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Kentucky Kingdom Expected to Reopen May 2012

Plant life has weaved between the roller coaster tracks of what use to be Kentucky Kingdom’s major attractions, but the park is now expected to open next May, in a public-private partnership.Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Harold Workman spoke on Thursday at the annual joint meeting between the fair board and the state’s Interim Joint Committee on Agriculture at Freedom Hall. Reopening the park is the board’s number one priority for the next General Assembly, he said. It will take two phases of investing to completely restore the park to its glory days and make it a regional attraction, said Workman.Investor and the park's former owner Ed Hart is responsible for the renovation of Kentucky Kingdom. Earlier this week the Al J. Schneider Co. guaranteed Hart up to a $20 million investment to get the park up and running. The board will also ask the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, of which it’s an agency, to budget $30 million for the park.Kentucky Kingdom was closed in 2010 after Six Flags declared bankruptcy. If it reopens Workman says the park is expected to create over 100 full-time jobs and 1,000 youth jobs in the summer.The fair board also has plans to turn Cardinal Stadium into an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, said Workman. The amphitheater would have around 12,000 seats and be similar to facilities in Nashville and Cincinnati’s Riverbend.

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