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Talks continue on deal to reopen Kentucky Kingdom theme park in 2012

Kentucky Kingdom entrance

Talks are ongoing between the Louisville Metro Government and the prospective operators of Kentucky Kingdom, with the aim of reopening the theme park in 2012.

In June, the head of the Kentucky State Fair Board claimed that a deal in which the city would provide $17 million in bonds was "close". However, WFPL News reports that former owner Ed Hart is now pursuing other options in parallel, including state tourism tax credits.

Hart, who has been granted exclusive rights to try to reopen Kentucky Kingdom, has refused to be drawn on the state of negotiations. It is believed that the level of debt placed on the park's operators by the bond arrangement may have caused negotiations to stall. However, a spokesman for the Louisville Mayor claimed that all parties are still hopeful of a deal that would allow the park to reopen its gates for the 2012 summer season.

The current plans for Kentucky Kingdom would see the park 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 abandoned. However, several smaller attractions would be added and the water park would still have receive a limited upgrade, alongside refurbishments to existing rides. Update: The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company has provided an update on these plans, which can be found here.

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.


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