Prospective Kentucky Kingdom operator clarifies details of 2012 reopening planBy Nick Sim, Friday, July 29, 2011 08:14
The prospective operators of the closed Kentucky Kingdom theme park have clarified their plans for the park if it reopens for the 2012 season, confirming that the T2 rollercoaster would return to action.
A spokesman for the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company contacted Theme Park Tourist to provide an update on the plans. The company, led by former Kentucky Kingdom owner Ed Hart, is currently seeking to secure a funding deal with the Louisville Metro Government that would enable the park to reopen its gates in 2012.
If the deal can be completed, an initial $23 million would be used to bring many of the park's current roster of attractions back into operations for the 2012 season. Contrary to previous media reports (repeated on Theme Park Tourist this week), the plan would include the immediate reopening of T2, the first Vekoma Steel Suspended Looping Coaster to open in the US. The ride would receive a reprofiled track, new controls, new magnetic brakes and all-new trains.
In addition, a major expansion would be made to Kentucky Kingdom's water park. Two new "substantial" family thrill rides would also debut at the park, although full details of these are yet to be released. Two further (yet-to-be-named) attractions would require two years to refurbish due to equipment lead times, and would reopen in 2013.
As previously reported, Hart is working with the Kentucky State Fair Board, the Louisville Metro Government and the state legislature to try and secure a long-term funding deal that would support further investment in the park. This would enable a new "marquee" rollercoaster to open in 2013, while the Twisted Twins dueling wooden rollercoaster would receive an overhaul and would reopen in 2014.
Former operator Six Flags announced the closure of Kentucky Kingdom in January 2010, following a failure to agree changes to the park's lease. The Fair Board claims that Six Flags proposed that it pay no rent for the nine remaining years on the lease - instead offering the state a cut of any potential future profits.