LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Six Flags said Friday that it would close its Kentucky Kingdom amusement park in Louisville, Ky., choosing to opt out of its lease with the state.
"We are deeply disappointed to be leaving such a great fan base in the greater metropolitan area of Louisville and we are grateful to the thousands of employees … and millions of guests for their dedication," said Six Flags President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Shapiro in a statement.
Shapiro said the company's other amusement parks "reside largely on company-owned land" but that the "substantial lease payment (at Louisville) has been a significant hurdle for this park in recent years."
The Louisville Courier-Journal reported Friday that the city's mayor, Jerry Abramson, said he was "shocked" at the closing on Thursday night. By Friday, he said he was "hopeful they would be able to work out an arrangement … to stay here in Louisville."
Abramson said it was "a judicial matter," that had to be resolved in the company's bankruptcy proceedings.
The closing meant the loss of about 1,000 summer jobs, the mayor said. Jim Wood, president of the Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau said 10,000 hotel room bookings per year would be lost with the closing of the amusement park.
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