KY Kingdom redeveloper pushes for funding - WDRB 41 Louisville News

KY Kingdom redeveloper pushes for funding

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The man who wants to reopen Kentucky Kingdom now has $29 million to do it, but it still is not enough.

A local hotel operator added $23 million to developer Ed Hart's $6 million investment. But he says he needs to reach a lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board by the end of the month, so they can go after the remaining $20 million needed.

The Al J. Schneider Company, which owns the Galt House and the Crowne Point Plaza made its $23 million investment official. Since Kentucky Kingdom closed in 2010, the state has lost $24 million.

If the park reopens, it would mean $3 billion in economic impact for Kentucky over 20 years.

If the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company gets the $20 million, phases of the park can open next year.

Hart says the fair board holds the key to opening the park and getting the public funding.  "If it doesn't (work out), does it make any sense?" asked Hart, "What's the alternative? To tear down KY Kingdom?"

"We're now putting in $29 million of private money. I think that's a pretty good effort to get this park going. Now the state, it's their property, and time is running out," said Hart.

Hart also wants $300,000 a year for 15 years from the city of Louisville toward debt financing. The park would bring one-thousand full time jobs here.

Hart wants 65 rides and attractions, including six coasters and an expanded Water Park with 37 attractions at the new park. Hart's interim agreement with the fair board ends at the end of the month. He says the agreement could be extended. If it is not, he says all he wants is to see Kentucky Kingdom reopened -- whether he gets to do it or not.

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