Ark Encounter will be a totally unique theme park centered on a full-size Ark, built to the dimensions commanded of Noah in Genesis 6. But beyond the Ark, the park will feature a Tower of Babel area, an aviary, and much more.
Answers in Genesis will run the park when it becomes operational.
Scheduled to open in 2014, Ark Encounter is a $150 million project that will be jointly funded by for-profit Ark Encounter LLC and non-profit Answers in Genesis. The latter, which is parent to both News to Note and the Creation Museum, will raise approximately $25 million of the total through donations. Additionally, the park may receive appropriate state tax incentives offered through Kentucky’s Tourism Development Act given that the construction and operation will bring thousands of jobs, directly and indirectly, as well as tourist dollars to the local economy.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear helped unveil plans for the park on Wednesday, saying, “We are excited to join with the Ark Encounter group as it seeks to provide this unique, family friendly tourist attraction to the Commonwealth. 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.”
Answers in Genesis will run the park when it becomes operational, with the success of the Creation Museum part of the motivation for Ark Encounter. “We are very pleased to be a part of this new project,” said Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham. “AiG has been blessed to see the Creation Museum host over one million guests in three years. Based on our experience and success operating the large, state-of-the-art Creation Museum, our board believes the time is right to partner with the Ark Encounter in building a full-scale Noah's Ark. We hope that this fun and educational complex called the Ark Encounter will become another popular tourist destination for the state.”
The announcement unsurprisingly launched a wave of media coverage—as well as criticism from many of the same individuals who opposed the construction of the Creation Museum. The coverage will become even wider this weekend, as the New York Times and the Times of London prepare to print their Ark Encounter stories.
News to Note will provide ongoing coverage of the project when appropriate, but for a wealth of information on the project—including images of the planned layout for the site, answers to frequently asked questions, video of the announcement, a blog devoted to the project, and information on how to donate—visit the official Ark Encounter website at ArkEncounter.com.
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