Kentucky Kingdom receives preliminary approval for tax incentive - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky Kingdom receives preliminary approval for tax incentives

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority has unanimously agreed to take the next step in offering Kentucky Kingdom a $3.75 million dollar rebate and an independent study will begin immediately.

Just under 600,000 people visited Kentucky Kingdom in its first year since reopening. The goal for 2015 is 650,000 people.

"Kentucky Kingdom is a tremendous asset for the state," Kentucky Secretary of Tourism and Heritage Bob Stewart said.

In order to reach that goal the amusement park is paying for millions of dollars in improvements.

"The 15 million in our application calls for seven new attractions," Kentucky Kingdom spokesperson Cathy Sullivan said.

Three refurbished rides and four new rides will be ready for opening day in 2015.

Due to continued efforts to attract business to Kentucky, the park received preliminary approval Wednesday afternoon to receive $3.75 million in incentives over the next 10 years.

"When phase I was approved two years ago and to get the park reopened has been a significant addition that extends and the impact is far beyond Jefferson County. It helps the entire state," Stewart said.

The money would come from a rebate of state sales tax generated by the improvements. One of the improvements centers around a refurbished roller coaster.

"T3 is gonna open a whole new section of the park. We're gonna open a new food stand there called Taco Tequila as well as other small food stands," said Sullivan.

Stewart says those efforts mean continued interest and growth in attendance.

"If you're going to grow, if you're in that business, you've got to continually add new attractions and new rides," said Stewart.

He expects the outcome of the study phase to be positive before granting Kentucky Kingdom the incentives.

"Every time there's a new attraction or new ride that's added it gives a lot of people the reason to come back to the park," said Stewart.

The independent study is expected to last two to six months before final approval.

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