Report: Hotelier offers financial support for takeover of Kentucky Kingdom by Holiday World ownersBy Nick Sim, Thursday, February 2, 2012 08:32
A chain that operates several hotels in the Kentucky area has reportedly offer financial support to the owners of Holiday World as they consider a takeover bid for Kentucky Kingdom.
The Koch Family, which owns and operates Holiday World, was reported last month to be in talks about taking over the lease for Kentucky Kingdom. Now, the Al J. Schneider company is claimed to have offered to help finance a project to revive the shuttered park, having previously offered help to former Kentucky Kingdom owner Ed Hart's failed bid.
Insider Louisville reports that the company is offering a similar deal to the one that it offered Hart, when it provided a guarantee on up to $20 million in loans. This could mean that it would pay off the loans in the event of Kentucky Kingdom not generating sufficient revenue to cover its debt commitments.
However, the report also claims that the Holiday World owners may only be looking to take over Kentucky Kingdom's water park, keeping the theme park closed in order to prevent it from competing with its existing park. Such a plan would be unlikely to be supported by the Al J. Schneider company, which owns several hotel properties close to Kentucky Kingdom, including the Crowne Plaza Louisville Airport.
Kentucky Kingdom will not reopen until 2013 at the earliest, with the Kentucky State Fair Board currently searching for potential operators. It had previously selected Hart's plans as the most attractive of several initial proposals, before breaking off talks in September 2011.
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.