LOUISVILLE — A group led by the former operator of the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park has delivered a proposal for the abandoned park, but officials aren't saying who else may have submitted an idea for the place.
Louisville investor Ed Hart met Friday's 4 p.m. deadline set by the state as promised. Hart operated Kentucky Kingdom for nearly a decade through the 1990s, until he sold it to Six Flags for about $80 million.
Kentucky Finance & Administration Cabinet spokeswoman Pamela Trautner told The Courier-Journal that under state procurement rules, she could only confirm that "we received documents today."
"We want to make sure there is an even playing field," she said of the policy of remaining mum until a contract is awarded.
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Trautner said a committee of state officials, probably including finance and tourism representatives, will be set up to evaluate any responses starting Monday. It will then begin negotiations. The cabinet will select the operator.
Kentucky Kingdom last operated in 2009, when Six Flags surrendered its lease while reorganizing in bankruptcy court. An initial effort to reopen the park by Hart was shelved. It ended when fair board President and CEO Harold Workman said Hart was making demands on revenue streams that the state couldn't meet.
The owners of Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., made a passing effort to reopen the park as Bluegrass Boardwalk, but they dropped that plan abruptly last spring, mainly because they felt they confronted too much red tape.
Hart said Friday he wasn't aware of anyone else responding to the request for proposals. A representative of his group submitted a response around 3 p.m. He said he will make the full plan public next week.
Hart's goal is to get the park open in 2014.
State officials opened the gates on Sept. 18 to let potential operators tour the site. In addition to Hart's group, a representative of two former Six Flags executives, Kieran Burke and Gary Story, also checked out the premises.
Burke, an executive with Premier Attractions Management, confirmed Friday the company didn't submit a response.