Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom closing over lease issue

Posted Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:16 PM | Contributed by crombiedude11

Six Flags announced today that as it nears the scheduled end of its restructuring process, it has decided to reject its lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board relating to the Kentucky Kingdom park. In recent weeks, Six Flags had proposed a new lease arrangement to the fair board that would have enhanced the viability and future of the park. Unfortunately, those proposals were not accepted and the park will cease operations and the company will move expeditiously to re-locate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets.

"We are deeply disappointed to be leaving such a great fan base in the greater metropolitan area of Louisville and we are grateful to the thousands of employees at Kentucky Kingdom and the millions of guests for their dedication, support and loyalty over the years," said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO.

"This action relates solely to Kentucky Kingdom," Shapiro continued. "The substantial lease payment has been a significant hurdle for this park in recent years. Our other parks, which reside largely on company-owned land, will be completely unaffected and will open as scheduled for the full 2010 season."

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:22 PM

Who didn't see this coming? They took Chang, their signature coaster, out awhile ago. There was a lot of speculation that they were going to only reopen as a water park this year. I'm in no way surprised.

I moved about 3 hours from the park about 4 years ago, and had no desire to visit them. Is it wrong of me to not feel any regret for not going when I had the chance?

It's sad to see any park close. Just like Geauga Lake and Astroworld, we can add SFKK to the list of major parks in that part of the country to close in recent years

This is my comment from one of the closed threads, btw.

Last edited by LostKause, Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:23 PM
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Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:32 PM

Well in glad I got my ride on. I guess I'll miss Thunder Run, enough of a reason to have gone if it gets axed, but I'm sure the good steel will find a new home. Esp GL.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 9:55 PM

Was hoping for a ride on Twisted Sisters when I first saw the commercials the summer it opened. Oh well. In response to Tekwardo, I'm thinking the Hurlers are mirror images (KD and Carowinds). Someone correct me (as I know you will) if I am wrong.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:00 PM

The Hurlers aren't in the same league as Thunder Run.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:10 PM

LostKause said:
Who didn't see this coming? They took Chang, their signature coaster, out awhile ago. There was a lot of speculation that they were going to only reopen as a water park this year. I'm in no way surprised.

Right, it was going the waterpark route so this news is still kind of surprising as now the waterpark will be gone also.

I have to say, this is going to save SF alot of money now that they have a whole collection of rides to disperse to other parks and market them as new.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:16 PM

To answer Chuck's question from one of the original threads...

Six Flags should own all of the rides in the park with the possible exceptions of the Giant Wheel, the Roller Skater, the Carousel, T^2, and the Qu--wait, they got rid of that piece of garbage already. I know the Wheel and the Quake were leased from Vekoma back when Berni owned the place (that is, before it was bought by Premier Parks), maybe earlier. I am less certain of the others, and in fact I think T^2 and the Carousel were both post-Premier and therefore probably wholly owned by Kentucky Kingdom. Although T^2 may have arrived under some incentive for being a prototype.

Pity there is no practicality in moving Thunder Run to Americana. It would be neat to see how it would have fit there. In any case I really would like to see Six Flags carefully remove Thunder Run instead of demolishing it. That ride in its present (well, last summer) condition is at least equal to Evel Knievel and Terminator, and once Six Flags fixed it, it was probably the best Summers/Dinn coaster ever built.

As long as they are moving stuff around, how about sending Greezed Lightnin' to Great America?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:24 PM

And to answer another question, the Hur(t)lers were based on the original design of Thunder Run. The one at Kings Dominion is a mirror image of Thunder Run, but the one at Carowinds was blocked off the one time I was there. I thought the Hurlers were mirror images of each other, but I'm not sure. What I do know is that Thunder Run and the Hurlers are three coasters that were not built from the original Thunder Run design.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 10:46 PM

Carowinds Hurler is just like the Dominion version. And it was actually running very well as of Oct 31. Still it was no Thunder Run. Both Hurlers in top form were no Thunder Run.

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Thursday, February 4, 2010 11:28 PM

That 'lease' was a demon in the financials of the original Kentucky Kingdom, when the gate was dropped, and you paid per ride. Its tough to operate when you don't have 100% of the operation. (Six Flags Marine World, Pacific Pier, Astroworld)

Twisted Sisters was not planning to operate this summer at all, and was 95% on the removal list. Its a shame, it was a decent little park. Hello Ed Hart, welcome back.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:09 AM

Looks like the mayor of Louisville is trying to keep the park from closing by asking the State Fair board to reconsider the lease. Link here.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:30 AM

Frankly, Moosh, I think Six Flags will walk away, regardless of lease negotiations.

But it might be a great time for someone else to pick it up. Its early enough to make a Memorial Day opening. Time will tell.

Last edited by john peck, Friday, February 5, 2010 12:30 AM
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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:58 AM

I bet the fine folks over at holiday world are licking there chops right now.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 2:12 AM

Since SF is walking away , the Kentucky state fair board should try to purchase the waterpark attractions and continue to run a stand alone waterpark.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 7:42 AM

I understand SF's move here - they have a back breaking lease and tons of capital tied up in the park. The economic cost of keeping the park open is just too high.

I don't really get what the fair board gets out of this though, unless they really think they can find a buyer or develop something else which would have to be really really long term. Frankly the park has always been a bit of a clusterbuck, I'd think any buyer would be wary of touching it for the same reasons SF is getting out.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 10:06 AM

Quite sad to see the park go, but I've always thought it was a better fit just being a waterpark and maybe a kids ride section. The park inteslf never had any good flow. Sections always closing. Being a coaster fan, seeing coasters close/go to another park; made it harder for me to want to go back every time. Maybe HW can make a deal to GL. Would be an awesome fit for the park.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 10:31 AM

wes jorden said: Maybe HW can make a deal to GL. Would be an awesome fit for the park.

Knoebels would be a good fit for Greezed Lightning too.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 11:36 AM

I'm just gonna say it, I want GL (Viper) to come back to SFoG. Not sure where it would go, though.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:02 PM

^Hey hey now... We want Tidal Wave back in Chicago ;)

Other than that, the park was ... well - a nice rest stop to ride Greezed Lightnin' on the way to Holidayworld or somewhere south.

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Friday, February 5, 2010 12:35 PM

[url][url]Mayor is saying nothing can be done and SFKK is kaput:

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100205/BUSINESS/2050349/Abramson+“shocked”+by+Kentucky+Kingdom+closing

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