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Entries in Noah's Ark (1)

Tuesday
Dec072010

Plans for Noah's Ark Replica Promises Jobs, Sparks Outrage

Photo Courtesy - ARK Encounter/Creation Museum(CINCINNATI) -- Disneyland has its castle and Epcot has its ball, but the centerpiece of a planned theme park in Kentucky will be something altogether different -- a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark.

Developers in Kentucky are drawing up plans for a $150-million theme park called the Ark Encounter, to be built on a biblical scale. The ark alone will be taller than a three-story building, the deck longer than 35 tennis courts. Constructed out of timber using dimensions from Genesis, planners say it will be big enough to fit 600 train cars inside.

The park won't have any rides, but plans suggest that there will be plenty to do. In addition to the full-scale wooden ark, there will be live stage shows, museums, theaters, a petting zoo, and even a Tower of Babel.

While the Bible says it took Noah 100 years to build his ark, the Kentucky version should take closer to three years. Though its creators are just now settling on a site for the park, they say it should open in the spring of 2014 near Williamstown, in northern Kentucky.

Kentucky's Democratic governor has signed on to the plan, promising almost $40 million in tax breaks for a project that is expected to create 900 jobs. According to a feasibility study for the park, 1.6 million visitors could show up in the first full year alone, and the project could generate $250 million in state revenue.

The governor describes it as a lifeboat for his struggling state, but not everyone is aboard. The ark has opened up the floodgates of controversy, with critics charging that it's a direct violation of the separation of church and state.

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