Posted: Nov 30, 2010 10:24 PM
It's been called the worst kept secret in northern Kentucky. A huge replica of Noah's Ark and an 800 acre theme park to match, reportedly coming to Grant County.
Governor Beshear is expected to make it official at a news conference tomorrow, but details of the attraction are spreading quickly across Williamstown.
If Noah's Ark were being rebuilt right next door to your house, you might have an idea it was coming. But rumors started shortly after Jessica Jones and her family bought this property in Williamstown- right off I 75, tucked away quietly across the street from the Veteran's Cemetery.
"With the kids playing and those kinds of things, it's kind of nice not to worry about any of the traffic. So that's gonna be different," said Jones.
It's not official yet, but everyone in Grant County seems pretty sure the Ark is coming, along with an associated theme park and an estimated 1.6 million visitors annually. Everyone including the head of Grant County's Chamber of Commerce, Wade Gutman.
"We're very optimistic that it's gonna be selected. We're gonna wait till the governor tells us tomorrow," Gutman said.
Answers in Genesis, the people behind the Creation Museum, and a group of private investors have reportedly been looking at spots across the country. Plans to put it in Grant County have been in the works for a year and a half.
"Nothing big like this has happened in 50 or 75 years and you start talking about it people just think they're just leading us on. But now that it's finally close to maybe happening, people are really excited," Gutman said.
In addition to an Ark that will span two football fields and reach three stories into the air, the park is estimated to bring 900 jobs. That doesn't count employment at new resturaunts and hotels.
Jones says she thinks it will be great for Grant County. What it will mean for her family is a different story, "I don’t know what the future will bring for us," she said.
The project reportedly carries a price tag of at least 150 million dollars, and is expected to take three years to build. It will be privately funded.