LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The future of Kentucky Kingdom could lie in the hands of a family that already has a name well-known in the theme park business.

WAVE 3 News has confirmed that the Koch family is involved in talks about the future of Kentucky Kingdom. Since 1946, the Kochs have owned and operated the Holiday World amusement park in Santa Claus, IN.

In a statement to WAVE 3, Paula Werne, director of communications for Holiday World and Splashin' Safari, said the Koch family has explored a lot of ways to grow their business over the years, including recently Kentucky Kingdom.

The statement goes on to say that things are still in what the company calls a fact-finding stage and the Koch family hasn't made any decisions about whether to move forward in pursuing an opportunity to run the theme park.

Kentucky Kingdom, which is located on the grounds of the Kentucky Exposition Center, shut down in 2010 less than a year after its operator, Six Flags, declared bankruptcy.

Ed Hart, the first operator of the theme park, announced plans to try to reopen it, but said late in 2011 that it wouldn't happen any time soon because he hadn't been able to form a partnership with the state and local government to help do so.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.

Zero G

UPDATE: Congratulations to Lorna Kirby for naming this attraction. Beech Bend Park will introduce Zero G this summer!

Beech Bend is getting a new drop ride. Not just any drop tower, but a tower ride that rises 140 feet into the air! The yet-to-be-named ride is 140 feet tall, holds 12 riders seated in a circle around the tower and drops at almost 60 miles per hour!  The new ride will begin arriving soon and will be ready to go on opening day, May 5th, 2012.

We need your help picking out the perfect name. Please send name suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "Drop Ride" in the subject line before December 10th to be considered.  If we use your name suggestion, you will receive four free tickets to the park to be used anytime in 2012!  In the event of a tie, the person who suggested the winning name first will be declared the tickets winner.

Construction is well underway at Beech Bend Park. They're taking entertainment to a whole new level in 2012 with "Wild Bill Hiccup's Wild West Show". Your family will love the slap stick comedy and hilarious antics of Wild Bill Hiccup and his gang of bandits. Sheriff Roscoe will have his hands full trying to tame Annie Oaktree, Bad Bart and Daredevil Dan. Did I mention the chicken and coyote? Don't miss this exciting new family show!

Also, we're proud to announce a new Tiki Grill eatery and Hydration Station adjacent to Tiki Island. This new foods area will feature a food court, a unique menu, a self-serve drink station and restrooms. Construction of the site is well underway and will be ready to open in mid-May when Splash Lagoon opens for the 2012 season. is pleased to announce our 2012 regional event schedule.  Mark your calendars for the following dates:

Beech Bend Bash
Sun, June 3rd Beech Bend Park

Hawg Wild
Sat, July 28th Indiana Beach


There are more problems with the planned reopening of Kentucky Kingdom.

Developers now say 2013 is their target date for reopening the amusement park. They have been unable to put together the public-private partnership needed to get the park open.

Developer Ed Hart has pledged $1 million toward the reopening, predicated on an interim agreement with the Fair Board. That agreement extends through the end of the next legislative session, at which time the state’s intention to complete the public/private partnership with $20 million should be known.

Read more: Kentucky Kingdom Won't Open in 2012