LOUISVILLE — A group of Louisville-based investors that wants to reopen Kentucky Kingdom said Monday they are not asking for any startup funding from the state to get the amusement park rides running again.
The team, led by developer Ed Hart, said it plans to restore all but one of the park's rides and add four rides, including a $15 million roller coaster, the first to be introduced at the park in more than a decade.
The group also said it would double the size of the Hurricane Bay water park on the 60-acre property at the state fairgrounds.
"Our intent is to return Kentucky Kingdom to its previous position as the state's number-one paid tourist attraction," Hart said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
It's unclear how many proposals were received for the property. Pamela Trautner, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, said Monday that the agency would not comment on the number or names of bidders, citing state procurement rules.
Kentucky Kingdom, a regional summer fixture for years and a big employer of seasonal teenage workers, last operated in 2009. Six Flags announced the park's closing in February 2010 while reorganizing in bankruptcy court.
Hart, who operated the amusement park for nearly a decade during the 1990s, said his group would make a $120 million investment — including $50 million in startup funding and $70 million over the term of the lease with the state.
"Our proposal provides both substantial startup capital and a program of continued annual reinvestment, which will ensure the park's success," said Ed Glasscock, one of Hart's partners.
The group would restore the park's more than 100 buildings, Hart said.
His goal is to reopen the park in spring 2014.
"But every day that goes by decreases the ability to meet that goal," said his spokeswoman, Susan McNeese Lynch.
Hart made a previous attempt to reopen the park, but that proposal was shelved.
Another attempt also failed when the state's deal with the family that owns and operates Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., fell apart in June.
That spurred the state to again seek offers to operate the park, which prompted the new offer from Hart and his partners.
Hart said his group would accept essentially the same lease terms the state approved for the Holiday World investors.
Along with Glasscock, Hart's partners in the proposed venture are businessman Bruce Lunsford and Al J. Schneider Co., which operates hotels and other companies in the area.