Louisville, Ky. (January 24, 2013) — Kentucky Kingdom, LLP (KK) has learned of the Kentucky State Fair Board’s approval of the lease agreement negotiated with KK to operate the Kentucky Kingdom theme park. KK is a limited partnership formed by Ed Hart, Ed Glasscock, Bruce Lunsford, and the Al J. Schneider Company, represented by its President, Mary Moseley. KK is managed by its general partner, Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company.
Mary Moseley responded to the affirmative vote by the Fair Board with the following statement, “The Fair Board’s approval of a 50-year lease with our company means that a crucial step toward the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom has been taken.”
Ed Glasscock remarked, ”We are pleased that the various parties involved in this process have joined together to make the reopening of Kentucky Kingdom the public/private partnership we always thought it could be. Through the efforts of the Kentucky State Fair Board (KSFB) and the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, the financial incentives and support pledged by the Mayor’s office, the Metro Council, and the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, we can now pursue completion of the financing package we have been working on to bring Kentucky Kingdom back to life. The next step in this process will be to receive approval from the state of our request for tourism tax credits, which we understand the Tourism Development Finance Authority will soon be considering.”
KK’s initial investment totals $45 million and consists of $20 million in equity provided by the partners in KK and a bank loan for $25 million. Of that total, $42 million will be devoted to improvements at the park and at least $3 million will be used as a debt reserve fund, which is required for the bank loan. The lease terms stipulate that, of the $42 million to be invested in improving Kentucky Kingdom, $35 million will be funded immediately and no less than another $7 million will be funded between 2014 and 2016. Thereafter, KK is committed to investing as much as $2.5 million (and never less than $1 million) each year for the duration of the 50-year lease. Ed Hart commented, “Of course, nothing prevents us from investing even more if business conditions warrant. Our track record in this regard speaks for itself.”
In addition, Metro Louisville and the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau have pledged approximately $250,000 per year toward support for the project’s financing.
Terms of the lease agreement also include the resolution of a $1.4 million lawsuit filed against the KSFB on behalf of Ed Hart more than a year ago.
Hart remarked, “It is gratifying to see this project finally coming together. We’ve been at it for a long time. We are beginning immediately to mobilize our staff so they can get started on the tremendous amount of work that must be done to prepare Kentucky Kingdom for a May, 2014 opening. We believe we are up to the task – and speaking on behalf of my partners and our management team, we look forward to the challenge.”