The head of the Kentucky State Fair Board has claimed that a deal that would enable the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom theme park to reopen in 2012 is "close".
WFPL News quotes Harold Workman as saying that the Louisville Metro Government is close to backing a revival plan put forward by prospective operator Ed Hart. Previous reports claimed that this would see the city put up a $17.5 million bond to fund work to restore the park to operations, with Hart investing $7 million of his own money alongside the bond. Workman now says that $23 million could be made available via a combination of the bond and bank loans.
The new plan would see Kentucky Kingdom opened on a limited basis in 2012, with several key elements of Hart's ambitious original plans dropped. Proposals to add a major new rollercoaster, to expand the water park and to reopen the T2 and Twisted Twins rollercoasters would be dropped. However, several smaller attractions would be added and the water park would still have receive a limited upgrade, alongside refurbishments to existing rides.
To help push forward the remainder of the plan and restore Kentucky Kingdom fully, Workman proposes to ask the state legislature for a further $20 million loan in January.
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.