No planning can completely account for unforeseen circumstances, and Bluegrass Boardwalk is no exception. COASTER-net recently published an article about the possibility of the park not opening in 2013 as intended, and shortly after, Bluegrass Boardwalk released a statement confirming it.
Between impediments in their search for tax incentives and the obvious lack of maintenance at the abandoned former Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom, delays were inevitable. Natalie Koch, CEO of Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc has had to amend her previous lease for the amusement park property, according to a press release from Bluegrass Boardwalk, Inc.
“When the park was closed in 2009, needed winter maintenance was not performed on the rides. For example, pumps for the water rides were not removed for off-season winterization and inspection,” Koch said in the press release. “Plumbing and structural infrastructure are in need of extensive repair. Buildings are damaged from leaky roofs. Rides are missing parts. The list goes on and on. We believe 75 percent of the rides will require significant overhaul following in-depth inspection by certified ride experts.”
This detailed analysis by ride inspectors isn’t expected to come until after Kentucky Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet has finished their investigation to give final approval to the Koch’s application for tax incentives.
Meanwhile, Bluegrass Boardwalk is receiving its fair share of criticisms, including from Ed Hart, a previous operator of Kentucky Kingdom, and the last person to attempt to reopen the park.
“Maybe one of the explanations is the fact that a vibrant, thriving Kentucky Kingdom only draws attendance away from Holiday World,” Hart told wdrb.com. “As business people who run a really good park in Indiana, I can understand how they want to protect that facility.”
Hart spent most of 2011 in talks with the Kentucky Fair Board. “Had they accepted our plan, Kentucky Kingdom would be open as we speak right now,” Hart said.
But Koch disagrees. “"We don't criticize other people; that's just not the way we do business. We're a family.”
“We will begin work as soon as we have a signed lease,” Koch said on the Bluegrass Boardwalk website. “Until then, the clock is ticking and the park and its rides continue to deteriorate.”
Bluegrass Boardwalk is expected to release their 2014 ride list in the fall.