Ark Encounter expanding with bigger zoo, theater and walled city

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The giant replica of Noah's Ark has become a major tourist attraction in northern Kentucky. Now the so-called "Ark Park" in Williamstown is expanding to try and keep the visitors flooding in.

Ark Encounter does not publicly release detailed attendance figures, but it says more than 1 million visitors came through in the first year. 

Spokesman Patrick Kanewske said construction is well underway on a new attraction that includes a 2,500-seat theater and conference space in the shadow of the ark.

"We'll be able to have conferences here, indoor concerts, perhaps some animal shows, movies and things of that nature," he said.

The theater is part of the park's plan to keep new visitors coming and to attract repeat customers, Kanewske said.

"If you're just kinda dormant, and you're sitting there, and they've already seen what you have to offer, then they may not come back," he said. "So we wanna make sure we are constantly improving things."

The park is also expanding its zoo, and once the amphitheater is finished, they want to build a walled city that replicates what things looked like in Noah's time.

Also, the state is widening the road leading to the Ark Encounter.

"They're going to put a roundabout in there," Kanewske said. They are widening the exit ramp off of 75 to accommodate the crowds that are coming here."

The park begins it's third year in July, continuing the effort to become an attraction of biblical proportions. The amphitheater is scheduled to open before Christmas.

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