Noah's Ark Park to Open in Kentucky

by Libby Zay 
Posted Dec 2nd 2010 12:36 PMUpdated Dec 2nd 2010 12:52 PM

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Private investors are looking to construct the world's largest religious theme park in Kentucky, which will include a "full-size" replica of Noah's Ark.

The proposed $150 million creationism-themed amusement park's main feature is an ark built to the dimensions specified in the Bible. Other attractions at the theme park, named Ark Encounter, will include live animal shows, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a 500-seat special effects theater, an aviary, and a mockup of a first-century Middle Eastern village.

The park will be built by a for-profit group called Ark Encounter LLC in conjunction with Answers in Genesis, an apologetics ministry most famous for its Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. The Creation Museum, opened in May 2007, saw its millionth visitor last April and requires all employees to sign a statement affirming they are Christians, a requirement that may be extended to Ark Encounter.

The Ark Encounter website states the park will be built by Ark Encounter LLC, however, the Arc structure itself will be funded through donations. The website gives supporters the opportunity to donate by sponsoring actual pieces that will be used to built the ark. Fans can donate $100 to sponsor a peg for the ark; $1,000 for a plank, or $5,000 for a beam.

According to Forbes, Mike Zovath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis, expects the park will draw around 1.6 million visitors a year.

"The mission of the project, Zovath said, is to lend credence to the biblical account of a catastrophic flood and to dispel doubts that Noah could have fit two of every kind of animal onto a 500-foot-long ark," wrote Forbes.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday the park is expected to open in 2014, although site selection is so far undecided. Organizers are looking closely at an 800-acre plot of land in Grant County off Interstate 75, just 40 miles from Cincinnati, Ohio and a 45-minute drive from the Creation Museum.

To move ahead with the project, Beshear said he favors encouraging investors by providing tax incentives. The idea immediately drew opposition from groups vying for the separation of church and state.

"It's perfectly fine for a private group to relaunch Noah's ark, but the governor shouldn't go along for the ride," said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, according to Forbes. "The government should not be giving tax incentives for religious projects. Religion should be supported by voluntary donations, not the government."

In a prepared statement, Beshear said "bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority" and that he is "happy about the economic impact this project will have on the Northern Kentucky region." It is estimated that the new theme park will create about 900 permanent jobs, as well as have a $214 million economic impact in its first year of operation alone.

Grant County Judge-Executive Darrell Link said the project could stimulate a community that has for generations leaned on the dwindling tobacco industry for jobs.

"Along with this ark, I anticipate that there is going to be a rainbow," Link said to Forbes. "And at the end of that rainbow is a pot of gold."

Image courtesy of the Ark Encounter.

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Guayabo

Liked the idea of opening a park in the tourist location of Kentucky.I don't know if he is doing right or wrong, but if it is right than there are bond to be obstacles when you are doing a good job.
Thanks for sharing the news.
Kentucky tourism

December 20 2010 at 7:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
russell

such ignorance!! All these people need to research and read the word of God, and you would know how many animals were on the ark. Not two of each kind but take to thee by sevens. Genesis ch.7. Your going to have to build that ark a little bigger, you think?! How many ministers has read this and still are clueless to how many animals noah lead onto the ark. two by two the male and his female.....It is all a money making rackett!!!! Thats where people of kentuckys money is going!!

December 16 2010 at 4:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Seneca

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful.

December 07 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
origamib

The Creation 'Museum' (it galls me to even type the word) was horrible enough. This is even more insane. Tax subsidies for this abomination ought to be illegal.
I've yet to have a 'young earth' fundamentalist Christian explain to me how Adam and Eve made two sons --yeah--that would be two MALE offspring--,and then this family group of four 'begat' the rest of humanity. Incest, much?

December 07 2010 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
handsome !!

ONCE AGAIN, "Christians" posting here are the ones who post snarky, nasty, illiterate, misspelled, and miseducated statements about OTHER people. And this is how the Republican party works ! Then they run out, like sheep, and buy that Alaska person's books so that they can be CONFIRMED in their ignorance and stupidity. This is life in America today !

December 05 2010 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Curt

It never ends... The Christian right assuming some sort of "the secularists are out to kill us all" mentality in defense of something they know is wrong/hateful/stupid/etc. If someone wants their children to believe that it's possible to put two of every animal on any kind of sea-going vessel, along w/food that apparently isn't other animals, fine. But don't act like there's nothing wrong with a for-profit religious company accepting any consideration from local governments. There is. Can you imagine these people defending the right of NY City making the same concessions for ANY OTHER RELIGION??? Were the mayor of that city to decide that taxpayers' money should, in any way, contribute to a community center for muslims or buddhists would be unthinkable!!! But, make the same comment about a for-profit group pandering to the 15% of the population that believes every word of the Bible is fact, well... that's just fine.

I guess that since the "donations" aren't investments in the company no one is "borrowing" or "lending." And clearly what the world needs isn't love or compassion, it's an ark used as a profit center and jobs. Surely a group of good "Christians" could come up with a better use of $150 million. Or then again, maybe they see that the Bible is meant to be interpreted, and that a rich man can buy a bigger needle and an eternal pass thru the gates of heaven, so long as no secularists can get in.

December 05 2010 at 12:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jack Viskil

Hello to all in LA LA Land Kentucky, I grew up in a Christian home , believing in the Creation Mith. But I am also a lifetime amateur Paleo/Arheologist and there is NO EVIDENCE OF CREATION IN THE FOSSIL or GEOLOGICAL RECORD. Mineralization of organic material will not occur within the time frame proposed by Creationists. This planet is indeed millions of years old. NO AMOUNT OF FAITH IS GOING TO CHANGE THAT. To Take it one step further , If one decides to " read between the lines of your Bible" you can discover several potential Alien Encounters that were misinterpreted by the Neolithic People who wrote the Bible., and we as modern people are supposed to literally believe the accounts of a glorified caveman writing on stone tablets or animal skins, Please?

December 05 2010 at 10:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
THE BALD EAGLE

**** JUST REMEMBER THERE ARE PAIRS MALES AND FEMALES AND THERE ARE" SEVEN PAIRS" DO THE MATH RIGHT PLEASE*******88***

December 05 2010 at 10:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Schitzengigles

I sure hope they include the Flying Spaghetti Monster exhibit in this one.

December 05 2010 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ezrabonesiv

So, you believe that a jewish zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh, and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree?

December 05 2010 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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