Skip to main content

View Diary: Kentucky's Noah's Ark Theme Park - When a Recession, Culture, and Political Pandering Collide (112 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I don't know that it's "wildly optimistic"... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe

    Don't interpret this comment as support for Ark Encounter in the religious sense, but rather a straightforward economic/marketing opinion.

    Kentucky Kingdom was HORRIBLY mismanaged; you can read a brief (albeit somewhat slanted) history here.  Basically, Premier Parks ran it into the ground as they took Six Flags into bankruptcy.  It was a small park, and was a pain in the butt to visit in metro Louisville (dealing with I-64 and the Watterson Expressway is NOT a 'fun trip').  Nonetheless, attendance peaked at around 1.3 million visitors during Kentucky Kingdom's run.

    Holiday World (in Santa Claus, IN) is even more remote than Ark Encounter will be; it's about 80 miles west of Louisville, in southern IN, and is near no other major cities.  Even so, they set an attendance record in 2010, drawing 1.1 million visitors.

    (Incidentally, the owners of Holiday World have reached an agreement to lease the Kentucky Kingdom property from the State Fair Board; the new "Bluegrass Boardwalk" will open in 2013.)

    Now, the estimates of 1.6 million yearly visitors to Ark Encounter may be optimistic to some degree, but let's keep in mind that:

    1) It's certainly near-unique among theme parks.  The only other major "religious theme park" is Holy Land Experience in Orlando FL.  That's going to draw some curiosity seekers.

    2) The site is only 40 miles from Cincinnati OH and 100 miles from Louisville KY.  That's a pretty large population in close proximity.

    3) Given the fervor of its target audience, I think it's reasonable to assume a fairly steady flow of church groups, religious school groups, and the like.  They may also get some 'twofer' action with the Creation Museum, since that attraction is only about 40 miles away.  They may even get some 'twofer' visitors from Kings Island, which is only 60 miles away.

    They won't hit 1.6 million visitors out of the gate, but I can see them getting close to 1 million within a few years.

    •  Not going to happen (0+ / 0-)

      Holy Land Experience in Orlando, FL in their best year could only get 200,000 visitors a year, and that's in Orlando, a town that gets millions of tourists a year.
      Do you really think anyone but the ultra-religious are going to drive 100 miles from Cincinnati just to walk around a reproduction of the Ark, when they can barely get 250,000 a year at the nearby Creation Museum?
      In this economy, even the big parks (with rides, food and other attractions) can't get that many visitors.

      If you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men. -Gloria Feldt

      by skohayes on Wed May 16, 2012 at 10:55:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site