It's kind of hard to remember now, but not long ago, this community was wringing its hands over what should be done with the property known as Kentucky Kingdom.
Closed in 2009 after several years of decline, that parcel of land sat vacant for four years, becoming an embarrassing eyesore and a painful reminder of what happens when the wrong people get their hands on one of the area's premiere attractions.
But luckily, the right people were still around. And when Ed Hart and his investor group committed to re-establishing the magic they'd conjured with the park during their first stint, Louisville and the surrounding region received a grand gift, indeed.
Last year, in just the first season after its resurrection, Kentucky Kingdom attracted 600,000 visitors and provided part-time employment to over a thousand young people. The park employs between 60 and 70 people full-time with an average salary of $60,000. And it's on target toward its goal of soon entertaining over a million people each year -- which, in turn, could fill as many as 300,000 hotel rooms annually.
This is what's possible when a truly competent and caring professional pours his heart and soul into a project he loves.
Ed Hart is that kind of professional. And Louisville is fortunate to have him back at the helm of one of our greatest assets.