Thursday, February 29, 2024

Kentucky Kingdom awaiting state approval on reopening plan

Kentucky Kingdom continues to receive many inquiries about an opening date.

The park submitted its “COVID-19 Preparedness Plan” to local and state health officials on May 5, 2020.  The plan, with over 200 pages of text and exhibits, is very comprehensive.  A summary of the plan is available online at

Ed Hart, President and CEO, remarked, “Kentucky Kingdom is an outdoor attraction covering 63 acres.  We’ve always had strict guidelines in place regarding acceptable behavior in the park and on all of our attractions, and our more than 1,400 team members diligently enforce these rules.  On average, we have one team member for every ten guests, which means we have the personnel to see that guests in the park abide by our rules.  Proper social distancing is just another rule that we expect our guests to observe.”

The park’s Vice President of Operations, Lesly Birkner, added, “The public has been practicing social distancing for more than two months now.  We expect our guests to continue following Governor Beshear’s guidelines and to observe social distancing and good behavior when they visit Kentucky Kingdom.  In addition, we have the staff needed to monitor our guests and enforce our rules and safety protocols.”

Concerning Hurricane Bay water park, Ms. Birkner noted, “We have more than 200 lifeguards, aquatic attendants, and public safety officers dedicated to supervising the water park.  They are vigilant in patrolling the pools and water attractions and will be reminding our guests to observe proper social distancing while in the water.  All of our pools have specific entry points, allowing us to control the number of guests in the water at any one time.  Since chlorine kills the virus and sunlight and proper social distancing provide further protection, Hurricane Bay is the perfect summertime escape for families in our community during these trying times.”

Ramon Finch, Kentucky Kingdom’s Attractions Training & Administration Senior Manager, added, “Our rides and attractions are ready to go.  However, we will need three weeks to allow for onboarding, training, and certification of up to 1,400 seasonal team members.  We have hired 800 team members who are eager to get started, but they are still awaiting in-person follow-up to complete the onboarding process and begin training.  Without a date certain to reopen, it becomes more difficult for us to achieve this.”

Jessi O’Daniel, Vice President of Guest Experience, stated, “We continue to get many calls inquiring when the park will reopen.  Since we need three weeks to prepare for opening, the earliest potential opening date is now mid-June.  We hope to get a response to our preparedness plan and a firm opening date from health officials as soon as possible.  All of us at Kentucky Kingdom look forward to providing safe and healthy fun for families this summer.”

Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

Related Articles

Latest Articles