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Hart Seeks $50 Million Bond For Kentucky Kingdom

A Louisville developer is seeking a $50 million bond for the Kentucky Kingdom theme park.Ed Hart sold the park to Six Flags in 1997. The company is undergoing bankruptcy, and Hart hopes to run the park again and re-open it by next year. The bond he's seeking would have to be approved by the state, but would go toward rides and other improvements.A state study has shown significant economic benefits if Kentucky Kingdom re-opens."…Over three billion dollars over the next 20 years in economic impacts, it would create $220 million in net new revenue for local and state governments," he says. "It would create over 22 hundred jobs and over 200 thousand room nights."Hart says since the park is on state land, the government would reap most of those benefits."Since the government makes so much money, fiscally, from this. Why should they not take some of that money and use it to reinvest in their own property?" says Harton. "That leaves the operator enough cash to continue to reinvest in the property, something that Six Flags couldn't do because they didn't have the money."Hart says he will also invest in the park, though it doesn't make sense for a private entity to be the sole investor in a publicly-owned operation. The Fair Board will review the bond proposal at its meeting next month.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.