A full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark will be the biggest feature of a creationism-themed amusement park expected to open in 2014 in northern Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear announced Wednesday.
The $150 million park will be built by a for-profit group called Ark Encounter LLC, which is partnering with Answers in Genesis, most widely known for its high-tech Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., Beshear said at a Capitol news conference.
Site selection is not decided, he said, but the organizers have options on 800 acres in Grant County off Interstate 15, about 40 miles from the Creation Museum, which is outside Cincinnati, Ohio. The Ark Encounter website says the park will go in the Grant County site.
“Bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority, and with the estimated 900 jobs this project will create, I am happy about the economic impact this project will have on the Northern Kentucky region,” Beshear said in a prepared statement.
The park is expected to draw 1.6 million visitors a year, Beshear said, citing a feasibility study by America’s Research Group.
In addition to the full-size ark, the complex will include a walled city, live animal shows, a children’s interactive play area, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a 500-seat special effects theater, an aviary, a journey through biblical history, and a first-century Middle Eastern village.
My family had the opportunity to visit the Creation Museum mentioned above this summer. We thought it was excellent and would highly recommend a visit. This new park will certainly spark more conversation, as it brings closer to home questions such as (1) did Noah build such an ark for a local flood; (2) would all of the animals fit inside; and (3) how much faith would it take for one man to persevere in the construction. It’s interesting how much opposition there is today to the establishment of a theme park; I can’t imagine that Noah faced any less of a snarky, sneering response.