Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter, a taxpayer-subsidized re-creation of Noah’s Ark in Williamstown, Ky., is not providing the economic boost local officials had hoped for.
“It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood told Lexington’s WKYT-TV recently. “I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
When Australian creationist Ken Ham pitched the idea of building a giant Noah’s Ark in a rural area of Kentucky, folks in the community of Williamstown got excited. Many of them were certain that the ark would become a major tourist attraction and bring visitors – and their cash – to this struggling area.
Ken Ham has been on quite a tear against Americans United lately. The Australian creationist is all worked up because AU continues to point out the inconvenient fact that he built his Ark Encounter park, a re-creation of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky, in part on the backs of the state’s taxpayers.
Australian creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter – a theme park built around a replica of Noah’s Ark in northern Kentucky – is up and running. Recently, a reporter with Louisville magazine made a pilgrimage there for a story.
Ken Ham’s $102 million Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Ky., opens today. The official launch of this boat on dry land has led to a spate of media attention for the Australian creationist and would-be Noah.
Ham’s “ark park” was the subject of a lengthy New York Times story recently, during which Ham admitted, yet again, that the entire project has one goal: converting people to his brand of fundamentalist Christianity.
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority approved $18 million in tax incentives for Answers In Genesis’ Ark Encounter theme park in April.
Former Gov. Steve Beshear (D) had opposed granting incentives to the park, but Answers in Genesis filed a lawsuit claiming the state’s refusal violated its religious-freedom rights. In January, a federal court agreed, and Beshear’s successor, Matt Bevin (R), announced he would not appeal the ruling. According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, Bevin also packed the tourism board with new appointees after taking office.
Thanks to a misguided federal court ruling, Kentucky taxpayers will soon be footing the bill for a package of tax incentives designed to prop up an evangelistic theme park based on the biblical story of Noah’s Ark.
Americans United has followed the saga of the so-called “Ark Park” for years. The attraction sprang from the mind of Ken Ham, a creationist who decided it would be a good idea to build a large replica of Noah’s Ark in Grant County, Ky.
Late yesterday afternoon, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled that creationist Ken Ham’s controversial “Ark Park” has a legal and constitutional right to receive a package of tax incentives from the state and, thus, the taxpayers.
A federal judge has denied a request by Americans United to intervene in a lawsuit in which a fundamentalist Christian theme park is challenging the denial of a tax rebate in Kentucky.