By Tony Hyatt
(LOUISVILLE, Friday, March 14th, 2003, 5 p.m.) -- A few weeks ago there was concern that the Star of Louisville will pull out of the Fourth Street Wharf owing the city some $18,000 in back rent. But a new deal will keep the Star in place until early summer.
"We are real happy something has been worked out," said David Karem, president of the Waterfront Development Corporation. "The Star has a wonderful niche in the community and a nice image."
Under the agreement, the Star will stay in Louisville until June. The agreement also allows the Star to stay on a month by month basis.
"Actually, it is fantastic," Bernie Kaelin of the Star told WAVE 3 News. "It is as much as we wanted and more."
The Star also will pay its back rent.
In the meantime, the Waterfront Development Corporation is continuing to negotiate with another food outlet for a food court type boat to take the Star's place.
"One of the things that has been missing is more of a casual setting that people can come and go and don't have to sit down for a full dinner or go out on the river,' said Karem. "We are looking at a place that would offer, sandwiches a coke or a cup of coffee."
Sometime this year, the Star is set to move across the river but under this new agreement the boat would be able to load and unload passengers near Joe's Crab Shack on the Louisville side.
Kaelin says the deal is also coming at the right time, with Thunder Over Louisville just weeks away.
"Our Thunder ticket sales had stopped when there was uncertainty about our future," said Kaelin. "I suspect when customers know we are going to be here through Thunder, the tickets will start selling again and we are looking forward to that."
Online Reporter: Tony Hyatt