Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Round Two: Ed Hart's New Proposal for Kentucky Kingdom

Ed Hart is ready to take another stab at getting Kentucky Kingdom reopened, this time with a $40 million proposal to renovate and expand the closed park, bringing it back to its former status as the State's number one paid tourist attraction.

The news just broke a few hours ago, so complete details are still surfacing.  Mr. Hart has partnered with "three prominent Louisville business leaders" to try to reopen the park, this time asking for no State funds other than tourism sales tax credits.  Those credits are similar to those that the folks from Holiday World were seeking before they axed plans to open the park as Bluegrass Boardwalk.  Mr. Hart had a $30 proposal on the table last year, which was abruptly rejected by the Fair Board during negotiations.

The proposed $40 million the group would spend on the park is more than double the $16.5 million that the Bluegrass Boardwalk plan included.  The Fair Board isn't saying much about the new proposal just yet, other than they've had other parties express interest in the park.

I have no knowledge of the inner workings of the relationship between Ed Hart and the Fair Board, but it seems to me that having someone who operated the park for a decade and has this much passion about it would be a good fit.  I'm sure there's plenty more to the story, but in the large picture wouldn't an operating park be better than a slowly rotting park?

Either way I think we'll just let this one play out a bit instead of covering every twist and turn again, my best wishes for the park's reopening, however.