What's new

Herschend Buying Kentucky Kingdom

jay37415

Member
One theory Screamscape posted was that Ed Hart and Hershend would enter some kind of partnership with the parkand that Hershend and EPR would trade Wild Adventures and the Oklahoma Properties.
 

CanobieFan

Active Member
Can't see that in Europe. Like literally every American article.
I got you.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The local group that owns the Kentucky Kingdom-Hurricane Bay amusement and water park plans to sell it to a "big player" in the theme park business after a punishing drop in business during the pandemic, state officials said Monday.

While state officials did not reveal the new owner, the operating company that plans to assume Kentucky Kingdom's lease on state property is registered in Georgia with an address matching that of Herschend Family Entertainment, which operates theme parks and other attractions in multiple states.
(...)
But Hart and representatives of the new owner are scheduled to appear with Gov. Andy Beshear and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer at a press conference on Tuesday morning, in which they will announce "an exciting new partnership surrounding the future of Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay Amusement and Water Park in Louisville (that) will bring enhanced entertainment and amusement park management experience to the park."

Two state boards on Monday signed off on approvals needed for the new operator to take over the amusement and water park that is on state land in Louisville.

(...)


Officials described the company as a sophisticated operator of nine amusement or theme parks across the country, one that is in a “stronger financial position” than the current ownership group.

MOD EDIT: I trimmed the article excerpt to avoid copyright issues - Pokemaniac
 
Last edited by a moderator:

SilverArrow

Active Member
Thanks @CanobieFan.

Looks like Covid fallout then. I wonder how many more of these stories we'll see. I like how they snooped and checked the address! 😂

I haven't been to a Herschend park but they look well-kept (the big ones at least) and I thought Kentucky Kingdom was missing something when I visited in 2019 so I am inclined to think this could be good for the park's progression.
 

Twisterfan1995

New Member
Thanks @CanobieFan.

Looks like Covid fallout then. I wonder how many more of these stories we'll see. I like how they snooped and checked the address! 😂

I haven't been to a Herschend park but they look well-kept (the big ones at least) and I thought Kentucky Kingdom was missing something when I visited in 2019 so I am inclined to think this could be good for the park's progression.
I haven't been to any either, but FWIW, Hershend's non-headline properties (Wild Adventures, Darien Lake (when they previously operated it) apparently are not as well invested in/run as Dollywood and Silver Dollar City from what I have heard online.

Hopefully the park being in a large metropolitan area with other tourist attractions in the area is enough to convince Herschend to keep the park going and keep investing into it as Hart's team has done.
 

Youngster Joey

Well-Known Member
Darien Lake (when they previously operated it)

When they operated DL they spruced up the kids area, did some repainting and infrastructure work, and were reportedly looking at RMC-ing predator before their contract was terminated. The park was a real trash fire before HFE got to it. They left it WAY better than they found it. Rumors were they wanted to do more and spend more but the owners had no interest in footing the bill for it. HFE responded by apparently offering to buy the park, but owners wouldn't sell unless HFE bought all the properties and HFE only wanted DL. Do with this information what you will but of the major operators that could've bought it, it could have been FAR worse. Rumors I heard said PR was interested...
 

Twisterfan1995

New Member
When they operated DL they spruced up the kids area, did some repainting and infrastructure work, and were reportedly looking at RMC-ing predator before their contract was terminated. The park was a real trash fire before HFE got to it. They left it WAY better than they found it. Rumors were they wanted to do more and spend more but the owners had no interest in footing the bill for it. HFE responded by apparently offering to buy the park, but owners wouldn't sell unless HFE bought all the properties and HFE only wanted DL. Do with this information what you will but of the major operators that could've bought it, it could have been FAR worse. Rumors I heard said PR was interested...
Interesting, I have never been so I cannot speak to it.

Some of the takes I heard were that After Herschend made investments in the park they weren't seeing the ROI they wanted so Herschend essentially stagnated for the remaining term of their operating agreement with the owners. Cannot confirm either way, but I would agree there are worse operators out there.

Hopefully Herschend sees the same potential in KK that others do and keep giving it TLC. Would love to see a SDC/Dollywood style regional theming to the park with homages to Kentucky's bluegrass culture in the same way the SDC and Dollywood do for the Ozarks and Appalachia respectively.

Either way, any port in a storm I guess.
 
Top