The Kentucky State Fair Board has claimed that 4 amusement park operators are interested in taking over the closed Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, while the dispute over ownership of the park's rides rumbles on.
Harold Workman, president of the Fair Board, told CourierNews.com that the board has received 4 inquiries regarding the Kentucky Kingdom site from established industry players. He claims that the board will not respond while Six Flags remains the official leaseholder - with the company having applied in bankruptcy court earlier this week to free itself from the remainder of the lease.
Workman declined to identify the companies involved, although he expressed confidence that the park will reopen under new ownership this summer. However, that will be strongly dependent on the resolution of a disagreement between the Fair Board and Six Flags over ownership of Kentucky Kingdom's rides.
As revealed earlier this week, the Fair Board claims that all rides on land leased from it belong to the state. This would not cover any rides that are situated on 15 acres of land within the park that is owned by Six Flags. For its part, Six Flags claims that it owns all of the rides and it intends to relocate many of them to its other properties across North America.
The company claims that it has been paying property taxes on the rides for the last 10 years, with spokesman Sandra Daniels asking "if it's the board's contention that they own the rides, why are we paying the taxes?"
Six Flags announced the closure of Kentucky Kingdom last week, 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 9 remaining years on the lease - instead offering the state a cut of any potential future profits.
Local councillors David Tandy and Hal Reiner, who are both candidates for the Louisville mayor position, have backed a resolution "encouraging the Kentucky State Fair Board to find a way to reopen one of the state's top tourist attractions." The resolution is not legally binding, but is expected to draw board support given the heavy impact the closure of Kentucky Kingdom is likely to have on the local economy.