A Noah's Ark theme park, Ark Encounter, is in the planning stages for the state of Kentucky after the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority voted unanimously to grant more than $40 million in tax incentives to partly fund the project. The total price tag of the park is estimated at around $172 million.
The park, which is expected to start construction in August, will include a 100 foot replica of the Tower of Babel, a first century village, theaters, lecture halls, retail shops, restaurants, a true-to-Bible sized replica of Noah's Ark, petting zoos, and live animal shows.
Answers in Genesis, the organization responsible for building the Creation Museum in Kentucky three years ago, is behind Ark Encounter. The Creation Museum has proved its success by bringing 1.2 million visitors to Kentucky since its opening. Mike Zovath, Senior Vice President of the organization, explains the mission of Ark Encounter by saying, "It's our opportunity to present accurate factual biblical information to people about a subject that they're really interested in."
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear favors the Noah's Ark theme park project saying it will provide jobs and revenue for the state--an estimated 600-700 full time jobs and a projected $250 million in its first year. Gov. Beshear goes on to dispute those who are against the project and complain the theme park is a violation of their rights by stating, "The people of Kentucky didn't elect me governor to debate religion. They elected me governor to create jobs."
With the Creation Museum right down the road from the ark park, Kentucky should have church buses from around the United States rolling down their highways in droves when the gates open. More parks equal more tourists, more jobs, and more happy people.