Bankruptcy judge to decide who owns rides at Kentucky Kingdom
By Connie Leonard - bio | email Posted by Charles Gazaway - email
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A battle is brewing in a District of Delaware bankruptcy court to determine who really owns the rides at Kentucky Kingdom. Although it may seem to be an open and shut case in favor of Six Flags and its property, a local bankruptcy attorney says Kentucky law could provide some help for the state.
The rides at Kentucky Kingdom now rest in the hands of a bankruptcy judge. Even though it appears Six Flags America can claim the rides as personal property, Louisville bankruptcy attorney David Cantor says the state may have a shot.
"They're saying, that's now ours, it's not yours," said Cantor.
Because the rides are in the Commonwealth, the judge must look at Kentucky law and what constitutes real estate. State officials argue the rides are attached to their real estate and have become a fixture.
"It's like your house is on a permanent foundation and therefore, it becomes part of the real estate," Cantor explained.
Second and possibly most important, state officials claim the lease itself states if Six Flags terminates the contract with the Kentucky Fair Board, the landlord will own all the rides. So that leads one to ask why a theme park would agree to give up its rides in a lease.
"These are long term leases and one would expect that the life of these rides is 15 to 20 years at the most," Cantor said.
According to Cantor, Kentucky officials may also have merit if they can prove their claim that Six Flags mislead the Kentucky State Fair Board. One of those claims by the Fair Board is that Six Flags had a scheme to remove the Chang roller coaster from the park to provided needed space to improve and expand the water park. Although the roller coaster was removed, there were no improvements made to the water park and the Fair Board says Six Flags never had any intentions to do so.
But Cantor says with the removal of Chang, Six Flags proved the rides can be easily removed, which would make them personal property. Cantor says it is very possible both sides have a decent case.
"I'm sure the bankruptcy judge will be confronted with issues that he or she has never seen before," said Cantor.
Fair Board officials have stated that other companies have shown an interest in taking over Kentucky Kingdom. The two sides will be back in court on the matter in April.
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