Apparently, the Kentucky State Fair Board has gone to court to prevent Six Flags from moving the rides at the now-closed Kentucky Kingdom theme park to other Six Flags properties.
Kentucky is claiming that the rides are "fixtures" to the land they sit on, which is owned by the State Fair Board. Therefore, they are Kentucky property, and not Six Flags'.
The state says that it can find someone else to run the park with Six Flags now out of the picture, and apparently, wants to keep the rides to make that a sweeter deal for whatever management team it hopes to lure in.
Six Flags, as one would expect, isn't buying it and has filed a countersuit against the state. (The suits are being heard in bankruptcy court in Delaware, and not in Kentucky, due to Six Flags being in Chapter 11.)
I hate to be harsh and I hate to see any park close, but honestly, SFKK appears to be in pretty bad shape....
As for the others, I only mentioned them to be nice - they look pretty run down. Actually, the whole park looks pretty run down. Nice work, Six Flags.
The more I read about this, the more ridiculous this lawsuit becomes. The fair board didn't pay to build the rides, didn't pay for their insurance or taxes, and didn't pay the millions to settle the lawsuit from the accident a couple of years back. They didn't make any noise when the drop tower was torn down after the accident, nor have they made noise about Twisted Twins not operating for the past few years. Now all of the sudden the rides are theirs. The former leadership at Six Flags was not a highly competent bunch when it came to growing and managing a company. However, I don't believe that they would be foolish enough to sign a contract containing any clause or stating that they would hand over millions of dollars of rides and attractions (many of which sit on their land) to the Kentucky State Fair Board when they leave.
This story, combined with some of Kentucky Kingdom's seemingly odd operating procedures (what seasonal park in their right mind closes for 2 weeks in the summer), leads me to believe that the fair board could be a difficult bunch to work with. If I'm an amusement park operator and they approach me to make something happen on that property, I'm thinking twice.
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As for the land owned by the fairgrounds, the fair board doesn't exactly have a rock solid case. I can't see how these rides could be designated as fixtures, especially since it's been proven how a coaster can simply be taken apart and moved and reassembled quite easily. You can get into rules about foundation, but even that isn't clear cut, as the rides are bolted into footers. Six Flags paid for the rides they installed, and they likely took ownership of the older rides when they bought Kentucky Kingdom, and it's said that they've been paying the property taxes for the fair's land. It's like saying that the landlord owns the tenant's furniture if they break a lease and move out. The only real way they could spin it is if there is something in the broken contract, or if Six Flags is trying to get out of paying the early termination penalty using their bankruptcy as a "loophole".
It sounds to me like the fair board thinks they can get an operator in there to run the park and make money. It wouldn't be an easy task, especially if the operator has a bunch of restrictions. I wonder if they've been talking to anyone?