Ken Ham’s Ark Park — Latest Update

This news is hot from the personal blog of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the Australian entrepreneur who has become the ayatollah of Appalachia. As you know, ol’ Hambo is co-founder of Answers in Genesis (AIG) — described in the Cast of Characters section of our Intro page.

You’ve heard about Hambo’s proposed Ark Encounter — the latest project of his online creationist ministry. We last wrote about it here: Hot News about Ken Ham’s Ark Park. At that time their fund-raising had passed the $10 million mark, and some generous donors had just agreed to match year-end gifts up to $1.25 million.

Hambo’s new article is Ark Encounter Contract Signed. Wow — they’ve signed a contract! But a contract for what? Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

At the end of 2012, through God’s blessing, the Ark Encounter completed a matching gift challenge which exceeded its end-of-year donation goal of $3 million! The strong year-end giving will allow us to apply for all of the permits necessary to begin excavation and construction as the funding is provided. (AiG is about halfway to its overall donation and boarding pass goal!)

Let’s think about this. First, they’re “about halfway” toward raising the funds they need. Second, they’re not starting construction, nor (we’ve read Hambo’s article a few times to be sure) does it appear that they’re signing a contract for construction. They’re applying for permits they need “to begin excavation and construction as the funding is provided.” Okay, let’s see what else Hambo says:

The year-end donations also allow for our architects and engineers to continue to work on the necessary site and building plans for the Ark and other facilities.

That’s interesting. We hadn’t realized that the plans weren’t done yet. Now that work can continue. Let’s read on:

Last week, we signed the formal contract with the Troyer Group. We hope to have all of our construction permits in hand by November of this year (2013).

The article is vague about just what that contract is. If it were a construction contract, Hambo would surely say so. Our guess is that it’s a contract for conducting the permitting process, and it’ll take maybe a year to get the permits. There must be a lot of bureaucracy in Kentucky. Lucky for all of us that Noah didn’t have to worry about such things. Hambo continues:

With the contract signed and permit process underway, activity will increase on the Ark Encounter site in anticipation of — and in preparation for — the long-awaited construction phase.

In other words, their plans aren’t completed, they don’t yet have any construction permits or (it seems) a construction contract, and it’ll be at least a year before they they get the permits necessary so they can start construction — if they have sufficient funds, and they’re not yet halfway toward that goal.

So that’s the news. If you’ve been eagerly anticipating a visit to Hambo’s Ark, you’ll have to wait a little longer. But it’ll be worth it.

Copyright © 2013. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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15 responses to “Ken Ham’s Ark Park — Latest Update

  1. Has he truthfully reached the amounts claimed? Who really knows when such claims come from the “true truth” community.
    Will the Troyer group be the first of a five contractor deep outsourcing that ends with his offspring and himself being paid lavishly to visit the local city hall?

  2. This would probably be pre-construction work. Before they even begin construction they have to prove that they can actually build what they want to build with more specifics. Site layout, sanitary and storm facilities and capacity, parking, road infrastructure and conceptual grading in the form of a functional servicing report.

    Now the interesting thing about functional servicing reports is that they don’t always lead to construction (at least right away). They are a way to increase land value (since you can prove the land is functional), and a way to get more backers since it’s a way of moving forward with a plan without having to shell out the major money.

    the good news about all of this is that the submissions (at least in my area) are a matter of public record. We may get our first look at the actual park in a few months.

  3. thearchaeopteryx

    Times like these is when I wish I was rich. I would pay for the transportation costs to the coast so that Ken Ham and the entire AIG staff could take the Ark out to open sea to demonstrate its sea-worthiness. God knew what he was doing when he gave Noah the specs, right?

  4. No mention of where the money is invested, or in whose name.

  5. Alex Shuffell

    How can this project cost $24.5 million? I’ve had a look at his site – – He’s quite evil if he expects people to pay $100 for a wooden peg. I presume once he’s got the funding he’s going to build it as described in the bible, built by four men and pitched within and out, it shouldn’t cost this much.

  6. What do you mean, they haven’t finished the plans yet? They’re all in the Bible!

    …or at least that’s what they keep trying to tell us, anyway.

  7. So I guess if Noah had to get permits he would have drowned! I wonder what the price and red tape would be for just the ark. I suppose it is a stupid idea whose time has come. I always thought it would be cool to build a copy of Stonehenge in the western hemisphere. It would have to be in Canada so that the latitude would be the same as the original. Now that I could see costing $25 million.

  8. Oh my – I would have hoped that LeRoy Troyer and the rest of the folks at the planning-design-build Troyer Group had exercised a bit of discernment before having their otherwise good name associated with the Hamites. A link at their website takes you here:
    I suppose the business bucks trump the values claims.

  9. Permit process can be very expensive, upwards, say of several millions in this case? The rest will go to salaries for Hambo and under-the-table donations to the state legislators and governor who are making this marvelous park a reality on the taxpayer’s dime!

  10. “The [Troyer] group includes architects, engineers, interior designers, and landscape architects…” (From their website).

    It appears they’ve merely signed a contract for design work, which should lead to the acquisition of some pretty pictures that can be used for fundraising purposes. And the permits for actual construction won’t be in hand until November 2013? How convenient — he can then delay the start of construction until the Spring of 2014. Ol’ Hambo sure knows how to stretch it out!

    SC: “Lucky for all of us that Noah didn’t have to worry about such things.”

    Since Ham so vociferously proclaims that we are all descendants of Noah while at the same time denying evolution, how does he explain the fact that we are all different races?? And that all this obvious differentiation had taken place in just the two or three thousand years before Jesus was born? Truly amazing!

  11. Didn’t I read that, according to its tax returns, the Creation Museum is dropping money at an unsustainable rate?

    On all planets occupied by organisms known to be sentient, government matching funds are only released to private companies for new developments if they can demonstrate that their underlying business is not likely to go belly-up.

    Auditors are the public’s friend.

  12. Troy wrote:

    I always thought it would be cool to build a copy of Stonehenge in the western hemisphere.

    Been there; done that (in the state of Washington no less!):

  13. @thearchaeopteryx: It seems there is a seaworthy version of the Ark already. It’s built of wood reinforced with steel, and the flotation hull is a steel barge. Gopher wood, it ain’t.

    A bit more here:'s_Ark

  14. thearchaeopteryx

    Yeah, I’ve seen that one before. A boat with a steel frame, and built on a barge cannot be classified as a “wooden boat” anymore. It sounds like the wood is simply the skin of the boat with the structure being all metal.

    It’s funny, it’s almost like they don’t trust God’s specifications over modern ship-building methods. I still want to see a full scale replica, built to spec, launched onto the open sea.