Coming to Kentucky: Creationism Theme Park
Complete with 500-foot Noah's Ark replica
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2010 10:28 AM CST
Greenpeace, not Ark Encounter, built this particular Noah's Ark replica.   (AP Photo/Greenpeace HO)

(Newser) – Disneyland, pshaw. Soon the new hot amusement park will be located in Kentucky, and called ... Ark Encounter. The Christian theme park will include, among other attractions, a 500-foot-long Noah's Ark complete with live animals, a Tower of Babel replica, and a re-created first-century Middle Eastern village. "Make no mistake about it, this is a huge deal," says the governor, who is backing the park despite criticisms about its ideology.

The park, a collaboration between a for-profit company and the non-profit that runs Kentucky's Creation Museum, is stirring up controversy because developers are asking for tourism development tax incentives of up to $37.5 million, the Courier-Journal reports. Opponents say such incentives would violate the constitutional separation of church and state. Another point of controversy: whether the park will be allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion when hiring, as the Creation Museum does. Assuming those concerns fall on deaf ears, the park is expected to open in 2014.