Former Kentucky Kingdom employees rally to save the park - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former Kentucky Kingdom employees rally to save the amusement park

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---A large group of former Kentucky Kingdom employees gathered on Saturday to hold a rally for the community.

The "Save My Park" event was held in the Executive Strike and Spare parking lot on Phillips Lane to show support for Kentucky Kingdom.  

"I loved it. It means a lot to me to be here to try to save this park," says James Lee, a former Kentucky Kingdom employee.

"We are a grassroots advocacy group made up of former employees, season pass-holders, regular patrons of the park who realize this is a great community asset. I know there's a great economic asset. It's $100 million dollars to the state," says Troy Thomas with the "Save My Park" group.

On Saturday, the group rallied to show support for the park, which sits unused at the Kentucky Fair and Expo Center.

"Put some love back into it and then we'll have somewhere to go. A lot of people are here because they can't go really too far to have fun," says Marshall Hillman, a former Kentucky Kingdom employee.

"Like, right now we have to go up north to Cincinnati to go to an amusement park, and this is right around the corner," says Jennifer Conkin, a former Kentucky Kingdom employee.

It's been an up and down roller coaster ride for Kentucky Kingdom, which closed after its 2009 season.

Earlier this year, at the last minute, the owners of Holiday World pulled out after they considered taking over the park.

The Finance Cabinet has given potential operators until October 19th to submit a detailed plan for reopening the park.

With every signature on a petition at the rally on Saturday, supporters are hoping state and local officials see just what the park means to them.

"My worst fear is that it becomes a parking lot, which we've got a lot of in this area and they provide no revenue or value to the community," says Troy Thomas.

"Let's get a message to the Governor this week to let someone we know get the park open now. Our kids deserve it now. Let our kids have the kingdom back now ," says Dan Johnson, Councilman for District 21.

In mid-September, two potential operators toured Kentucky Kingdom, including Ed Hart who has tried to reopen the park once before.

By Friday, the state wants prospective park operators to describe potential rides and attractions, a marketing plan, and how they would pay for renovations.

Copyright 2012 WDRB News.  All Rights Reserved.

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