The pitch ‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ is Entrepreneur BS.
It has been almost a year since Ark Encounter opened, promising a surge of economic development in the county of 24,000 people in return for generous state and local tax breaks.
The city of Williamstown issued $62 million in junk bonds, which means they aren’t guaranteed by either the city or Ark Encounter, but by the bond’s buyers.
The city and county also created a tax increment financing district. The deal means Ark Encounter gets back 75 percent of the increase in property taxes within the TIF district, encompassed by the Ark’s 800 acres, for 30 years. The property started with an assessment of $1.3 million in 2011 but is now assessed at $55 million.
There is much more read at The Hill
1 out of 10 Business fail within the first few years. Yet, his failure can’t possibly be because of something he did, because it was “god inspired”.
- Ark Encounter was supposed to be a floating replica of Noah’s boat – Instead, it’s a modern building with the entrance an art facade. (water is nowhere to be found).
- The ark is unsuitable for animal habitation which means there are no real animals on the ark; It is half an ark filled with plastic animals.
- The Ark Encounter is nothing more than a gift shop.
- 3rd floor displays were promoting anti-scientific facts. It asks you to ignore the half an ark, plastic animals, set aside your common sense and believe.
- Discriminatory hiring practices; only those who sign a statement of faith will be hired.
- Pay $10 to park and you must take a bus to the Ark Encounter.
- $40 for adults and $28 for children.
The biggest complaint is that the queue is long, the illusion of popularity. However nothing to see until the 3rd floor and there is plenty of indoctrination to keep the zealots busy.
Why is it failing?
Ken Ham promised Williamstown and Grant County the moon and the stars when they wanted help building their Ark with as little of his own money as possible.
However, local 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. “I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in … I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
Ken Ham is nothing more than a selfish business man who wants to blame others for his tarnished reputation.