The stupid...it burns
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16-11-2015, 09:32 AM
The stupid...it burns
So Ken Ham and his merry band of delusional dipshits are at it again.....

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/nat.../75725368/

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. - The full sized replica of Noah’s Ark being built on former farmland and less than an hour south of Cincinnati will officially open in less than 10 months.

But will it float, figuratively, that is?

Will the organization behind the massive wooden structure – the same outfit that created the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky. – get the million visitors or more that are predicted to visit the Ark Encounter in the small burg of Williamstown in Grant County?

And what will it do to – or for – that community in the coming months and years?

The Enquirer interviewed dozens of officials, experts and officials from Answers in Genesis (AIG), which is building the $92 million ark, to get some answers.

What is the Ark Encounter and when will it open?

The Ark Encounter is a full-sized replica of Noah’s Ark, as described in the book of Genesis in the Bible. It is being built using the dimensions specified in cubits. Which could have been problematic given that more than 20 different versions of a cubit exist – though it was was originally the distance from a thumb to the elbow. The builders settled on the Egyptian version of the cubit, or 20.4 inches.

That means the actual ark will be 510 feet long (almost as long as the Great American Tower is tall), 85 feet wide and more than 50 feet tall, and that's before you add the sail. It can house up to 10,000 people in a pinch, and when finished will be the largest wooden timber structure in the world.

It will include hundreds of different displays, including mock-ups of animal stalls, what the animals (yes, including miniature dinosaurs) may have looked like thousands of years ago, recreations of how Noah and his family may have lived, and even an animatronic version of Noah that will answer questions.

Science questions the creation story as being fact, including the occurrence of the Great Flood. Dinosaurs could not have existed with mankind, the overwhelming majority of scientists explain, as they had been extinct for millions of years by the time Homo sapiens evolved.

“I’ll be the first to admit that many things and attractions in the Christian world previously have been rather cheesy and not up to scratch,” said Australian-born Ken Ham, who founded AIG in 1994 and also oversaw the construction and opening of the Creation Museum.

“People expect the quality of a Universal Studios and we’re going to give it to them.”

Presale tickets will be available starting on Jan. 19, and there will be separate day and night sessions for 40 days after the grand opening to meet the anticipated demand in the first months.

AIG officials announced Thursday that the ark will open on July 7. Admission will be $40 for adults, $31 for seniors and $28 for children, $10 to park.

Who is building it?

AIG, the nonprofit behind the new attraction, believes that the events depicted in Genesis happened exactly as written and are signposts to how Jesus Christ would come into the world. They believe that Noah lived to be more than 900 years old and that dinosaurs existed at the time of the Great Flood.

AIG also built and runs the nonprofit Creation Museum in Hebron, where nearly 300,000 visitors attend each year. That museum depicts how life started as described in the Bible.

AIG co-founder Ham is also well known for his recent creationism vs. evolution debate with Bill Nye (“the science guy”). The debate was hosted by the museum and broadcast online worldwide.

What about the religious angle?

Even though the story of Noah’s ark is included in both Christianity and Judiaism, the attraction will be “clearly from a Christian point of view,” said AIG co-founder and chief action officer Mike Zovath, who is overseeing the ark construction.

“We welcome everyone here, but this is about the ark and how it pointed the way for the coming of Christ,” Zovath said.

Still, AIG officials say the religious angle won’t be completely overt.

“We’re not going to go out and try and convert people in the parking lot,” Ham said. “There won’t be people walking around preaching. We will host educational seminars and allow churches to come, but we’re not pushing this hard on people. We present our points of view in the displays.”

How much is this costing?

AIG is spending $92 million on the project, primarily through bonds worth more than $60 million that were offered publicly in 2013. After some controversy, including some religious objectors registering to buy the bonds to disrupt the process, AIG was able to raise enough money to start construction in February 2014. The rest of the construction costs are being covered by ticket sales and private donations. Those donors and sponsors include the family that owns and runs the retail chain Hobby Lobby, who are also erecting a museum devoted to the Bible in Washington, D.C.

In fact, that organization is getting three bays of display space in the ark to cross-promote the new museum and talk about the history of the Bible.

But the ark is being run as a for-profit enterprise through a series of nonprofit entities, including a third organization also owned by AIG called Crosswater Canyon LLC. AIG officials say that was done for tax purposes, and the Ark Encounter will indeed pay some taxes at the local, state and federal level. All profits are intended to sink back into the park for future phases, they say.

Speaking of taxes, what’s this about tax incentives and the state?

The state of Kentucky initially offered AIG $18 million worth of tax incentives for the project, but then rescinded the offer for fear that the ark would discriminate against non-Christians in its hiring process. AIG then sued in state court, and the matter is still waiting a state judge’s decision.

“We haven’t even decided or created our HR or hiring policies, so for them to use that as their stance was pretty ridiculous,” said AIG’s Zovath.

Matt Bevin, the newly elected Republican governor set to take office on Dec. 8, could change that. In previous statements during the campaign, he said that to withhold the incentives “is discriminatory and flies in the face of protected First Amendment rights.”

A Bevin spokeswoman this week said the governor-elect still supported the project and would be studying closely whether the state can reinstate the incentives.

"As Governor-elect Bevin puts his team of advisors together, this will be an issue that will be thoroughly vetted and discussed. If the Commonwealth can legally provide financial incentives to the project, Governor-elect Bevin would certainly support doing so. Governor-elect Bevin's administration will not discriminate among or against any worthy economic development projects,” Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto said in a statement.

What about the locals?

Grant County and the city of Williamstown are giving some incentives by way of a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

The way TIF works is that the city and county will refund 75 percent of any taxes created by new development on the site over the next 30 years. The current valuation of the farmland is about $3 million, and that will rise to about $72 million with the ark park in place. So Williamstown will receive a total of $67,225 in taxes annually from the park, an increase of nearly $57,000 annually, according to estimates prepared by AIG lawyers. The total value of the incentives over the 30 years is estimated to be $62 million, or about the same amount that AIG is borrowing through its bond issues.

“Mainly, this is going to security, including our fire department,” said Williamstown Mayor Rick Skinner. He says that AIG donated less than two acres to locate a new city fire department substation near the ark, but a portion of the new tax money will go toward building the facility, upgrading equipment and increasing staffing.

“We’re also going to put some toward economic development,” Skinner said.

The county will get an additional $27,000-plus as well, according to the estimates, money that Grant County Judge-executive Stephen Wood says is badly needed.

“We have a total budget of $12 million and have no money to pave roads or fix our jail, on which we have a $5.3 million debt service,” Wood said. “We’re looking at a $200,000 shortfall at the jail alone.”

The TIF district extends beyond the park, meaning the county/city could cut deals with other developers on nearby land near the interstate exit for hotels, restaurants or other developments, meaning even more tax revenue, at a discount.

Such development also could include future phases of the Ark Encounter. Plans include a replica of the Tower of Babel, for example, as well as the Walled City of Noah’s time and a water tour through biblical history.

The local school districts didn’t enter into any tax breaks, meaning Grant County schools and the Williamstown Independent district could get upwards of $440,000 combined in new tax revenues.

In addition, anyone working within the TIF district, including at the Ark itself, will be assessed a two percent payroll tax, also called a job assessment fee. That will go directly into city coffers, and officials there say it will help cover the incentives as well.

A million-plus people sounds like a lot. Will it really draw that many?

AIG's initial visitor estimates for the ark park ranged between 1.2 million and 1.8 million people, based on surveys and consumer research by America’s Research Group of Charleston, South Carolina, the same organization that did the forecast for the Creation Museum.

ARG chairman Britt Beemer recently updated the forecast, which now ranges between 1.4 million and 2.2 million. Beemer also co-wrote a book with AIG founder Ken Ham on Christianity and why youth are leaving the church, but says that didn't influence his professional research on behalf of the Ark project.

Beemer’s initial forecast for the Creation Museum was spot on; he predicted 400,000 visitors in the first year and 404,000 turned up.

“What makes this interesting and unique is that, according to our research, 88 percent of Americans want to see it, even though it is run by a nonprofit Christian organization,” Beemer said. “On something like this, if you get 40 percent, you’ve hit a home run and 50 percent is a grand slam.”

Ham says all the business models are based on the very “conservative” low-end projections. Still, that means the park could gross more than $25 million in revenues.

An outside expert in entertainment and media, as well as attractions and amusement parks, says he “would not rule out” the possibility of more than a million people showing up to the ark.

By comparison, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, draws 2.7 million a year, while the Cincinnati Reds drew 2.4 million in the 2015 season.The Newport Aquarium drew 1.2 million in its first year in 1999, but doesn't release attendance figures any more.

“The question is, will people come back or spread it by word of mouth … and that comes down to whether or not it’s fun to go there,” said Arthur Gruen, managing partner of Wilkofsky Gruen Associates of New York, which does attendance figures for the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.

Northern Kentucky’s top tourism official says he wouldn’t be surprised if that many people do show up to see the ark.

“Religion sells in this region … we get a lot of religious groups and tours coming through here, and that only increased with the Creation Museum,” said Eric Summe, chief executive officer for the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“And the impact will spread beyond just Grant County and Northern Kentucky … there will be a lot of people staying on the Ohio side in Cincinnati for this.”

Is the region ready for such an influx?

Most officials say not yet, but that they will catch up.

“If the numbers manifest themselves like projected, we’re not going to be able to keep all that (tourism) business in Northern Kentucky,” Summe said. “But it will certainly be an impetus for development in Grant County and other areas.

“And I can tell you, we’re already getting a lot of serious inquiries from developers about potential new hotels and the like.”

Grant Judge-executive Wood says that there are new hotels and restaurants already planned for the Ky. 36 interchange with Interstate 75. In addition, AIG is paying to widen the highway near the new park to ease traffic.

But Wood says he still worries about traffic and potential backups onto the interstate. Kentucky transportation officials have pledged to improve the interchange, but not for two years.

In the meantime, Wood frets that the area could see the same kinds of traffic jams that plagued the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta when it first opened.

“Having a hard time getting in could leave a bad taste in people's mouths, and we certainly don’t want that,” Wood said.


*VOMIT* Censored Censored

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-11-2015, 09:51 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
I pray that lightning strikes the place and it goes up in flames. Drinking Beverage

How would they explain that? Big Grin

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Science is not a subject, but a method.
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16-11-2015, 09:52 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
(16-11-2015 09:32 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  Science questions the creation story as being fact, ...

No, science doesn't question it, science dismisses it out of hand as being completely ridiculous and totally discounted by mountains of physical evidence that no world-wide deluge ever occurred.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
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16-11-2015, 10:06 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
Are they "letting" contracts to set up the viewing booths for the microscopic plants and animals ?

Silly me.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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16-11-2015, 10:26 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
(16-11-2015 09:32 AM)goodwithoutgod Wrote:  So Ken Ham and his merry band of delusional dipshits are at it again.....

http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/nat.../75725368/

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. -

“We’re also going to put some toward economic development,” Skinner said.

“We have a total budget of $12 million and have no money to pave roads or fix our jail, on which we have a $5.3 million debt service,” Wood said. “We’re looking at a $200,000 shortfall at the jail alone.”

They need the money to build the world’s largest insane asylum directly behind the ark, when visitors finish meandering through the ark they can just walk directly into their own cage. Smile

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
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16-11-2015, 10:34 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
$92 Million:

Matthew 19:20-22
20The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept; what am I still lacking?" 21Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me." 22But when the young man heard this statement, he went away grieving; for he was one who owned much property.…

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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16-11-2015, 11:02 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
(16-11-2015 09:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  I pray that lightning strikes the place and it goes up in flames. Drinking Beverage

How would they explain that? Big Grin

The sin nature of man. I like what AronRa suggested: if Ham's idea is viable at all, he should have no trouble having a zoo inside run by only 8 people with no experience in animal care.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
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16-11-2015, 11:16 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
Quote: “Having a hard time getting in could leave a bad taste in
people's mouths, and we certainly don’t want that,” Wood
said.

Blink

People are so desperate to get in that they'll suck Ken Ham off?

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

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16-11-2015, 11:45 AM
RE: The stupid...it burns
No fair using cut lumber, power tools or any modern conveniences. Any use of modern methods negates the project. You are allowed a handsaw an ax and an adze. Oxen are allowed. All tools must be hand forged of bronze. No Steel. No screws or metallic nails.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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16-11-2015, 12:07 PM
RE: The stupid...it burns
(16-11-2015 09:51 AM)Chas Wrote:  I pray that lightning strikes the place and it goes up in flames. Drinking Beverage

How would they explain that? Big Grin

Behold the power of prayer!

(16-11-2015 10:26 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  They need the money to build the world’s largest insane asylum directly behind the ark, when visitors finish meandering through the ark they can just walk directly into their own cage. Smile

Don't forget the padded cell with the drunkard who passes out naked.
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