Kentucky Kingdom to close

Six Flags has announced it will close Kentucky Kingdom in Louisville. In a press release sent Thursday night, the company said it was rejecting its lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board. The release says Six Flags had proposed a new lease agreement to the board, which was rejected. The theme park company, which is based in New York, says it will now "move expeditiously to re-locate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets."

The release quotes Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro as saying the substantial lease payment for the property has been a significant hurdle for the park in recent years.

Six Flags, which owns 20 amusement parks in the U.S. and other countries, has been in bankruptcy protection in June, burdened by high debt and declining park attendance.

The company was sued after an incident in 2007, when a teenager's feet were severed on a ride at the Louisville park. Kaitlyn Lasitter settled with Six Flags in 2008, but the terms of the agreement were never released.

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