KY Kingdom needs $50-million to re-open, future still unknown

Louisville, KY - By Katie Bauer email | bio

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More money. That's what the backers of Kentucky Kingdom say they need to make the amusement park bigger and better, but how can they get that 50 million?

State lawmakers could be the key, they were at a meeting on Tuesday night about the park.

The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company says if they can get the money soon, the park could re-open in a year and a half. Supporters say the cash would give the park a face lift and add some key attractions leading to more jobs, and the potential for a billion dollar investment.

The vision is big.

"I would think that any legislature or public official would be interested in two things: One, does Kentucky Kingdom pay for itself? And two, does it create jobs? And the answer to both of those questions is yes and yes, so I would hope they would give it serious consideration," said Ed Hart, President of Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment.

Hart says the key to getting the amusement park back on its feet is fixing up the rides, doubling the size of the water park, and building a brand new roller coaster, all something that could be made possible with $50 million.

"This is about jobs, it's about economic impact, and it's about tax revenues for the state of Kentucky and Louisville," said Harold Workman, Kentucky State Fair Board President.

The Kentucky State Fair Board needs help from the state legislature to meet those goals. Workman says the new Kentucky Kingdom would employ more than 1200 people.

"If I was a betting man, I bet once we get through some issues and some questions, then we will probably be supportive of it," said Darryl Owens, State Representative and Chairman of the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation.

Owens says the city should also be involved in funding. The state fair board says they've just started talking to the city about that.

"The state is strapped as is the city a lot of people are strapped for cash, but this is one of those type of projects, that I think we have to figure a way to get it going," said Owens.

If the redevelopment company gets the money early next year. It will take them about little more than 12 months to get everything in place. They are keeping their eye on the goal date of opening in the spring of 2012, hoping for a million visitors a year.

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