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NEWS: Ark Encounter theme park set for Northern Kentucky


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I don't see this going anywhere either. There's a life-sized Noah's Ark being built in Frostburg, Maryland, and it's literally been under construction since the late 1970's. The pastor responsible STILL believes it will be open. This may shed a light on the Kentucky ark. The news article about Frostburg's if anyone's interested: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-20649021

 

That thing has been in the same "stage" for as long as I can remember driving past it (I am 40 now). It is only 10 minutes up the road from me. And for the record, Frostburg is on top of a mountain where there really is no potential for flooding.........

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Maybe it is just me, but I feel like if a project hasn't been able to raise money on its own, it shouldn't get a bond of any kind from the city. I can't foresee this project being a success and I'd hate to see the city of Williamstown dragged down through the mess this will likely continue to descend into as time goes on.

 

If you read the article it states that the city of Williamstown is not on the hook for the bonds. No risk for the city, just to the investors.

 

I'm sold! Who do I make the check out to?

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Maybe it is just me, but I feel like if a project hasn't been able to raise money on its own, it shouldn't get a bond of any kind from the city. I can't foresee this project being a success and I'd hate to see the city of Williamstown dragged down through the mess this will likely continue to descend into as time goes on.

 

If you read the article it states that the city of Williamstown is not on the hook for the bonds. No risk for the city, just to the investors.

 

I'm sold! Who do I make the check out to?

 

ME! Need my address?

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  • 1 month later...

http://www.pressherald.com/life/religionandvalues/Kentucky_Noah_s_Ark_theme_park_could_sink_.html

 

A Kentucky theme park to be built around a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark may sink unless investors purchase about $29 million in unrated municipal bonds by Feb. 6.

 

In December, the northern city of Williamstown issued taxable debt for affiliates of the Christian nonprofit Answers in Genesis, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

 

Even though $26.5 million of securities have been sold, the project needs to sell at least $55 million in total to avoid triggering a redemption of all the bonds, Ken Ham, the nonprofit’s president, said Thursday. Without the proceeds, construction funding will fall short, he said.

 

“We still need those Ark supporters who weren’t able to purchase the Ark bonds at closing to prayerfully consider participating in a secondary bond delivery at the level they had indicated to us,” Ham said. “Will you please step out in faith with us?”

 

Proceeds are intended to help build a 510-foot – or 300 cubit – wooden ship, the centerpiece of a planned biblical theme park called Ark Encounter. The project has drawn comparisons to tourist attractions from Alabama to Nebraska that have defaulted, and comes with the added risk of legal challenges because its religious theme may violate the Constitution. The Washington-based group Americans United for Separation of Church and State said it is monitoring the project.

 

Industrial-development bonds are considered the riskiest municipal debt because they account for the largest proportion of defaults in the $3.7 trillion municipal market. Williamstown issued the bonds without a rating, making the prospect of repayment even less clear.

 

The first phase is estimated to cost $73 million, offering documents show. About $14 million had been raised before the bond sale, which was supposed to make up the difference. Instead, Ark Encounter has had no institutional investors buy its bonds, Ham said.

 

Construction is supposed to begin in March, with Ark Encounter due to open in April 2016.

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“We still need those Ark supporters who weren’t able to purchase the Ark bonds at closing to prayerfully consider participating in a secondary bond delivery at the level they had indicated to us,” Ham said. “Will you please step out in faith with us?”

 

What was that about Jesus chasing the moneychangers out of the temple?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Big story in USA Today about this park. I'm guessing this park will hemorrhage money and close several years after opening. To each his own i suppose.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/27/ark-encounter-theme-park/5881323/

 

Founders of Northern Kentucky's controversial Creation Museum said Thursday that enough money has been raised to proceed with a biblical theme park built around a 510-foot replica of Noah's Ark.

 

The museum and its founder, President Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis, gained national attention earlier this month after a debate with Science Guy Bill Nye.

 

"We're going to begin construction, and this is going to be great for the area," Ham said in an online announcement, indicating the 800-acre Ark Encounter park would open in summer 2016. "Let's build the ark."

 

The organization's website said it has raised $14.4 million in private donations toward the $24.5 million needed to build the ark alone. The complete first phase would total more than $70 million, officials have said. They did not say how much they had raised from a $62 million municipal bond offering.

 

Along with the wooden ark, which Ham said would be the largest timber-frame structure in the USA, the park eventually would include a pre-flood themed area, live animal shows and a Tower of Babel featuring a special-effects theater and a 1st-century village.

 

Northern Kentucky officials, including Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner, said the project would bring hundreds of jobs and attract hotels and restaurants to a largely rural community about 50 miles south of Cincinnati.

 

"We're happy to be the home of the ark," Skinner said.

 

But Josh Rosenau, policy director for the California-based National Center for Science Education, said the ark park is objectionable because it displays "a false account of world history and biology" and presents it "as if it were fact."

 

Answers in Genesis and its Petersburg, Ky.-based Creation Museum about 40 miles from the planned ark park embrace a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis and a belief that the Earth is only 6,000 years old — a view that runs counter to established science. As a result, the organization and its projects have drawn widespread criticism and derision.

 

"God has burdened AiG to rebuild a full-size Noah's Ark," Ham wrote on his website.

 

But fundraising initially was slow following plans announced in 2010, Ham has said.

 

Late last year, the city of Williamstown, where the park is to be located, helped by offering $62 million in municipal bonds on behalf of the Christian group. The city isn't responsible for repaying the unsecured bonds, which would come from park revenues. Partly because of a lackluster response, the sale was extended in December.

 

How much they raised hasn't been immediately clear. The format of the announcement didn't allow reporters to ask questions. In fact, Ham spent much of the announcement railing against reporters and atheist bloggers for "distortions."

 

State development studies have predicted that Ark Encounter would draw hundreds of thousands of visitors and bring in a net fiscal impact of $119 million over 10 years, including sales and income taxes.

 

In 2011, the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority granted approval for up to $43.1 million in sales tax rebates over 10 years. State tourism law allows developers to recover up to 25% of a project's cost through a return of the sales tax paid by visitors on admission tickets, food, souvenirs and other expenses.

 

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear has defended his support for the project saying that if the park were to fail, the state would not be out any money.

 

Answers in Genesis officials said they would continue raising money for various phases of the project, including lifetime "boarding passes" costing $3,000 for families and $2,000 for individuals. Ultimately the project is expected to cost more than $120 million.

 

Earlier this year, Bloomberg News reported that the ark project was drawing comparisons to tourist attractions from Alabama to Nebraska that have defaulted on such bonds and noted that it came with the added risk of legal challenges from those who believe the religious themes may violate the Constitution.

 

Groups such as Americans United for Separation of Church and State have argued that the state tourism department is supporting religion. But Rosenau said that despite his opposition, he does not think the sales-tax rebates would be a consitutional violation.

 

Theme park officials said they plan to break ground in May. Ark Encounter officials have begun to file permit applications for the park.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

 

I had to search the Internet to get it but I finally did.

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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

 

^Well played

 

I admit I've been a lurker in this thread. I don't know how I feel about the funding and backer's ability to turn it on again.

 

But I won't feel bad if this post gets no reply at all.

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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

 

Somehow I don't think this is what Phil had in mind.....

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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

 

Somehow I don't think this is what Phil had in mind.....

Phil who? I thought they broke up after The Lamb!

 

snob>

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Answers in Genesis, you say?

 

There must be some misunderstanding because the man on the corner said: Jesus, he knows me. And in this land of confusion, Mama said: "You're no son of mine!" from her home by the sea.

 

Feeling he was in too deep, he returned to the waiting room to get the knife taken out. The invisible touch that he felt made him think about tonight, tonight, tonight.

 

That's all, Abacab.

 

Somehow I don't think this is what Phil had in mind.....

Phil who? I thought they broke up after The Lamb!

 

snob>

 

This seems to be more fun than this park could ever be......

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A story from NPR Saturday reports that Ken Ham credited his debate with Bill Nye (arguing the biblical version of creation versus science) with securing funding needed to keep the Ark Encounter still afloat . Sorry, I couldn't resist the pun. Ham also said, as I suspected, interest in the upcoming Russell Crowe movie has prevented his "museum" project from going the way of the dinosaur also.

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I'll admit to being curious about this project. The budget isn't big enough for there to be a ton there, which means that it actually might work. Having said that, it seems so odd for me that they are pushing this as a "theme park." It doesn't seem to have any of the usual theme park faire that you'd find, and I think that people that are searching for rides will skip it.

 

They should push it as an immersive experience, aim it at a lower number of people a day, and then see how it goes from there. A marketed park with a major central icon that can get by with a few hundred attendees a day would be a much better idea then going for broke building something that is both completely unproven - and, as a matter of fact, has been proven to be failures in other places where similar events have been tried. Start small, and build it up.

 

Having said all of that, this sort of religious zealotry is extremely simple minded (with all apologies to those of you that actually think that the world is only 6,000 years old and God is just tricking everyone because ???), and I don't think they are looking at it from a money making standpoint, but instead from the belief that if you build it, they will come. And, unfortunately or fortunately depending on your thinking, that probably doesn't mean it will have a long life if it gets funded.

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  • 5 months later...

Gears went back into motion starting with the park seeking $18 million in incentives from the state earlier this month (x), next they finally broke ground just last week (x), finally they hit headlines again with the job application requiring Christian and non-homosexual workers (x).

 

A Creationist group's project to build a park centered around a life-sized model of Noah's Ark might benefit from an estimated $18 million in tourism incentives. This would come by way of a state sales tax refund that would be received after the Ark Encounter has been open to the public for at least three years.
Source

 

A Kentucky-based Christian organization has officially broken ground on a life-sized Noah’s Ark project that is expected to become a major tourist attraction and evangelistic outreach.

...

“Obtaining the final federal permit and receiving preliminary approval by the state to receive a possible refund of sales tax collected at the Ark when it opens were the final two hurdles before excavation and construction could begin,” Ham explained in the statement. “It’s thrilling to see dozers, scrapers, tractors, and compactors arriving at the Ark property.”

Source

 

Kentucky's Ark Encounter won't open until 2016, but the theme park is already making headlines for reportedly requiring prospective employees to agree to a "statement of faith" that excludes homosexuality, among other stipulations.

...

He adds: "The ad has specific religious requirements for employment. These include a salvation testimony, a "creation belief statement" and a requirement that applicants agree with the organization's "statement of faith." This required statement includes articles that imply that fundamentalist Christianity is the only acceptable religion and that denigrate non-Christians non-fundamentalist Christians, and homosexuals (regardless of their theological views)."

Source
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