Koch family withdraws from Kentucky Kingdom project

Posted Friday, June 15, 2012 7:25 PM | Contributed by Lord Gonchar

[Ed. note: The following is the release published to the Bluegrass Boardwalk site on June 15, 2012.]

Following nine months of planning to reopen Louisville’s shuttered amusement park, Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc. today withdrew from the project.

“We entered into this discussion last October with full expectation of leasing the park,” says Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch. “However, we have come to the realization that leasing a park rather than owning it would take us too far from the business model my family has followed for more than 60 years.”

Koch says she and her partners were financially prepared to meet the challenge of reopening the abandoned park, however the many layers of governmental regulations and stipulations ultimately caused them to withdraw.

Koch says she and her partners believe reopening the Louisville park is still a worthwhile project and they wish the future operator well.

“It’s been a lifelong dream for my family to operate a second park,” says Koch, whose family owns and operates Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana. “It’s hard to walk away from what we believed was a winning partnership for Kentucky and our team. But at the end of the day, the terms of the project did not fit our business model. It was time to withdraw.”

A letter terminating the proposed lease agreement was delivered to the Kentucky State Fair Board this afternoon.

See the statement on the official Bluegrass Boardwalk site.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 7:27 PM

Lightning fast Gonchar Get credit for the Submission too. :-)

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Friday, June 15, 2012 7:29 PM

The release subtly frames what I think is the biggest problem here... that a government agency owning the place just keeps getting in the way.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 7:38 PM

Not surprised or shocked in the slightest.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 7:45 PM

I'm actually happy that they decided to get out before getting too far into this project. The Kentucky Fair Board ran Six Flags out, so what was going to stop them from taking advantage of the Koch's? I was surprised that Holiday World wanted in on this in the first place.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 8:06 PM

As much as I would love to see Kentucky Kingdom reopened, and as much as I've love to see the Kochs managing it, I think this move is very smart and a good decision.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 8:21 PM

Guess they'll have to beg Hart to take it now.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 8:33 PM

Considering he is doing them, I wouldn't count on it.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 8:44 PM

^ Now THIS is a shocking development ! He's doing them now, all of them? lol

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Friday, June 15, 2012 8:55 PM

Oh yeah, you like that, doncha, Fair Board?

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Friday, June 15, 2012 9:10 PM

I humbly invite the Koch family to make their dream of a second park come true here in Nashville.

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Friday, June 15, 2012 9:12 PM

Jeff said:

Oh yeah, you like that, doncha, Fair Board?

And all I can think of is what George Lucas and Steven Spielberg did to poor Indy in the 4th movie.

http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/187269/look-out-indy

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Friday, June 15, 2012 10:39 PM

Damn voice recognition! I meant sueing. :-)

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Saturday, June 16, 2012 2:26 PM

I'm curious... why doesn't KFB just sell the park? They have to realize that after being turned down twice by leasing reasons. I'm sorry if this have been asked before.

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Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:06 AM

I am also glad they are not doing this.

I feel that the similarity between this and the Wild Adventure/Cypress Gardens

expansion. I would hate if KK caused the Koch's to loose Holiday World.

It would be a nightmare for there to be a "Six Flags over Holiday World"

I just made myself queasy

Kevin38

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Sunday, June 17, 2012 10:43 AM

What about CF's Holiday World?

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Monday, June 18, 2012 2:49 AM

Maybe they can look to taking over that twice orphaned park in South Carolina...

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Monday, June 18, 2012 8:56 AM

Bwa, bwa, bwaaaaaaaa.

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Monday, June 18, 2012 12:46 PM

Bird Of Prey01 said:
Maybe they can look to taking over that twice orphaned park in South Carolina...

I think that's the best idea for them right now.

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