Louisville, KY, USA (September 11, 2012) -- On Monday, September 10, the Commonwealth of Kentucky's Finance and Administration Cabinet issued solicitation #RFB 758 1300000095, also known as "RFP for Operation of the Amusement Park on the Grounds of the Kentucky Fair Board." The deadline for proposals is October 19, 2012.
The property at the center of the proposal is the former Kentucky Kingdom theme park, which, during its most recent period of operation, was managed by Six Flags Corporation. During the past year, proposals to reopen the park have been made by both the Koch party, owners of Holiday World, and a group led by former Kentucky Kingdom operator Ed Hart. The Koch family terminated their proposal after evaluating the current state of the property and determining that a successful reopening could not be done in a timely manner.
The Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Corporation, Hart's group, delivered a proposal prior to the issuance of the RFP. Based on the criteria listed in the RFP, it is likely that Hart's group will need to submit a newly devised proposal. Most notable in the RFP are four items listed as "Dealbreakers-Prohibitions." As stated in the RFP: "If a proposal includes one of the provisions listed in the 'Dealbreakers' section, then said proposal shall be deemed non-responsive/non-responsible and will NOT be evaluated by the Commonwealth." One of these dealbreakers is "Any provision in any instrument that causes the Commonwealth to be immediately responsible to cure a default on behalf of the Respondent/Tenant." The plan Hart's group submitted prior to the RFP listed a cost of $40 million, with $30 of that to be a loan or loans with banks, with the state issuing the park as collateral. This stipulation in the RFP potentially invalidates Hart's existing proposal.
Some key points in the RFP are:
- The state maintains ownership of the property, with the operator paying a lease for use of the land.
- The state maintains control of parking.
- The contract will be for 30 years, with three potential 10 year extensions.
- Kentucky Governor Beshear and the state's theme parks
- Koch family, owner of Holiday World, pulls out of endeavor to reopen shuttered Louisville amusement park
- Koch family delays projected opening date for park
- Kentucky Kingdom to reopen
- Kentucky State Fair Board to consider Koch family proposal
- Koch family launches Bluegrass Boardwalk Inc. towards involvement in reopening Kentucky Kingdom
- Kentucky Fair Board Approves Kentucky Kingdom Redevelopment Company