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Kentucky Kingdom entrance

The Kentucky State Fair Board has granted the prospective operator of the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom a 60-day extension to a deadline for securing private funding to reopen the theme park.

Former owner Ed Hart's Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company had previously been given until April 27, 2013 to secure sufficient funds, but that date has now been moved to June 27. Both the Fair Board and Hart have expressed confidence that the deal will ultimately go ahead, although Hart's group is expected to have to inject more of its own funds than previously expected.

Business First reports that the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company had hoped to secure a $25 million bank loan, adding $20 million of its own funds to enable the refurbishment of the park and its attractions. However, it was only able to land a $15 million loan, leaving a $10 million shortfall that will be plugged by a "special investor financing group".

The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company had previously reached a deal with the State Fair Board to take control of the park in 2011, but this subsequently collapsed. The firm now hopes to reopen the park in May 2014.

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.

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