Bluegrass Boardwalk opening delayed until 2014


by WHAS11

Posted on May 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 30 at 11:25 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Holiday World owner and Bluegrass Boardwalk CEO Natalie Koch asked the State Fair Board on Wednesday to modify the lease which would push back the Bluegrass Boardwalk opening date from May of 2013 to 2014.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Koch said this:

“When the park was closed in 2009, needed winter maintenance was not been performed on the rides,” said Koch. “For example, pumps for the water rides were not removed for off-season winterization and inspection. 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.”

The statement also indicated that 11 months was not enough time to open a safe a viable park, but just a few weeks earlier Koch painted a much nicer picture about the project to WHAS 11.

“The timing wasn't quite right or the project wasn’t right, something just didn't fit, but this time around with Bluegrass Boardwalk everything seemed to fall into place,” said Koch.

Louisville’s Mayor Greg Fischer weighed in on the news of the date delay.

“We don't control much of that other than the ability to give them some incentives with some of the occupational tax which we’re committed to and continue to talk to them about,” said Fischer.

Residents were disappointed to hear the news.

“I think it's a big part of Louisville. It’s a big reason why people come,” said Kyla Robinson.

“We have to venture outside of the state now to go somewhere,” said Stacy Martin.

In the statement released on Wednesday, Koch went on to say this:

“We will begin work as soon as we have a signed lease. Until then, the clock is ticking and the park and its rides continue to deteriorate.”

When WHAS11 News anchor Melissa Swan walked through the future site of Bluegrass Boardwalk in early May, the new owners painted a somewhat rosy picture about the park's future.

But restoring the park could be a bigger task than originally anticipated.

A development plan presented to the Louisville Metro Council by the park's new owners indicates more than 50 percent of structures are deteriorating rapidly. It says that all of the rides have not been cared for during the three years the park has been closed.

Human waste was left unflushed in bathrooms when Six Flags pulled out and according to the report, Six Flags took away everything of value, including roller coaster trains, lockers and parts for rides.

Proper winterization precautions were not followed and as of April 2012, 75 percent of current attractions were inoperable.

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