LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Kingdom season ticket holders can now park free at the Kentucky Exposition Center for the length of the season in an agreement between the amusement park and the Kentucky State Fair Board.
In exchange for these parking privileges, Kentucky Kingdom will pay the fair board an additional $400,000 annually on top of its yearly rent of $525,000 and percentage rent based on the theme park's revenues.
"We are committed to providing value for our season pass holders," said Ed Hart, president and CEO of Kentucky Kingdom, LLLP, "so adding free parking to our already low season pass price of $69.95 just underscores that a Kentucky Kingdom season pass is the best theme park value in America."
“It'll be good during our park's business hours, but not during the State Fair," said Kentucky Kingdom communications director John Mulcahy. “You'll still have to pay for parking and for admission to the fairgrounds during the fair."
This year, the Kentucky State Fair runs Aug. 20 to 30.
Admission to the fair will be $8 per adult if purchased in advance or $10 at the gate. Parking will be $8 per vehicle.
The season pass does not guarantee parking.
“It'll still be first-come, first serve on busy weekends and during the fair," said Mulcahy.
The Kentucky State Fair Board approved the ten-year agreement by voice vote during a special meeting on Thursday morning.
“This is win-win-win,” said board chairman Dr. Mark Lynn following the vote. “Season pass holders have a reason to come more often, Kentucky Kingdom gets more visitors, and we're protected should there be a decline in attendance."
The season pass itself will serve as the admission for free-parking. The passes feature a photo ID of the holder, so they are non-transferable.
Season passes cost $69.95 until midnight April 13. After that, the price jumps to $109.95.
For competitive reasons, Mulcahy declined to reveal how many passes Kentucky Kingdom has sold for the upcoming season, which begins the weekend of April 25 and 26; however, more than 70 percent of the estimated 555,000 visits to Kentucky Kingdom in 2014 were made by season ticket holders, according to the fair board's chief financial officer Anthony Leachman.