This happy item comes to us via the diligent work of one of our clandestine operatives, code-named Blue Grass. It’s at the website of WKYT-TV, the CBS-affiliated television station in Lexington, Kentucky. The website has a comments section, and their headline is Grant Co. leaders: Ark Encounter doesn’t live up to economic promise.
Gasp! Hambo’s ark doesn’t live up to its economic promise? How can that be? As you probably know, Grant County, Kentucky is the location of the bizarre, land-locked “replica” of Noah’s Ark, the biblical tourist attraction run by Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia, famed not only for his creationist ministry, Answers in Genesis (AIG), but also for the infamous, mind-boggling Creation Museum. His latest triumph has been building an exact replica of Noah’s Ark. He is unquestionably the world’s holiest man who knows more about religion and science than everyone else.
The city of Williamstown agreed to a 75 percent break on property taxes for 30 years and a $62 million bond issue. The Grant County Industrial Development Authority gave the park $200,000 plus 100 acres of land at a reduced price. The state has promised $11 million in road improvements for the park’s benefit.
We’re stunned. After doing all that to support Hambo’s ark, now they’re claiming that Hambo’s ark doesn’t live up to its economic promise? We gotta read this news article. Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis:
A big crowd squeezed into a corner of the third deck of the Ark Encounter Friday, February 24, for the ribbon cutting on its latest exhibit. “This is a significant exhibit,” Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham said in his familiar Australian brogue. “2,500 square feet. 11 scenes. It’s really unique because it’s done as a graphic novel approach to presenting the message of Christianity.”
About 600 people were expected for the first day of “Why the Bible is True.” It was an abnormally big crowd for a winter weekday at the seven-month-old Ark. But Ham said attendance had been higher than expected and travel agents told him to expect a busy spring and summer.
Y’all throwin’ up yet? If not, you soon will be. We’re told:
“They are getting so many calls a day that they can’t keep up with it. Looking at the bookings for the future and group bookings, I would say we are well on target for hitting our minimum of 1.4 million to 2.2 million as our research had suggested,” said Ham.
Isn’t that thrilling? The TV station reports:
Ham said the Ark hosted 500,000 visitors in the six months it was open in 2016. A staffer said about 645,000 guests have visited the 510-foot replica of Noah’s Ark.
Hambo says 500,000, and some guy who works for him says it’s 645,000. We believe them both! But there’s a serpent in the garden. The TV station tells us:
Ham called the Ark a success but its success has not had quite the ripple effect that many in Grant County expected. It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” said Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood during a break from a budget meeting.
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Who cares about Grant County? The ark is producing revenue for Hambo, and that’s what really matters. Let’s read on:
The county is teetering on bankruptcy and is trying to balance the budget. Wood said they were to the point where jobs may have to be cut. He will propose a 2% payroll tax at next week’s fiscal court meeting. He blames prior fiscal courts for the budget crisis, not the Ark. But he said the Ark had not lived up to its promise.
The ark didn’t live up to its promises? Hey — if the attendance figures are accurate, it seems to be doing just fine for ol’ Hambo. As for his followers, their reward will be in the hereafter. The end of the article is another quote from Steve Wood:
“I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in. But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Slowly — very slowly — the people of Grant County are learning one of life’s great lessons: A creationist promoter’s goal is to benefit himself, not his followers. Hambo may be one of the rare exceptions, but so far it doesn’t look that way. However, your Curmudgeon is not judgmental. We shall keep an open mind. Hambo may decide to announce large donations to Grant County. Then all will be well. If not, the ark will be just another data point that supports the general rule: As the moth seeks the flame, the simpleton seeks the charlatan.
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