family takes over
former Kentucky Kingdom
World owners to renovate,
re-open park in 2013
LOUISVILLE, KY. (March 2012) The Kentucky
State Fair Board on Feb. 23 unanimously approved a lease agreement with
Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. to re-open Kentucky Kingdom amusement park
in 2013. Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. is comprised of members of the
Koch family that owns Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind.
The 57.26-acre amusement park located at the Kentucky Exposition Center
was closed in 2009 when it was abandoned by Six Flags amid bankruptcy
The top priority of the fair board has been to secure an operator in
order to have the park opened in time for the 2013 season.
We look forward to working with the Koch family and are very pleased
that they have taken this first and very important step to operate the
amusement park, said Harold Workman, President & CEO of the
Kentucky State Fair Board. This is very good news for this
community in terms of an entertainment destination and summer jobs for
Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. was formed to negotiate the lease with the
fair board. Terms of the 50-year lease include a base rent of
$400,000 beginning in 2013 with escalated amounts until 2016 when the
base rent becomes $1 million annually. Parking revenue will be an equitable
fee sharing arrangement determined after the first year of operation.
Bluegrass Boardwalk plans are to invest $15 million to $20 million to
re-open the park in May 2013, with continued investment in future years.
Bluegrass Boardwalk plans to hire 25 full time and 800 seasonal employees
We cant wait to get started, said Bluegrass Boardwalks
Dan Koch, who is also Holiday Worlds president. Weve
got a lot of work to do to get the park re-opened in just 15 months,
but well get it done. Wed like to thank the Fair Board for
putting their faith in us and the community at large for their tremendous
cheers of support.
The next steps are to secure financing and continue the application
process for economic development incentives from Kentuckys Tourism
Cabinet. The group will not request any monetary help from the Kentucky
Its been a little more than two years since customers walked through
the gates of the amusement park. It closed in October 2009.
The Kochs already own and operate Holiday World and Splashin Safari
in Santa Claus, Ind. The Kochs have also indicated they may rename the
attraction Bluegrass Boardwalk. The park will offer free soft drinks
and sunscreen, like the Santa Claus park.
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