The shuttered Kentucky Kingdom theme park is to be taken over by the owners of Holiday World, who plan to reopen it in May 2013 under the new name of Bluegrass Boardwalk.
The news was confirmed following a vote by the Kentucky State Fair Board, which owns the Kentucky Kingdom site, on February 23, 2012. The Koch Family, which has established Holiday World as one of the most successful regional theme parks in the US, will oversee a $15-20 million investment in Bluegrass Boardwalk to restore its existing attractions.
The family have promised that many of the most popular innovations at Holiday World, including free soft drinks, free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes in the park's water park, will be replicated at Bluegrass Boardwalk. New attractions are also expected to be added to the park, although these are likely to be on a relatively small scale initially.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that the family hopes to eventually expand Bluegrass Boardwalk beyond the current 57-acre site, and to more than 1.3 million annual guests. To aid in the park's development, the Holiday World owners will file an application with state authorities for financial support, which could enable them to reduce the cost of their investment by up to 25 percent.
The group is comprised of Holiday World president Dan Koch, his sister Natalie Koch, cousin Kathy Jamp and her husband Michael Camp (Holiday World's General Manager). It has promised to provide further details of its plans for Bluegrass Boardwalk via its official website, Facebook page and Twitter account.
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.