Kentucky Arts and Culture
Plans for Bluegrass Boardwalk Approved
The Bluegrass Boardwalk group has been granted preliminary approval for state tax incentives this week, bringing the amusement park one step closer to opening. The group is owned by Indiana’s Koch family, which also operates Holiday World in Indiana. The Kentucky State Fair Board agreed to lease the former Kentucky Kingdom property to the Koch’s earlier this year.
Bluegrass Boardwalk has been been tentatively approved this week by the Tourism Development Finance Authority for nearly $4 million in tourism tax credits, but it depends on meeting certain goals.
The state must now order an economic impact statement to finalize the group’s plans, said Gil Lawson, spokesman for the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
“We’re estimating that will take about two months. Once that’s complete the results of the study then come back to the authority for review and then for consideration for final approval,” said Lawson.
The Kochs released their goals for the next 10 years, which include growth in payroll, attendance and jobs (see below).
Bluegrass Boardwalk still expects to open in May of next year and to remain open for 106 days in 2013.
- Goal: Open Bluegrass Boardwalk in May, 2013, with revitalized rides and water park.
- Provide: Safe, clean, friendly, fun experience for families, with “freebies” including free soft drinks, free sunscreen and free use of inner tubes.
- First year investment: $15.6 million. Additional investments will be made by Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc., each year to ensure steady attendance growth.
- First year’s schedule: Open for 106 days in 2013.
- Destination Marketing: Staff will work with area tourism entities to create and promote destination marketing programs to ensure at least 25% of attendance will be from out of state.
- Projected Attendance Growth: 600,000 in 2013, growing to 782,864 in 2022.
- Projected Job Creation: 25 fulltime/805 seasonal in 2013, growing to 43 and 976 in 2022.
- Projected Payroll: $4.7 million in 2013, growing to $6.1 million in 2022.
- Projected State Fair Board Revenue: $880,000 in 2013, growing to $1.8 million in 2022.