Thursday, August 02, 2012

Is Noah's Ark Sinking?

A reader pointed out a story in Leo Weekly about the newest troubles of the Ark-n-Park, the Noah Ark theme park being built (mostly) by Answers in Genesis next to its fabled Creation Museum. Joe Sonka writes:

The first phase of the project will cost $73 million to build, and $6 million has already been spent on land acquisition and design. So far, Answers in Genesis has raised $7.5 million, with private investors pitching in an additional $15.5 million to the LLC, leaving $22 million left to raise before they have enough money to break ground, and $44 million left to complete the project. [Joe] Boone estimates it will take 12-24 months to secure the funding to break ground, then it will take another 24 months to complete construction.

The company will then have to raise $53 million for additional phases of the park throughout next decade.

Such a delay in construction makes the potential for a full $43 million in tax incentives impossible, as the state will only rebate sales taxes for 25 percent of what they’ve spent constructing the project by May 2014. This in turn could hurt private investment for the park, as there is no longer the virtual guarantee of $4 million in rebates every year.

The loss of the tax revenue will be a serious blow to the park construction since it was the center of focus not even a year ago and raised so much controversy. It is an interesting article, with a few hair-raising anecdotes about a visit to the Creation Museum thrown in, just to show how borderline-cult this group is. I truly hope the project hits a dead end but I would bet money that the park will wind up being built. Read the whole thing.

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