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Talks Continue On Kentucky Kingdom Reopening

Louisville businessman Ed Hart and the Kentucky State Fair Board have extended their interim agreement to negotiate a lease under which Hart would redevelop the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park.   The park has been shuttered since its previous owner, Six Flags, declared bankruptcy in early 2010.Hart's agreement was due to expire at the end of this month, but has been extended through September.Hart has previously asked state and local governments to issue bonds totaling $50 million to finance the redevelopment.But state lawmakers declined to open the budget in the last session, and Metro Government officials earlier this month declined his request for a $20 million bond issue that would allow him to re-open the park next year, calling it too risky.Hart came back with another proposal under which he would put up more of his own money, and now is floating another option that he says would involve a funding approach similar to that used for Louisville’s new downtown arena.Hart says he needs $50 million to refurbish the park in two phases; the first would add three rides and expand the water attraction; the second would bring in a new major roller coaster.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.