had delivered their proposal to the fair board administration office at Freedom Hall. But he said he assumed that any proposals received would be considered as part of the request-for-proposal process, in which the board would review the submissions, then try to negotiate a deal with the preferred bidder.

 

Hart, who operated Kentucky Kingdom for about a decade prior to 2000, was abruptly dropped from consideration last October by the fair board in his effort to reopen the park. He had lined up nearly $30 million in financing.

 

Fair board president Harold Workman never gave details of why he dropped the negotiations with Hart after months of talks; Workman said only that Hart had made unacceptable demands.

 

Fair board spokeswoman Amanda Storment late Wednesday afternoon quoted Workman as saying that he had not seen Hart’s proposal. But Hart’s office said the proposals were left at the fair board’s front desk, marked for Carmicle and Workman.

 

In the new effort, Hart’s group is doing business as the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Co. He has been joined by: Mary Moseley, CEO of the Al J. Schneider Co. that owns the Galt House and vast office properties; Bruce Lunsford, CEO of Lunsford Capital and a Hart partner in the film and other businesses; and Ed Glasscock, chairman emeritus of the Frost Brown Todd law firm and a civic leader. The Schneider interests guaranteed much of Hart’s investment under his ill-fated bid a year ago.

 

After dropping Hart late last year, the fair board entered into a tentative deal with the Koch family that owns Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind. The Kochs intended to rename the park Bluegrass Boardwalk.

 

But that group also withdrew abruptly, citing the extensive requirements to obtain state and city incentives -- even though state financial help had been okayed -- and also the deteriorated condition of some of the park rides and equipment that had sat idle for years.

 

The new Hart partners said they are asking the fair board for essentially the same lease terms that the state approved for the Holiday World group. Their new offer is to invest $10 million in upfront equity, with the other $30 million in money that would be provided by an unidentified lender. The Holiday World group had offered to invest about $16.5 million.

 

In a news release, Moseley cited the importance of the park to the local tourism and hospitality industries. She said, “This is a strong partnership.....who deeply care about this community and its quality of life.” She said that, with the park closed, tourism dollars are going elsewhere. She said the park would put about 1,000 people to work; the park traditionally hired about 800 summer workers, many of them young adults.

 

Glasscock said, “We intend to do this right. We want to restore Kentucky Kingdom to its former position as the No. 1, paid tourist attraction in Kentucky. Our $40 million will get the job done.”

 

And Lunsford added, “We don’t need to go outside the state to find a good operator.”

 

Information supplied by Hart’s company indicated that:

 

  • The group will pay the fair board the same fixed rent during the first year that Bluegrass Boardwalk was prepared to pay - $400,000 - with the fixed rent increasing to $750,000 in subsequent years.
  • The Hart group and fair board would negotiate a split of parking revenue.
  • Two appraisals of the park’s rides by outside experts set their “as is” value at $7 million to $9 million.

Carmicle said Beshear told him Wednesday morning he wanted the fair board to seek competing proposals from potential park operators.

 

The governor’s office referred questions to the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet and its secretary, Marcheta Sparrow, who represents the governor on the fair board. Cabinet spokesman Gil Lawson said Sparrow was not available for comment Wednesday afternoon.

 

Carmicle said the fair board received several expressions of interest from potential operators after the Holiday World deal collapsed. He and Workman have declined to name the companies. Carmicle said the fair board will retain "complete authority and control" over the abandoned theme park.

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