A Kentucky amusement park closed since 2009 is set to reopen this weekend.
Kentucky Kingdom is Louisville has undergone a $44 million restoration and has sold more than 80,000 season tickets so far.
A consultant hired by the state’s Tourism Cabinet has predicted that Kentucky Kingdom will generate, over 20 years, a $3 billion boost to the local economy, along with $225 million new tax dollars for state and local governments.
The Courier-Journal reports that park CEO Ed Hart, who has previously owned Kentucky Kingdom, spent $6 million just to clean up the park, which had fallen into disrepair while it sat unused in recent years.
Hart predicts park attendance of 600,000 to 800,000 visitors this year, with 1 million people visiting the park by 2016.
Kentucky's Tourism Development Finance Authority has approved performance based tourism incentives for the new developers of the the Kentucky Kingdom theme park in Louisville. Those incentives could amount to as much as $10 million over ten years.
The park's now due to re-open by Memorial Day of 2014 after being shut down for four years when Six Flags went bankrupt. The new development group's headed by the park's original owner Ed Hart, who sold to Six Flags in the early 90's.
Hart says he'll detail what the new Kentucky Kingdom will be like this summer.
The Kentucky Kingdom amusement park will open in spring of 2014 under an agreement approved Thursday. The Kentucky State Fair Board unanimously approved the pact that would require investors, led by former park operator Ed Hart, to put up $45 million, including $25 million that they would borrow.
The Courier-Journal reports the deal is contingent on investors securing the loan. The investment group behind the effort, the Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Corporation, would have a lease on the state-owned property for 50 years.
The group would control 57 acres and another four acres for a potential expansion of Kentucky Kingdom’s water park. When the park was open, it employed between 800 and 1,000 summer workers.
The Chief Executive of a company that once hoped to reopen Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Jefferson County says the project was scrapped because officials didn't think they would have the freedom under a lease to make decisions independently and quickly. Bluegrass Boardwalk announced Friday that it was going to withdraw from the project due to government regulations and stipulations.