The owners of Holiday World have dropped their bid to reopen the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom as Bluegrass Boardwalk, leaving the theme park in limbo once more.
As recently as last week, the Koch family were celebrating the news that tax credits worth $3.9 million had been secured from Kentucky state authorities to help fund the project. However, a statement posted to the Bluegrass Boardwalk website on Friday, June 15 confirms the family's decision to drop the plans.
In the statement, Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch blamed the decision on the complexity of having to work with Kentucky's State Fair Board, which owns the Kentucky Kingdom site. She said: "We entered into this discussion last October with full expectation of leasing the park. However, we have come to the realization that leasing a park rather than owning it would take us too far from the business model my family has followed for more than 60 years."
Koch went on to say that financing had been secured for the Bluegrass Boardwalk project, but that the challenge of overcoming governmental regulations and requirements had proven to be too onerous.
While the Holiday World owners are now said to be seeking to acquire a different park to expand their business, the Fair Board appears to be back to square one in its efforts to reopen Kentucky Kingdom. A previous agreement with former owner Ed Hart also fell through in October 2011.
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.