Kentucky Kingdom plans for life after Six Flags

Back in February, Six Flags rejected its lease with its Louisville, Kentucky theme park Kentucky Kingdom. The park remained closed for all of 2010. Now, a redevelopment company has been actively posting plans to revitalize the troubled park on their new Kentucky Kingdom website and YouTube Channel.

Since I have been a roller coaster enthusiast, Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom has had the dubious distinction as the black sheep in the Six Flags chain. In the last decade, there were very few new rides. And, with the exception of one roller coaster which will now be Green Lantern at Great Adventure, there was no real draw for theme park travelers like myself. In addition, park operations and maintenance were subpar. Maintenance becomes glaringly important when horrifying accidents gain national attention. Anyone remember the girl whose feet were severed by the drop ride at the park?Ed Hart operated Kentucky Kingdom in its pre-Six Flags days of steady growth and has now once again taken the reins in its post-Six Flags era. He puts the blame for the park’s attendance and investment decline squarely on Six Flags. A new video charts the park’s attendance growth as new rides were opened in nearly every year of Kentucky Kingdom’s first 9 years. And then, it details the attendance decline as Six Flags removed rides and added very little.

With $50 million dollars of state-funded bonds going towards rehab and new rides, Hart plans to re-open Kentucky Kingdom in 2012. His plans were recently discussed during an interview with ParkThoughts. They include moving the park’s entrance, an expanded water park, and free parking. The most notable announcement for coaster fans was the mention of a new marquee Bolliger & Mabillard-designed roller coaster. Details of the new roller coaster are forthcoming.