Family even closer to reopening park
Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2012 7:08 pm
By: By The Associated Press
The Messenger 02.09.12
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The owners of Holiday World have taken another step toward re-opening a Kentucky amusement park that closed more than two years ago.
Four members of the Koch family, which owns Holiday World in Santa Claus, Ind., have formed a company called Bluegrass Boardwalk in order to negotiate a lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board and apply for economic incentives from the state, according to WAVE-TV (http://bit.ly/yZLE7A).
Koch family spokeswoman Paula Werne says no public funding would be requested if the project continues.
The family members who make up the new company are Holiday World president Dan Koch, his sister Natalie Koch, their cousin Kathy Kamp and her husband Michael Kamp, who is a general manager at Holiday World.
Metro Louisville Council members were happy to hear the news.
“We just thought it was rusting away and wasn’t going to be used again,” said Council member Dan Johnson. “It’s the number one job creator for young people in our community and it really needs to be back in business.”
Kentucky Fair Board President Harold Workman says the panel’s top priority is to reopen the park by 2013.
“The Koch family is exploring the opportunity to serve as the park operator, and the fair board is working to providing information needed in that process,” he said in a statement.
The deal is still in the early negotiation stage and doesn’t have a timeline. The station said no one from Holiday World or the Koch family would comment Tuesday about the proposal.
The Koch family first expressed interest in operating the park last month.
The move came after Louisville developer Ed Hart unsuccessfully proposed re-opening the park. He said last fall that he would need nearly $20 million from local and state officials to do it and was not able to raise the funds.
After the venture fell through, the fair board began looking for other proposals.
Information from: WAVE-TV, http://www.wave3.com