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Rejected Kentucky Kingdom operator sues state for return of investment

Kentucky Kingdom entrance

The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company, which recently lost its battle to reopen the shuttered theme park, is suing the state of Kentucky in a bid to recoup its investment.

Business First reports that the firm, headed by former Kentucky Kingdom owner Ed Hart, wants to reclaim $1.4 million that it spent as part of its efforts to revive the park. The State Fair Board recently called off talks with the company after failing to hit a September 30 deadline to reach a lease agreement for the park.

The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company had been in exclusive negotiations with the board for the last twelve months. The board's president, Harold Workman, blamed the breakdown of talks on Hart, claiming that his firm was seeking revenue guarantees from the state that could not be met. Hart himself has since described the end of negotiations as "puzzling", promising to fully support any future operator of Kentucky Kingdom.

Kentucky Kingdom will not now reopen until 2013 at the earliest, with the board currently searching for other potential operators. It had previously selected Hart's company's plans as the most attractive of several initial proposals.

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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