Plans have been announced for the construction of a $150 million theme park in Northern Kentucky that will create approximately 900 new jobs.
The centerpiece of Ark Encounter will be a 500-foot long, full-scale Noah’s Ark. In addition, the complex will include a Walled City similar to what would have been found in ancient times, live animal shows, a children’s interactive play area, a replica of the Tower of Babel with exhibits, a 500-seat 5-D special-effects theater, an aviary, and a first-century Middle Eastern village. To showcase the “green” construction methods and materials that will be used, the complex will also include a special events area for large gatherings, highlighting some of the Leader in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building techniques used to construct the Ark Encounter.
Missouri-based Ark Encounter LLC is partnering on the project with Answers in Genesis (AiG), a non-profit organization that operates the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. Since opening in 2007, the Creation Museum has become a major tourist attraction for the area, welcoming more than 1 million visitors. A feasibility study conducted by America’s Research Group indicates the Ark Encounter could attract 1.6 million visitors in the first year.
One of the factors that influenced the decision to launch the ark project was a November 2009 CBS News survey, the results of which revealed that the remains of Noah’s ark would be the greatest archaeological discovery of our time.
The Ark Encounter is scheduled to open in spring 2014.