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Interest expressed in reopening amusement park

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The owners of an Indiana amusement park are expressing interest in operating Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville, which closed more than two years ago.

A statement issued Monday night by the Koch family, which owns Holiday World in Santa Claus in southern Indiana, said they have "expressed interest" in the future of the park, according to The Courier-Journal in Louisville. The statement said the family is considering the idea and finding answers to questions, but no decisions have been made.

The statement was issued after the website InsiderLouisville.com asked the family about their interest in the park.

Harold Workman, Kentucky State Fair Board president, has said that reopening the amusement park is the fair board's top priority. The fair board manages the property.

Six Flags, which previously operated Kentucky Kingdom, tried to renegotiate its lease with the fair board before deciding to close in 2010, but said the fair board wouldn't do so. Six Flags said "the rent was way too high, making it extremely difficult for the park to achieve profitability year in and year out."

Holiday World and Kentucky Kingdom are about 80 miles apart.

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  • a lot of work
    would have to go in before this place could reopen- Six Flags took out a lot of rides without replacing them, the park itself has been vandalized since its closure- but if it was open, I would go if the Kochs were running it.
  • Has Anyone Thought
    Has anyone considered the fact the Koch family might be interested in the rides and attractions themselves and not opening an amusement park so close to their own? It seems a great way to improve and expand Holiday World without having to invest a great deal in planning and development.
  • complementary parks!
    Holiday World has evolved into primarily a water park, although there are other rides and attractions as well; Kentucky Kingdom is a more traditional amusement park. I can see where some might think the two parks are too close, but under common ownership and upper management, I can easily see combo deals galore that enhance the two parks' complementing features. As for "too close"... King's Island? Louisville is a lot closer than Cincinnati, at least here in Indy. (Google give travel time as 2:04 to Ky Kingdom; 2:17 to King's island.
  • Not Sure About This
    While it is obviously a great way to expand the empire without starting from scratch, I can't help but think any success with Kentucky Kingdom would leech away people who might have gone to Holiday World. Now, I'm sure that is something they're thinking about, but it just seems to be too close. Just a thought...

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  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

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