It has emerged that in addition to seeking to assert ownership over Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's rides, the State Fair Board has accused the operator of fraud over its removal of the Chang rollercoaster last year.
The accusation is part of a motion filed yesterday with the Delaware bankruptcy court. The motion claims that rides affixed to the land owned by the Fair Board belong to the state, and that Chang was among these prior to its removal.
A recent look by Screamscape at the disputed rides suggests that stand-up coaster Chang was actually situated primarily on Six Flags-owned land. However, if the judge presiding over Six Flags' Chapter 11 proceedings rules in favour of the state, it could also assert that the sections on state land did not belong to Six Flags when it dismantled the ride.
Six Flags plans to re-locate Chang to another of its parks, with Six Flags Great America rumored to be the intended destination. At the time of its removal in September last year, Six Flags claimed it was to make room for a major expansion to the Splashwater Kingdom water park. However, it now appears that it was merely a precursor to the closure of the park.
The Fair Board claims that this amounts to fraud and breach of contract, and is the company for damages. It also hopes to prevent Six Flags from removing any further rides, as it seeks to find an alternative operator for the park in time for the 2010 season.
Six Flags has publicly rejected the Fair Board's argument that it owns the Kentucky Kingdom attractions. The company claims that it has been paying property taxes on the rides for the last 10 years, and that this should only have been the case if the rides were under its ownership. It has filed a countersuit, claiming that the Fair Board's lawsuit is prohibited by the bankruptcy code and seeking a restraining order to prevent the state from trying to physically claim the rides.
Many of Kentucky Kingdom's rides sit on land owned by Six Flags, giving the state no right to claim ownership over them. Like Chang, others span both state-owned and Six Flags-owned property, further confusing the legal situation.
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.
The company, which runs an extensive chain of parks across North America, says it intends to move many of Kentucky Kingdom's rides to those parks and to offer employees the chance to relocate.