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Is This An I-Told-You-So Moment Or What?

May 25th, 2012 by jake · 3 Comments

A Kentucky Kingdom flashback:

Interesting, isn’t it? The one operations group in the country that has a serious interest in seeing that Kentucky Kingdom doesn’t reopen is now in the running to snatch it up. And no one is questioning that?

Never mind that it’s likely not feasible to reopen by 2013. At the time, when Ed Hart was working on it and had lined up $29 million in private capital, there was talk that it wouldn’t open until the 2014 season.

-SNIP-

So while everyone is applauding the Koch Family for vowing not to accept taxpayer dollars – just tax credits – to reopen the joint, keep in mind that they have zero reason to be in a hurry. The studies they’ll have to produce (because they’re starting over from scratch) will take six months. It’ll take another six months to create an operations plan and to get it approved. What, six or eight months to get the park back into tip top shape. And then what? You’re well into 2014. If not 2015. They won’t be fighting that sort of delay. Harold Workman and Jerry Abramson know what this game is and they’re playing along to keep up appearances.

The Koch Family is great. No one can dispute that. The business they run is top-notch. But this could be the best $6 or $7 million they’ve ever lost. They keep the park closed longer or keep it from growing in the best case scenario.

While the State Fair Board was busy screwing Ed Hart over, the state was losing tax revenue from Kentucky Kingdom. Now taxpayers owe Hart millions of dollars. And the state is still losing money on Kentucky Kingdom. This is why Louisville and Kentucky can’t have nice things.

Do I have your attention?

Look:

Louisville theme park won’t offer roller coasters, may delay reopening to 2014

That’s the headline.

Now the story:

There will be no major roller coasters running at Bluegrass Boardwalk when the theme park opens at the Kentucky state fairgrounds, according to a preliminary state application that emphasizes restored and expanded water features.

And the Bluegrass Boardwalk partners are acknowledging, for the first time, that delays in signing a lease and getting finances nailed down are casting doubts on whether the park will open next May as planned. They say the opening now might be pushed back to 2014.

-SNIP-

“Unfortunately, as we indicated publicly a month ago, the process is not moving forward as quickly as we would expect. Each delay hampers our ability to open the park in 2013.”

It may seem smug but I told you so. I was ripped to shreds for saying it. And whattya know?

Interesting how that all worked out.

Tags: Kentucky Kingdom · Oops

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Bill A // May 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    This is the biggest load of BS ever!! How did Mr. Hart not get the opportunity to re-open the park??? This might (and I say that with a lot of skepticism) turn into a nice little money maker for the Koch family. A place to groom the next generation of Koch’s to take over HW, but this is a losing proposition for the city and state!!

  • 2 Bruce Maples // May 25, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    I did a brief scan of the intertubes to see if I could find something on HW profits, but didn’t see anything. Since it is, I assume, privately held, there’s probably not anything to find.

    But let’s suppose, just for giggles, that the annual book loss on KK was less than the annual book profit for HW, maybe substantially less. So, you use the loss to offset the profits for tax purposes, AND you keep your closest competitor either closed or crippled.

    Note that I am NOT saying that is what’s happening. But it certainly is interesting. Wonder if there are any performance penalties in the agreement between the Kochs and the Fair Board?

  • 3 jake // May 26, 2012 at 10:44 am

    No performance penalties, I don’t think.

    I’m quite interested in who will profit from the sale of the rides that won’t be operated. The state? Not according to my sources. It’ll be the Kochs.

    Like I said several months ago, this is the best couple million bucks that family has ever spent.

    Yes, they’re quite nice and do a lot for the community. But how many times does this city have to be slapped in the face with a giant weener to know there’s a giant weener in its face?

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