LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A big player in the theme park business is planning to take over Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay.
Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment was announced as the new majority owner by Governor Andy Beshear on Tuesday.
Herschend Family Entertainment also owns the Newport Aquarium, Dollywood and the Harlem Globetrotters.
Beshear said the group will bring an enhanced entertainment and amusement park experience to Kentucky Kingdom.
He attended the announcement alongside executives from the attractions and entertainment company, state officials and Louisville leaders.
“It’s a big bright day for Kentucky,” Beshear said. “It’s one of those days where we are truly building a better Kentucky that we all want and that I want for my family and for yours.”
In 2013, Ed Hart signed a lease to reopen Kentucky Kingdom after it shut down.
Taking over is new General Manager Craig Ross, who expanded on some of the ideas they have moving forward.
Some of the changes to expect might include an expanded season. Craig said he also wants more family rides, more shows and more festivals.
He also said he plans on bringing people into Louisville from all over, creating a new travel tourism marketing plan. Craig was asked if the name “Kentucky Kingdom” fit into that plan.
“Both the commonwealth name and the word ‘Kingdom’ and ‘Hurricane’ Bay’ as well, they’re all great names,” Craig said, “[but] if something were to surface throughout our process and research we would consider those things.”
The park’s name is staying, for now, and all major players involved have said they’re excited about it, including the fairgrounds and state fair board.
If you’re a season pass holder for 2021 already, the new ownership groups said not to worry, memberships will still be intact.