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Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:47 PM EDT2013-05-22 02:47:33 GMT
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 10:16 AM EDT2013-05-21 14:16:39 GMT
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Tuesday, May 21 2013 6:06 PM EDT2013-05-21 22:06:40 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB Fox 41)---The man who once tried to reopen Kentucky Kingdom, has a theory about why Holiday World officials pursued the project.
It was announced on Friday that the Koch family dropped plans to reopen the park as Bluegrass Boardwalk.
They say governmental regulations and requirements caused them to withdraw.
But Ed Hart says he believes the owners had two objectives.
In a statement to WDRB, he says the following:
"The owners of Holiday World would seem to have two objectives: 1) to either reduce Kentucky Kingdom to a small water park to reduce its effectiveness in competing with Holiday World or 2) at least delay the opening of Kentucky Kingdom so Holiday World does not have to compete with it for some time to come. It would seem that the owners of Holiday World have achieved these objectives.
Regarding the Fair Board, it is interesting that they have never explained why they stopped negotiating with us, yet were ready to sign a less favorable deal with Holiday World which then made the Fair Board victim to Holiday World's delaying tactics. These delaying tactics have resulted in our community having to wait until at least 2014 for the 1,000 jobs and other economic benefits associated with an open and vibrant Kentucky KIngdom.
Also to consider is the fact that the state's tourism cabinet has recently approved two tourism tax credit applications -- one for the Ark Park and one for Bluegrass Boardwalk -- neither of which has broken ground. Yet, the tourism cabinet would not approve our application even though we had committed the substantial sum of more than $29 million to the park. Had our offer been accepted Kentucky Kingdom would be open today."
Hart previously tried to put together a deal with the Kentucky State Fair Board to reopen Kentucky Kingdom, but negotiations fell through in September of 2011.