Kentucky Kingdom entrance

The Louisville Metro Council has agreed to provide limited public financing for the rescue of Kentucky Kingdom, with the park due to reopen in 2014.

At a meeting on Thursday, the council approved a plan to pay $100,000 to the new operators of the park, provided that it meets targets on job creation. The money is a boost to former owner Ed Hart's Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company, which has until June 27 to prove to the State Fair Board that it has sufficient funds to reopen the park.

The money will not make a big dent in the cost of reviving Kentucky Kingdom, which has been estimated at around $45 million. However, it does provide further evidence that local government is backing the project.

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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