Monday, April 21 2014 5:09 AM EDT2014-04-21 09:09:50 GMT
After a WDRB story by Marcus Green described the Louisville Gardens as a facility in limbo, Eric Crawford says it's time for the city to do right by a building that has served many purposes in Louisville.More >>
After a WDRB story by Marcus Green described the Louisville Gardens as a facility in limbo, Eric Crawford says the community needs to do right by a building that has served it well. More >>
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The last time I did a Point of View on the subject of the possible resurrection of Kentucky Kingdom, I came out in support of the plan submitted by former park CEO Ed Hart and his investment group.
I heard from many people afterward who insisted that Mr. Hart should be disqualified from consideration because - and I paraphrase -- "everyone knows he ran the park into the ground financially the first time he was in charge." The problem is, that's not true.
A group headed by Ed Hart purchased the park in 1989 after the original owners filed bankruptcy. And under his direction, the park enjoyed outstanding success, adding numerous new attractions and becoming one of the area's top tourist destinations. It was that success that allowed Hart and his partners to sell the park to the Six Flags group in 1997 at a handsome profit.
Kentucky Kingdom was virtually at its peak of performance during the Ed Hart era. Whatever problems led to its deterioration and ultimate closure in 2010 happened long after his involvement had ended.
It's precisely because of his proven success at running Kentucky Kingdom the first time around that I support his efforts to have another shot at reviving it. And I remain mystified by the state's seeming reluctance to want to see that happen.