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KENTUCKY KINGDOM CLOSED

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http://www.sixflags.com/national/footernav...ckykingdom.aspx

 

February 4, 2010

 

Kentucky Kingdom Rejects Lease

Park to Close

Six Flags announced today that as it nears the scheduled end of its restructuring process, it has decided to reject its lease with the Kentucky State Fair Board relating to the Kentucky Kingdom park. In recent weeks, Six Flags had proposed a new lease arrangement to the fair board that would have enhanced the viability and future of the park. Unfortunately, those proposals were not accepted and the park will cease operations and the company will move expeditiously to re-locate employees and several of the more than 40 rides and attractions to one of its 13 other markets.

 

"We are deeply disappointed to be leaving such a great fan base in the greater metropolitan area of Louisville and we are grateful to the thousands of employees at Kentucky Kingdom and the millions of guests for their dedication, support and loyalty over the years," said Mark Shapiro, Six Flags President and CEO.

 

"This action relates solely to Kentucky Kingdom," Shapiro continued. "The substantial lease

payment has been a significant hurdle for this park in recent years. Our other parks, which reside

largely on company-owned land, will be completely unaffected and will open as scheduled for the full 2010 season."

 

Season Pass Holder Letter: http://www.sixflags.com/national/footerNav...assholders.aspx

 

Dear Valued Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass and Play Pass Holders:

 

On behalf of Six Flags and the 55 full-time Kentucky Kingdom employees, I would like to personally thank you for your continued loyalty and support. It has been our honor to provide amazing thrills and lifelong memories to you and your families for the last 12 years.

 

It is however, with much regret that I inform you that despite multiple attempts to reach a new,

fair and equitable lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board, Six Flags has been unable to do so. As a result, Six Flags has rejected the current lease and will cease operating Kentucky Kingdom, effective immediately. Please know that this action only affects the Kentucky Kingdom theme park — all 19 other Six Flags parks will be open for business as usual in 2010, including nearby Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Great America in Chicago.

 

As a reminder, your Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass and/or Play Pass is valid at any of our

Six Flags Theme Parks, as well as Six Flags Mexico and La Ronde Theme Park in Canada. In a few weeks, we will be sending you, via e-mail, four "Bring A Friend For Free" tickets valid to any of our

Six Flags Theme Parks. These "Bring A Friend For Free" tickets will only be valid if you choose to retain your 2010 Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass.

 

Information on our other theme parks, locations and operating hours, can be found at sixflags.com. For your convenience, we have also developed a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on our website should you have any additional questions.

 

If you would prefer to return your 2010 Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass, you can find information on how to obtain a full refund at sixflags.com/kentuckykingdom.

 

Again, I want to thank you for your continued support over the last 12 years, and I hope to see you at another Six Flags park very soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andrew J. Michaelree

 

President

Kentucky Kingdom

 

Group Information: http://www.sixflags.com/national/footerNav...nformation.aspx

 

On behalf of Six Flags and the employees of Kentucky Kingdom, I would like to personally thank you for your loyalty and your business. It has been our honor to provide amazing thrills, partnerships and lifelong memories to you and your group members.

 

We appreciate your support over the years and we eagerly anticipated hosting your group at the

park. It is however, with much regret that I inform you of the cancellation of your 2010 event at Kentucky Kingdom. After multiple attempts to reach a new fair and equitable lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board, Six Flags was unable to do so. As a result, Six Flags rejected the current lease and will be closing Kentucky Kingdom effective immediately.

 

We would like to extend a special offer to your group to visit one of our properties in Chicago, Illinois; Atlanta, Georgia or St Louis, Missouri for your event this year. We apologize for the inconvenience and we do understand the hardship this has placed on your event.

 

Our Sales Team will be calling you soon to reconcile your account and to offer you an exciting group outing at one of our sister parks. If this is not an option then a full refund of all deposits will be paid in full. Our sales executives will be contacting you to finalize the details.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andrew J. Michaelree

 

President

Kentucky Kingdom

 

FAQ: http://www.sixflags.com/national/footernav...ingdom.aspx#FAQ

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Does the closing of Kentucky Kingdom mean that other Six Flags parks will be closing or sold?

Does this have anything to do with the restructure/bankruptcy?

I have family members who bought Season Passes to Kentucky Kingdom. What happens now?

What about employees of the park, what will happen to them?

What happens to the rides at Kentucky Kingdom?

Will prices at my local Six Flags be affected the closing of Kentucky Kingdom?

 

 

Does the closing of Kentucky Kingdom mean that other Six Flags parks will be closing or sold?

Absolutely not...this is an isolated situation. The current lease was simply not sustainable in the current economic environment. The rent was way too high, making it extremely difficult for the park to achieve profitability year in and year out. Six Flags was hopeful that a deal could be reached with the State Fair Board to re-negotiate the lease price to keep the park open but the State Fair Board wouldn't budge. Therefore, we decided to reject the lease and cease operations, a right we are entitled to in our restructuring process. All of our other parks are profitable and are located largely on company-owned land, therefore the Kentucky Kingdom situation is not at all applicable.

 

Does this have anything to do with the restructure/bankruptcy?

As part of our restructuring process, we exercised our option to reject the current Kentucky Kingdom lease. Our goal was to renegotiate lease payment terms that would enhance the viability and future of the park. This is an isolated situation. In fact, the restructuring process will be completed in just a few short weeks. All of our other parks are profitable and will be opening for the 2010 season beginning in March and we are full steam ahead with a much improved balance sheet, after completion of the restructuring.

 

I have family members who bought season passes to Kentucky Kingdom. What happens now?

Costs for pre-purchased 2010 Season Passes will be 100% refunded. Notices will go out to Season

Pass holders shortly. We also invite those Season Pass holders to remain so, as their Passes will be valid at all other Six Flags Theme Parks throughout the 2010 Season. For those guests who choose to keep their Kentucky Kingdom Season Passes, we will be sending them four Bring-A-Friend Free Passes that will be valid at any of our other Six Flags parks as well.

 

What about employees of the park, what will happen to them?

 

We will be working with team members on an individual basis to assist during this transitional period. We will make every effort to relocate those team members who want to remain with the company to our 13 other markets. Kentucky Kingdom provided more teen jobs than any other business in the Louisville area.

 

What happens to the rides at Kentucky Kingdom?

We are still making those decisions, since we had been hopeful that we could keep the park open. We know that some of the rides and attractions will be relocated to other parks, though the final details are still being worked out.

 

Will prices at my local Six Flags be affected the closing of Kentucky Kingdom?

Absolutely not...Six Flags will remain an affordable family friendly entertainment option in our other locations. In fact, Season Pass pricing at many of our parks is the lowest in years.

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An Important Message for

Kentucky Kingdom

Pass Holders

 

 

 

Have more fun

 

 

Dear Valued Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass and Play Pass Holders:

 

On behalf of Six Flags and the 55 full-time Kentucky Kingdom employees, I would like to personally thank you for your continued loyalty and support. It has been our honor to provide amazing thrills and lifelong memories to you and your families for the last twelve years.

 

It is however, with much regret that I inform you that despite multiple attempts to reach a new, fair and equitable lease agreement with the Kentucky State Fair Board, Six Flags has been unable to do so. As a result, Six Flags has rejected the current lease and will be closing Kentucky Kingdom, effective immediately. Please know that this action only affects the Kentucky Kingdom theme park - all nineteen other Six Flags parks will be open for business as usual in 2010, including nearby Six Flags St. Louis and Six Flags Great America in Chicago.

 

As a reminder, your Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass and/or Play Pass is valid at any of our Six Flags Theme Parks, as well as Six Flags Mexico and La Ronde Theme Park in Canada. In a few weeks, we will be sending you, via e-mail, four "Bring a Friend Free" tickets valid to any of our Six Flags Theme Parks. These "Bring a Friend Free" tickets will only be valid if you choose to retain your 2010 Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass.

 

Information on our other theme parks, locations and operating hours, can be found at www.sixflags.com. For your convenience, we have also developed a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on our website should you have any additional questions.

 

If you would prefer to return your 2010 Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom Season Pass, you can find information on how to obtain a full refund at www.sixflags.com/kentuckykingdom.

 

Again, I want to thank you for your continued support over the last twelve years, and I hope to see you at another Six Flags park very soon.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andy Michaelree

 

Andrew J. Michaelree

 

President

Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

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I didn't see it coming, but I know for a fact that rumors of the park closing have been going around for years. Plus, it looked really weird of the park to remove the star coaster (Chang) last year and now shut the place down for good. It is really sad because the park didn't cost to much to go to for a good time, but it just didn't have much to off. It was land locked. Now, the KY state fair is going to stink as well because fair ticket holders had access to KY Kingdom's attractions as well for one price. This is not a good thing for the Louisville area and now create a lot of empty space over at the fair grounds.

 

Why did the board do this to the citizens of Louisville at such a bad economic time as this?

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I think I have awesome powers (read: amazingly bad timing). I buy a season pass, and an hour later the park's announced as closing down.

 

Watch yourself, KI. I still have no pass for you... yet. :lol:

 

In all sincerity, this is really, really sad. Aside from having never ridden the rides, it would have been nice to have had a large-scale alternative to Cedar Fair within 3 hours of home.

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^ You wouldn't be dropping insider secrets, would you, Interpreter...? Hmmmm?!

 

(And yet, I still find myself fulling expecting a "it may, it may not; the future's unpredictable"-grade answer.)

 

EDIT: Another thing that would be nice to know out of all of this: if I DO keep my pass, I can still have it processed at another Six Flags? I can't see having to drive to a closed park to have it processed, but nothing's overly clear on the matter...

Edited by TombRaiderFTW

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unbelievable. I thought the park had at least one more year left. This is really sad, I was hoping to go there so I could remember the attractions more clearly than when I went I was younger. R.I.P SFKK.

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Wow! I come home from work to see this headline on various websites. While it was a park that didn't really get great reviews over the years it's sad to read that yet another park has disappeared from the amusement landscape.

 

I only visited the park once - back in 1997 when Chang was brand new. I thought its location was sort of odd with the airport nearby.

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This article quotes a representative of the fair board who contends the rides belong to the fair board, or at least some of them do:

 

...Harold Workman, Ky. Fair Board President, said, “Six Flags removed the Chang rollercoaster ride. They requested they able to remove it through me they requested that under the pretense that they were going to expand the water park and after showing me diagrams and pictures of what they were going to expand and what they were going to add and so on. So, we're a little disappointed in the fact they removed a ride but never really moved on expanding the water park.”

 

He said that at that point, the way the lease is worded makes it sounds like Chang could have belonged to the Fair Board because it is affixed to the ground.

 

Workman says Six Flags wanted to pay no rent for nine years remaining on the lease. The offer also included a share of profits, if there was any.

 

 

 

http://www.whas11.com/news/local/Whats-nex...e-83772172.html

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So, let me get this straight? Anything that is screwed to the ground through a concrete footer is pretty much the KY State Fair boards? That will be the whole park then. lol

 

Anyway, on a serious note, I must say that I really do feel bad for those that lost their job because of this. 1,000 jobs gone! Not a good thing for the Louisville Metro area if I do say so myself.

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This whole thing is a big mess. Does the Fairgrounds think that Six Flags is buying multi-million dollar rides and coasters, and building them for the fair grounds? I personally agree with Six Flags that it is their rides and coasters. The fair grounds does not own those rides, if they did it wouldn't be at SFKK most likely. Why couldn't they of built Kentucky Kingdom somewhere else (still in the Louisville area) though? They had problems being next to an airport, on the fair grounds, and a big road going through the middle of the park. I just don't see why they built it there to begin with.

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This is very true. A vast majority of the rides are Vekoma rides, which were leased in the park's beginnings. If I'm wrong on that, someone please correct that information. With that being said, who is covering the cost on those leases to Vekoma will play a big role as to whether T2 and the Ferris Wheel will stay or go. Chang, according to RCDB, was put into KY Kingdom in 1997, which Six Flags did not come into the picture until the park was sold to Premier. Premier brought Six Flags, hence the sudden change in name and everything else at the park in 1998.

 

In all honesty, I just hope that a new park operator comes in and turns the park in something infinitly better than what Six Flags had it. Since it is questionable as to whether what rides will remain after the big Six Flags move, the early years for the new operator will have a tough time to survive. However, as long as someone opens that place back up to safe the 1,000 jobs that Six Flags carelessly cut I'm happy.

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I read in my local newspaper that 4 other companies were interested in the park and the fair board told them each to come up with a proposal. So we all might see this park reopen.(Not this year though)

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Can't say this surprises me. I think that Chang's relocation was a huge red flag in terms of the park's future.

 

Though I hear the water park is decent, at least given the shape the rides side is in.

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