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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Friday was the deadline set by the state of Kentucky to submit bids to re-open Kentucky Kingdom. Only one group has stepped forward to state its intentions.
A group of four Louisville business leaders headed by Ed Hart released a statement Friday morning: "Today the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company submitted its response for the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom. It will release to the public the full text of its proposal next Monday."
Hart's previous negotiations with the state to reopen the amusement park broke off last year. His proposal last summer asked the state to guarantee a $30 million loan that Hart's group would take out to reopen the park.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says such a proposal remains unacceptable. When asked whether that was a deal breaker, he replied, "Putting the state online for amounts like that probably is a deal breaker. You know, I don't think it is wise to commit 30 or 40 million dollars of state money if the project is going to be that shaky to start with."
Hart wasn't saying Friday if the group will make changes to his proposal to satisfy the state. He says he'll comment on Monday.
The governor says he is not aware of any others interested in reopening the park.
The Kentucky Finance Cabinet is handling the bidding process. It says state regulations prohibit it from even telling whether any others have expressed interest and says it's not sure how long it will be before a developer is chosen.
The governor repeated to WDRB's Bill Francis what he said last summer that if an acceptable bid is not found, then it might be time to look at other options for the property.
But Jacob Zimmer of samemypark.com says, "The process has been going on for three years and there appears to be some sort of political hangup."
Members of the grass roots group working to try to save the park say they doesn't understand why the state is being so secretive about the bidding process. Zimmer says, "We don't really want to guess and deal with rumors, but we don't have a lot of facts to go on coming from state government."
And John Mulcahy of the group says, "Just the veil of secrecy -- this isn't a matter of national security, it's a relatively simple decision."