IMAGES | Ribbon cutting held for life-size replica of Noah's Ark - WDRB 41 Louisville News

IMAGES | Ribbon cutting held for life-size replica of Noah's Ark

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 WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Answers in Genesis promised to build an attraction of biblical proportions, and it appears they succeeded.

There was certainly not this much fanfare when Noah built the original Ark, but this was the launch of Kentucky's latest tourist attraction.

It comes with with a price tag of $100 million.

Answers in Genesis predicts it will pay off with some 2 million visitors a year and $4 billion in economic impact over 10 years.

“People are going to come from all over the world,” said Ken Ham, founder of Answers in Genesis. “I believe this is going to be one of the greatest Christian outreaches of this era of history.”

At ten stories high and more than 500 feet long, Ham says It's the biggest timber frame structure in the work.

While the size of the Ark is remarkable, so is the detail inside; from a talking Noah, to family living quarters, to animal displays, including dinosaurs.

The Ark challenges conventional theories of modern evolutionary science.

“It’s not the views of 1859, it’s not Darwin’s view. It’s something different. So, I think it’s a new perspective people will see and have to chew on for a while,” said Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, research biologist for Answers in Genesis.

The Hudgens family of Georgia was among the guests invited to get a first look.

“I had no idea it was this large, but it’s to the exact biblical dimensions, and that impresses me,” said Ralph Hudgens.

“I hope it brings many to Christ, and to see it is a real and not a figment of imagination of Noah. And the Bible is true, every word,” added Suzanne Hudgens.

The Ark has already survived a flood of opposition. It won a lawsuit after the state approved, then denied an $18 million tax incentive - a rebate on the sales taxes it generates.

A federal judge ruled it's OK to require employees to sign a statement of Christian faith, something for which Ham does not apologize.

“We are a Christian organization. We are a Christian ministry. We pray together. We want people to be able to pray with others if they want to and need to. We have a Christian message we are to give to the world,” said Ham.

The Ark opens to the public on Thursday at 9:00 am. and will remain open until midnight for the first 40 days and 40 nights.

Single day tickets start at $40.

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