LOUISVILLE — The owners of Holiday World have taken another step toward reopening the former Kentucky Kingdom amusement park that closed more than two years ago.
Four members of the Koch family, which owns Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., have formed a company called Bluegrass Boardwalk to negotiate a lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board and apply for economic incentives from the state, according to WAVE-TV.
Koch family spokeswoman Paula Werne said no public funding would be requested if the project continued.
The family members who make up the new company are Holiday World president Dan Koch, his sister Natalie Koch, their cousin Kathy Kamp and her husband, Michael Kamp, general manager at Holiday World.
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Metro Louisville Council members were happy to hear the news.
"We just thought it was rusting away and wasn't going to be used again," said council member Dan Johnson. "It's the No. 1 job creator for young people in our community, and it really needs to be back in business."
Kentucky Fair Board president Harold Workman said the panel's top priority was to reopen the park by 2013.
"The Koch family is exploring the opportunity to serve as the park operator, and the fair board is working to provide information needed in that process," he said in a statement.
The deal is in the early negotiation stage and doesn't have a time line. The station said no one from Holiday World or the Koch family would comment about the proposal.
The Koch family first expressed interest in operating the park last month.
The move came after Louisville developer Ed Hart unsuccessfully proposed reopening the park. He said last fall that he would need nearly $20 million from local and state officials to do it and was not able to raise the funds.
After the venture fell through, the fair board began looking for other proposals.