Kentucky Kingdom preps for May 24 opening - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Kingdom preps for May 24 opening

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Leaders are promising that upon re-opening on May 24, Kentucky Kingdom will be bigger and better than ever.

Today we saw the feverish work at the amusement park to make good on that promise, with just two months until opening day.

Developer Ed Hart looked like a proud parent watching construction crews hoist the last piece of the 10-story Lightning Run roller coaster into place.

"That's what it's all about boys and girls!" he said. "Yeah, that's cool!"

Hart says the heavy lifting is complete to reopen Kentucky Kingdom in time for his May 24 goal.

"This is the easy part for the next two months," Hart said. "All of the attractions are here. Virtually all of them are operating. Now we're doing the cosmetics."

As we toured Wednesday, you could see the cosmetics crews painting, sanding and buffing the park back to its original luster.

Andrew Clark, a lawn care supervisor, is tasked with making sure the ground's aesthetics match the ride's thrills.

"It was a jungle last May," Clark said.

The Hurricane Bay water park looks a lot different than it did two months ago, with eight new water rides and attractions going in, and 22 new attractions throughout the entire theme park.

Also included is "Deep Water Drop" -- a water slide with a 122-foot drop, the longest body slide in the nation.  

It's a $43.5 million investment.

Kentucky Kingdom closed in 2009.

Hart says he's on track to sell 100,000 season passes this year. The cost of a season pass will increase from $59.99 to $99 next week.

"Kentucky Kingdom will be a raging success -- there's no doubt in my mind," Hart said. "It's just how much of a success."

It is a passion project that re-writes a storied chapter in Louisville's history.

"This is outstanding -- a project I've been looking for ever since I retired form the military," Clark said. "It's something I can put my name to and tell my grandkids I helped open this park again."

We're told about 1,000 positions have been filled for this summer. The park is no longer hiring at this time.

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