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NEWS: Ark Encounter theme park set for Northern Kentucky


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If they receive taxpayer dollars, I was under the impression that they could not do this. Well, they can exclude homosexuals because there is no protection there, but as far as not hiring someone because of their religion - I'd think that violates the Civil Rights act.

 

Not an expert on this, so I'd welcome any feedback.

 

P.S. - I was kind of intrigued by the idea of seeing the giant boat and watching it be built - but the most recent headlines regarding the bigotry have completely dissolved any interest or good will I might have had towards it.

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^That was my thinking, too--tax-dollar incentives usually come with such strings attached.

 

They won't be getting a penny of my money, anyway.

Edited by cfc
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If they receive taxpayer dollars, I was under the impression that they could not do this. Well, they can exclude homosexuals because there is no protection there, but as far as not hiring someone because of their religion - I'd think that violates the Civil Rights act.

 

I thought the same thing and read this about a week ago explaining how they are doing this (not that it is right). I got this info from a blog:

 

"Ken Ham‘s ministry, is a religious non-profit. That’s why the Creation Museum can require you to sign a “statement of faith” if you want to work there.

 

What it appears is happening here is that AiG is hiring employees for their non-profit and having them work on the Ark Encounter project, a for-profit business. By doing so, they are able to use religious discrimination in the hiring process and claim that the Ark Encounter itself is not hiring or discriminating. If this sounds shady to you, that’s because it is."

 

For all the details go to: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/08/14/theres-a-job-opening-for-the-for-profit-noahs-ark-theme-park-so-why-do-applicants-have-to-be-christian/

 

The Flying Spaghetti Monster frowns on this behavior. He would flip them his middle noodly appendage.

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I had actually considered a visit to the park just to see if it would be better than what we're giving it, giving my benefit of doubt thinking it'd be open and friendly to everyone, but I definitely have second thoughts now. They're far off from attracting any huge crowds with the kind of publicity they keep garnering.

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What would be next?

 

The Westboro Baptist Church Scare Farm where they lure in anyone that has ever been remotely associated with anything gay and kill them in the wheat fields of Kansas?

 

If this really comes to fruition, I foresee this whole project failing much worse than any other theme park flop we have ever seen, including HRP/FMP....which was a pretty big fail.

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Their dinosaur exhibit better be nicer than Cedar Fair's, I want to see how people and dinos co-existed at the same time. Perhaps they were saved by Noah's Ark.

 

And the Holy Rollers coaster is probably worth a credit.

 

Their water park could be themed to the great flood.

 

Sarcasm aside, I suspect the tax credit is more important to the promoters than almost anything else.

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  • 1 month later...
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Tax incentives for the Noah's Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky are in jeopardy over the state's concern about possible religious discrimination in hiring, records obtained by The Courier-Journal show.

 

"The Commonwealth doesn't believe that Ark Encounter, LLC will be complying with state and Federal law in its hiring practices," Bob Stewart, secretary of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, said in an Aug. 27 letter to an Ark Encounter attorney.

 

Stewart wrote that "serious concerns" were raised by a job posting for an Ark Encounter position that required applicants to provide salvation testimony, a creation belief statement, and agreement with the "Statement of Faith" of Ark Encounter's parent organization, Answers in Genesis.

 

"Therefore, we are not prepared to move forward with consideration of the application for final approval without the assurance of Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring," Stewart wrote.

 

...

 

James Parsons, a Covington attorney representing Ark Encounter, responded to Stewart saying that the job posting that triggered Stewart's concern was not for Ark Encounter, but Answers in Genesis.

 

Parsons wrote that Ark Encounter stands by its longstanding commitment to "comply with all applicable federal and state laws" on hiring and said that Stewart was adding a new requirement to Ark Encounter's application for tax incentives.

 

Not so, Stewart replied Sept. 4. "The Commonwealth does not provide incentives to any company that discriminates on the basis of religion and we will not make any exception for Ark Encounter, LLC…" Stewart wrote. "The Commonwealth must have the express written assurance from Ark Encounter, LLC that it will not discriminate in any way on the basis of religion in hiring."

 

...

 

Parsons, with the firm Taft Stettinius & Hollister, did not return phone messages. Mike Zovath, a co-founder of Answers in Genesis and executive director of Ark Encounter, said the matter is still under discussion with cabinet officials.

 

"We're still in the negotiation with the state, saying why are you requiring us to do something you don't require other applicants to do? And why are you requiring us to give up our religious freedom and our religious rights to comply with an additional requirement that isn't in the state Tourism Act?" Zovath said.

 

The conflict over potential hiring practices is the first serious obstacle in Ark Encounter's path to winning state tax incentives for developing its biblical theme park in Grant County.

Read more here

I hope I'm not bending anything out of context by skipping a couple of lines, but I think you get the main gist of it.

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I'm glad that this got brought up. I honestly thought Kentucky was going to be dumb enough to fund this place, but it looks like they've finally noticed that funding it technically is a violation of separation of church and state.

 

Apologies if the "Kentucky being dumb" comment offends anybody from Kentucky. It's not you, it's your state government.

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^No offense taken at all, seriously. With what happened back in 2011 in Ark Encounter receiving state incentives (which never fell through apparently) and Ed Hart (among others) not being able to reopen KK, it made me seriously question this state's government.

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I was looking forward to visiting this place until I found out that they don't even have any plans for a scale replica of Matsya, the giant fish avatar of Vishnu, to go along with their historically accurate recreation of Manu's Ark; talk about a massive oversight. I'm afraid they won't be getting any of my money until they at least start selling plush Fishnu in their gift shop.

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  • 3 months later...

You can literally feel the weight of reality settling in...

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. The proposed Noah's Ark theme park in Northern Kentucky would attract up to 640,000 visitors in its best year, according to a consultant who studied the project's economic impact for the state. That's far less than the 1.2 million to 2.2 million visitors estimated by the project's developers.

 

The consultant, Hunden Strategic Partners, of Chicago, studied the likely economic impact as part of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet's review of Ark Encounter's application for up to $18.25 million in state tax incentives for its project.

 

While the project would attract far fewer visitors than Ark Encounter says its own study projects, the Hunden report still concludes that it would have a financial benefit to the state and meet the economic qualifications to earn state incentives.

 

...

 

Ken Ham, chief executive and founder of Ark Encounter's parent organization Answers in Genesis, defended the higher attendance estimates of his group's own consultant.

 

"But even if you go on the basis of their (Hunden's) over-conservative figures, they're saying we still fulfill the requirements and bring a net gain into the state," Ham said.

 

But a critic of the project, Ed Hensley, treasurer of the Kentucky Secular Society, said, "The Hunden report adds more evidence that the Commonwealth of Kentucky made the correct decision in rejecting the Ark Encounter application for tax incentives."

 

...

 

After the cabinet rejected its application in December, Answers in Genesis said it was considering bringing a federal lawsuit reversing that decision. Ham said Wednesday that option is still under consideration.

 

The cabinet commissions a report on the economic impact of applications to its tax-rebate program for tourism projects.

 

In this case, Hunden's report on the ark project contained two scenarios. One anticipated a "a mainstream approach to the attraction," and a second assumed "a more religious-focused approach that may present a specific viewpoint" more associated with the Creation Museum, an existing attraction owned by Answers in Genesis in Boone County.

 

Under the "mainstream" scenario, Hunden estimated the project would draw just less than 500,000 visitors in its first year — a number that would rise to 640,000 visitors in its third year, then level off at about 400,000 in the seventh year. It estimated 787 jobs being created.

 

Under the other scenario where the public sees the attraction as "more religious-focused," the project would create 514 jobs and attract 325,000 visitors in its first year, a little more than 425,000 in the third year, then settle at about 275,000 in year seven.

 

Hunden estimates that, after the cost of state incentives and a proposed $11 million new interchange on I-75 near the park are deducted, the "net new fiscal impact" of the project would be $11.4 million over 10 years under the "mainstream" scenario. It would be $4.9 million under the "more religious-focused" scenario.

Again, hope I'm not bending anything out of context by skipping a few less important lines. Please do visit the article, though. There's a nice and short video overviewing the project, and it gives a shout-out to another park further north later in the video.

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  • 4 months later...

This parks seems to be very cool, but I wish they had more rides. The only ride planed is the Plagues of Egypt dark ride. A thrilling attraction with Biblical theming would be nice. The reason I think that Christian theme parks have not been a success in the past is because they don't have enough trills. A Babel free-fall tower, a journey to Jerusalem roller coaster, just something that offered thrills would make the already great parks much better.

 

I would also like to note that construction is well under way. The lumber for the ship is starting to be constructed on the site. I can't wait for it to open next year!

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This parks seems to be very cool, but I wish they had more rides. The only ride planed is the Plagues of Egypt dark ride. A thrilling attraction with Biblical theming would be nice. The reason I think that Christian theme parks have not been a success in the past is because they don't have enough trills. A Babel free-fall tower, a journey to Jerusalem roller coaster, just something that offered thrills would make the already great parks much better.

 

I would also like to note that construction is well under way. The lumber for the ship is starting to be constructed on the site. I can't wait for it to open next year!

 

Rapture Shot Tower?

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As Christian, Kentuckian, and a student of government, I'm frustrated and surprised that they are even being allowed to selectively discriminate employment based on religion. I mean wow. I also disagree with them refusing gay workers, but unfortuneately that is legally sound.

 

On the other hand, without any decent larger rides or anything in that vein, I find it difficult to see how they can be an effective attraction with two hugely popular parks nearby and Kentucky Kingdom on the rise. It seems like quite the obstacle to overcome. If I wanted my kids to learn about Christianity, I would tell them myself instead of let them hit a hole in one through a Lion's Den.

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This parks seems to be very cool, but I wish they had more rides. The only ride planed is the Plagues of Egypt dark ride. A thrilling attraction with Biblical theming would be nice. The reason I think that Christian theme parks have not been a success in the past is because they don't have enough trills. A Babel free-fall tower, a journey to Jerusalem roller coaster, just something that offered thrills would make the already great parks much better.

 

I would also like to note that construction is well under way. The lumber for the ship is starting to be constructed on the site. I can't wait for it to open next year!

 

Rapture Shot Tower?

"Dante's Inferno" underground dive coaster.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Personally I'm excited. (Yes I am Christian) for the park it sounds very fascinating epically being able to see these stories coming to life. The Arc especially, even if it isn't completely exact. Just being able to look at a full size replica will be cool. Now I don't like Ken Ham as much.... The way he portrays Christians is just very cocky. Still excited nonetheless.

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