Noah's Ark Park in Danger of Sinking

Feel like buying $29M in unrated municipal bonds?
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2014 8:43 AM CST
Noah's Ark Park in Danger of Sinking
Mike Zovath, co-founder of Answers in Genesis ministries, poses for photos at the Ark Encounter headquarters in Hebron, Ky.   (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan)

A Noah's Ark theme park set to break ground in Kentucky in March could soon be crushed—not by a mountain of water, but by a lack of investor interest, Bloomberg reports. Building a full-scale ark replica at the biblical Ark Encounter park—set to open in April 2016—is no cheap feat, and though $26.5 million in unrated municipal bonds have been sold, investors need to buy up $29 million more by next month or the project will sink. And with numerous risks—the nonprofit behind the park is not required to pay back the debt, for instance—recruiting buyers has been a tough job.

"We still need those Ark supporters who weren't able to purchase the Ark bonds at closing to prayerfully consider participating in a secondary bond delivery at the level they had indicated to us," said the president of the Christian group, Answers in Genesis, adding, "The associated complications and struggles have been beyond our control." WBAA notes that the bond issue isn't its first struggle: Delays have dogged the project, which was originally supposed to be up and running in early 2014 (which would allow it to access $37 million in tax incentives); current estimates have that opening date now set at 2016. (More Noah's Ark park stories.)

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