Preliminary approval given to reopen Kentucky Kingdom

FRANKFORT, Ky. (press release) - The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority today gave preliminary approval to a project to reopen the Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Louisville.

The action by the authority means that a study will be conducted to determine if the application by Kentucky Kingdom LLLP meets criteria for incentives, which could be as much as $10 million over 10 years.

A lease agreement for the project was approved last week by the Kentucky State Fair Board, which owns the property where the park is located. Kentucky Kingdom closed in 2009, and the developers plan for it to reopen in 2014.

The authority considers applications under the Kentucky Tourism Development Act, which allows eligible tourism attractions a rebate of sales tax up to 25 percent of project capital costs over a 10-year period. Projects must meet certain criteria to be eligible, such as having a positive economic impact for the Commonwealth and attracting at least 25 percent of guests from out of state. The rebate is based on sales tax generated by the tourism attraction.

The study is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete.

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