Holiday World Owners Talking to Kentucky Kingdom

Holiday World Involved in Talks with Kentucky Kingdom
Raven Roller Coaster - Holiday WorldHoliday World owners are in talks with Kentucky Kingdom officials. They’re apparently in the “fact-finding” stage of looking into whether they see an opportunity to run the park at some point. A Wave3.com article has more:

In a statement to WAVE 3, Paula Werne, director of communications for Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, said the Koch family has explored a lot of ways to grow their business over the years, including recently Kentucky Kingdom.

The statement goes on to say that things are still in what the company calls a fact-finding stage and the Koch family hasn’t made any decisions about whether to move forward in pursuing an opportunity to run the theme park. – Wave3.com TV.

I visited both Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World in the same day back in 2006. Their proximity might make sense for the Koch’s. This could be great news for the neglected park. Even when it was operating, it kind of felt like a second class park as illustrated by this video from Ed Hart. It details the park’s success pre-Six Flags and then its decline as Six Flags removed several rides.

Urban Theme Park Challenges: Theme Parks as Babysitters
A few not so nice comments below the Wave3.com article point to an issue that might have also helped to drive down attendance. Apparently, some parents dropped their kids off at the park and they roamed the park unsupervised likely causing all kinds of issues and making the park less appealing. A commenter theorized that Holiday World has dealt with different challenges as its in a rural area where Kentucky Kingdom is in an urban area. Another commenter suggested a solution where kids under 16 could be accompanied by adults.

Thankfully, I haven’t had to deal with this issue with my home parks. I can see how it would deter people from visiting. As a parent with young pre-school aged kids, I wouldn’t want to take my family to a park that had older kids (pre-teens) running around unsupervised.

Many others doubt the likelihood of the Koch’s saving the park due to “Kentucky politics.” I’d like to hear what other locals think. Vote in this poll whether you think the owners of Holiday World should work with or operate Kentucky Kingdom.[poll id=”57″]

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of this news? Leave a comment and vote in the poll. Thanks to Calvin for posting a link to this story on my Facebook page.