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Kentucky Kingdom Lease Approved

Developers Target Spring 2014 Reopening

A long-anticipated deal to reopen Kentucky Kingdom, perhaps by spring 2014, has been approved by the Kentucky State Fair Board.

A group headed by businessman Ed Hart, armed with a new 50-year lease for about 60 acres at the Kentucky Exposition Center, has 90 days to finalize financing.

Hart's team has agreed to invest $45 million, which would be put toward restoring the park by 2017, including $1.5 million for new rides and $9 million for new water park improvements.

The water park, Hurricane Bay, would be expanded on four acres adjacent to the park's 57-acre parcel.

Kentucky Kingdom also would get a share — up to 50 percent — of the money its visitors pay to park at the fairgrounds.

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