Authorities in Kentucky have agreed to provide tax breaks of up to $3.9 million to the Bluegrass Boardwalk project, which will see the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park reopen.
The decision is a boost to the Koch family, who are leading the bid to revive the shuttered park. The family, which also runs Holiday World, has suffered from a number of setbacks in recent weeks, forcing the opening date of Bluegrass Boardwalk to be pushed back into 2014.
The Louisville Courier-Journal has more detail on the tax credits, which will apply over a period of 10 years. The backers of Bluegrass Boardwalk are now in a race against time to finalize the financing needed to fund the redevelopment of the park, which has suffered from several years of decline since its last operating season in 2009. The Kentucky State Fair Board, which owns the park, has set a deadline of August 16 to secure funding so that a lease can be signed.
The Koch family has previously stated that at least three-quarters of Kentucky Kingdom's rides will need significant repairs ahead of its return to action. It is unlikely that all of the park's rides would reopen by 2014, with several of its roller coasters in particular expected to remain closed.
Kentucky Kingdom has been closed since the end of the 2009 season, following a failure by former operator Six Flags to agree changes to the park's lease. The Fair Board claimed at the time that the company proposed that it pay no rent for the remaining nine years on the lease - instead offering a cut of any potential future profits.