by Stephanie Crosby
A former operator of Kentucky Kingdom has been selected as a potential new operator of the park. Six Flags announced earlier this year it would close the park, and the Kentucky State Fair Board has been looking for a new operator since then.
Board President Harold Workman says out of two proposals submitted to run the park, they’ve decided to move forward with a proposal from Ed Hart and his KK Redevelopment Company. Workman says he was happy to get a proposal from a local firm.
“He knows a lot of people in the community, a lot of people know him,” says Workman. “Obviously, he has proven to be successful in the past and I think he’ll work extra hard to be successful with this venture, if we can get all the contract negotiated and so on. I think local ownership is very, very important.”
Hart purchased Kentucky Kingdom in 1988 in a bankruptcy sale, and operated the park until 1997, when he sold it to Premier Parks. During that time, the park grew from ten acres to sixty and increased its annual attendance from 100-thousand to over one-million.
Today, the fair board approved a 60-day timetable to negotiate a contract with Hart’s company.