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Kentucky Kingdom entrance

The deadline for the prospective operator of the shuttered Kentucky Kingdom to prove that it has the funds to reopen the park is fast approaching.

Former owner Ed Hart's Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company had initially been given until April 27, 2013 to secure financing, but that deadline was subsequently pushed back to June 27. Business First now reports that the Fair Board is expected to vote on a lease agreement with Hart's firm at its monthly meeting on Thursday.

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. The company recently promised fans of its Facebook page that it will "have some news for you very soon".

The Louisville Metro Council agreed last week to provide $100,000 of funding for the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom, demonstrating its support for the project. 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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