Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear says a proposed Biblically-themed amusement park will have to follow state hiring laws in order to receive tax incentives.
The Ark Encounter theme park in northern Kentucky is being developed in part by the same group that built the Creation Museum. The park will present a literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis, including the story of the flood. They contend that all species were saved in an ark during an apocalyptic flood.
The park is expected to receive about 37.5 million dollars in tax incentives. On WFPL’s State of Affairs Thursday, Beshear said the park will generate jobs, but the developers cannot discriminate based on religion or any other criteria when hiring.
“We’re not going to make decisions on the basis of our particular beliefs or somebody else’s particular beliefs,” he says. I think we need to make our decisions on the basis of ‘Does this fulfill the criteria in the statute and is it really going to be good for economic development in Kentucky?'”
When a caller to the show asked the Governor if the park’s controversial content would hurt Kentucky’s image. Beshear said ‘No.’
“Every state has different kinds of parks and different kinds of attractions that somebody probably doesn’t agree with. And that’s okay. If you don’t agree with it then you don’t have to go,” he said.
The park is expected to cost a total $150 million and is scheduled to open in 2014.