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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Monday, February 8, 2010 4:46 PM
Mamoosh's avatar

Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in the middle: rides that existed on-property when Six Flags took over are to remain; rides added by the chain can be moved.

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Monday, February 8, 2010 6:35 PM

Sounds like the state might have gotten an earfull from New Orleans' mayor. In truth I believe that Moosh is right. Anything that was on property when Premier took over the lease belongs to the Fair Board. Anything that Premier, then SF put in is rightfully their property, to do with what they choose. Now it has been pointed out to me that there are laws that apply to "fixtures". This applies to any improvement that can be classified as "permanent"Permament improvements become the property of the lessor upon termination of the lease agreement. Of course there is going to be a lot of arguments about what is "permanent" and what isn't.

Last edited by Dutchman, Monday, February 8, 2010 6:53 PM
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Monday, February 8, 2010 6:44 PM

If that is the case, then the only things the State would have any claim over would be Thunder Run, the Roller Skater, the Wheel, the Flying Dutchman, and most of the flat rides on the front side of the park.

I don't recall hearing any complaints from the Commonwealth when they removed the Starchaser, or the Quake, or the Thriller Bees, or anything else that has been removed from the park over the years.

Assuming that Six Flags is actually leaving, anything not enumerated in the lease should be completely removed, any buildings not enumerated in the lease should be flattened. Again, if the Fair wants to operate an amusement park on that site, they should build their own.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 12:37 AM

Kentucky Kingdom has always been operated by an independent group who leased the land from the Kentucky Exposition Center. All of the rides and buildings were added by one of the lessees, the State Fair Board did not buy any of the rides or build anything on the property. The State Fair Board should have no claim to any of the rides, regardless of when they were built. When Premier Parks purchased the park in 1997 they purchased everything that was on the property including all the rides (excluding those that may be under lease from Vekoma). If the board felt they had a claim on the rides, why didn't they speak up when Vampire was removed and shipped to another Six Flags park?

It's also worth noting that Six Flags only leased 38 of the 58 acres from the State Fair Board. They own the remaining 20 acres. Unfortunately I haven't been able to determine where that 20 acre parcel is, and what is on it. I wonder what they intend to do with that land.

Last edited by Jeffrey Seifert, Tuesday, February 9, 2010 12:49 AM
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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 11:51 AM

Completely guessing here, but I think that 20 acre parcel may be the property "behind" [where] Chang [used to be]. There had been some occupied shacks back there along side the park, and I think Six Flags bought that land and cleared it. Come to think of it, Chang might [have] be[en] sitting on that parcel.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010 3:39 PM
beast7369's avatar

Maybe Six Flags can "trade" land for some of the rides that they want. There is always a bargaining chip.


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Friday, February 19, 2010 10:47 AM

The Kentucky State Fair Board has in the lease an agreement that any fixtures, rides, etc removed must be replaced with a similar or better enhancement to the park. The State Fair Board does rightfully own all rides and attractions on the State Fair property. I found a great listing at this link showing a map of what land SFKK owns and what land the KSFB owns.
http://www.screamscape.com/html/six_flags_kentucky_kingdom.htm

Having said that, It looks like SFKK will be opening under new management one way or another sometime this summer. They have to for the state fair. KK is the only rides used for the Midway of the state fair. I have never attended myself but I can't immagine the KSFB would let a state fair go by without a midway.....

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Friday, February 19, 2010 3:35 PM

The midway of the state fair has been augmented with a carnival for as long as KK has been in existence. As far as I know it still is provided by Cumberland Valley Shows. I know because I've been there the week before the state fair began and a large portion of what is normally is the overflow lot is used for the carnival midway

http://www.ky-net.com/statefair.html

Last edited by Dutchman, Friday, February 19, 2010 5:29 PM
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Friday, February 19, 2010 11:24 PM
DantheCoasterman's avatar

Sorry for correcting you, Paco, but you are mistaken...

As Dutchman pointed out (and for some reason I feel the need to elaborate, slightly ;)), there are MANY extra rides brought in for the fair, so the midway is in no way dependent on the park. In fact, most of the 'parking lot rides' are far more fun and unique than anything SFKK had to offer. (KMG Afterburner, Spin Out, Chance Yo-Yo, Power Surge, Ring of Fire, Inverter, ect...)


-Daniel

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