Frankfort, Ky. (Dec. 1, 2010)—Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear today joined the Ark Encounter LLC to announce the planned construction of a full-scale Noah’s Ark tourist attraction in northern Kentucky. Partnering with the Ark Encounter is Answers in Genesis, which is most widely known for its high-tech and popular Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky.
“We are excited to join with the Ark Encounter group as it seeks to provide this unique, family friendly tourist attraction to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “Bringing new jobs to Kentucky is my top priority, and with the estimated 900 jobs this project will create, I am happy about the economic impact this project will have on the Northern Kentucky region.”
The Ark Encounter is scheduled to open in spring 2014 in northern Kentucky. Multiple sites are being considered, although property in Grant County off I-75 is at the top of the list. A feasibility study conducted by the renowned America’s Research Group has indicated that the Ark Encounter may attract 1.6 million visitors in the first year and is expected to employ up to 900 full- and part-time staff.
The for-profit Ark Encounter project will be privately funded at an estimated cost of $150 million. The final site selection for the Ark Encounter is subject to the ability to acquire all of the land needed for the project, and the approval of certain state and local incentives and other assistance for the project.
“We are very pleased to be a part of this new project,” said Ken Ham, president and founder of AiG and the Creation Museum. “AiG has been blessed to see the Creation Museum host over one million guests in three years. Based on our experience and success operating the large, state-of-the-art Creation Museum, our board believes the time is right to partner with the Ark Encounter in building a full-scale Noah's Ark. We hope that this fun and educational complex called the Ark Encounter will become another popular tourist destination for the state.”
In addition to the full-size Ark, the complex will include a walled city much like those 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.
My random thoughts:
(1) Opening in Spring 2014? Why so long? Look… according to Answers in Genesis (the people behind the ark project and the press release), it took Noah and his sons a maximum time of 75 years to build the ark. That roughly 20 man-years of work, which means that 40 guys could build the ark in 6 months, and 80 guys could do it in 3 months. Why so long?
(2) On the other hand, how can they possibly get it open by Spring of 2014, if they intend on building a replica of the Tower of Babel? A scaled-down model — fine. But a replica? I don't think so. The Book of Jubilees contains one of the most detailed accounts found anywhere of the Tower:
And they began to build, and in the fourth week they made brick with fire, and the bricks served them for stone, and the clay with which they cemented them together was asphalt which comes out of the sea, and out of the fountains of water in the land of Shinar. And they built it: forty and three years were they building it; its breadth was 203 bricks, and the height [of a brick] was the third of one; its height amounted to 5433 cubits and 2 palms, and [the extent of one wall was] thirteen stades [and of the other thirty stades]. (Jubilees 10:20-21, Charles' 1913 translation)
Therefore, the Tower of Babel is 8149.5 ft tall, or 1.54346 miles, and the extent of one wall is 8,188 ft. or to 1.55075 mi., much bigger than depicted historically.
… which is to say nothing of the Middle Eastern village around it. So…. good luck with that.
(3) A "500 seat 5-D theater"? What the hell is "5-D"? They're going to show films in five dimensions? Or is it going to be a 500 seat theater for….
Oh, man — that would be awesome.