New Tax Rebates For Ark Park Earn Preliminary Approval
By Mike Perleberg
(Grant County, Ky.) – The Commonwealth of Kentucky appears poised to award $18 million in tax rebates to a planned theme park in Grant County.
Answers in Genesis, the same organization behind the Creation Museum in Petersburg, first unveiled plans for the Ark Encounter amusement park with a 510-foot long replica of Noah’s Ark four years ago.
The Associated Press reports the Kentucky Tourism Board gave preliminary approval for the tax rebates on Tuesday. The rebates are contingent to the $73 million first phase of the ark park being built and open to the public for 10 years.
Final approval could hinge on the analysis of the theme park’s economic impact in Kentucky and whether that impact will cover the rebate amount.
The same tourism board previously approved $43 million in tax rebates for the project in 2011, when organizers’ plans called for a full park at a cost of $173 million. Fundraising has been slower than anticipated, but Answers in Genesis received a boost after founder Ken Hamm debated television personality and scientist Bill Nye “The Science Guy” on creationism versus evolution in February.
Answers in Genesis is scheduled to begin construction this year with the park scheduled to open in the summer of 2016. The AP stated that tickets will be $33 per adult.
The park is located on 800 acres off of Interstate 75 near Williamstown.