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The Ark Encounter
By Joseph Cook, Grade 10

Answers in Genesis, a biblical-apologetics ministry, is in the process of raising funds to build a full-size, wooden ark in northern Kentucky. This historically themed attraction will also have a Tower of Babel replica, a first-century Middle Eastern village, a historical journey from Abraham to the parting of the Red Sea, a walk through aviary, and a large petting zoo, among other things.  The Ark Encounter is not an amusement park.  Instead, it is designed to be a historical experience for the whole family. Instead of rides, daily live performances and live special events will be part of the agenda.

Answers In Genesis concludes that $24 Million dollars will be needed to create this Ark Encounter project.  In their words, “Through the construction of a massive full-scale Noah’s ark, the Ark Encounter will present America and other nations with a reminder about the Bible’s account of the ark. Many of the same talented team members that built the successful, high-tech Creation Museum are returning for the Ark Encounter. This new project is positioned to become an attraction that will capture the world's attention.”

The Ark Encounter LLC is designing the plans in cooperation with The Troyer Group (one of the largest Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design). They intend to “...integrate solar panels along with passive solar, geothermal, water, and wind technologies into our mechanical systems, as well as some other innovative and sustainable technologies to maintain good stewardship during construction and for long-term operations. We plan to use as many local companies and locally manufactured products as possible in order to maximize efficiency while also enhancing the local economy.”

According to a study done through America’s Research Group, an estimated 1 million people will attend this attraction each year.  The Ark Encounter will provide up to 900 new jobs, and an estimated 14,000 jobs will be created in tourism-related business alone.  In addition to this, the state and local governments will receive hundreds of thousands of tax dollars in the first ten years, which will go a long way towards benefiting Kentucky as a whole.

Since the beginning of this year, over $2 million of the $24 million dollars have been raised for the Ark Encounter.  Answers in Genesis is planning to open the attraction in 2014.  By donating to the Ark Encounter $100, $1,000, or $5,000, you will be assigned a “peg”, “plank” or “beam” respectively.  Each individual peg, plank, or beam carries a unique serial number which you can use to identify where in the Ark your piece was placed! All donations are tax deductible.

Though the Ark Encounter has encountered much opposition, (regarding its right to tax rebates as a religious attraction) its progress has been steady. According to the ArkEncounter website: “On May 19th, the Tourism Development Finance Authority of Kentucky approved the application of the Ark Encounter LLC to receive a rebate of sales tax that is to be collected when the attraction opens in Grant County.”  Groundbreaking for the Ark Encounter is tentatively planned for August 2011.  For more information on this attraction, visit ArkEncounter.com

Sources:
http://www.answersingenesis.org/
http://arkencounter.com/

Rachael Britton
6/11/2011 03:01:17 am

This place sounds amazing! I can't wait to go(:

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Nayah Boucaud
6/13/2011 09:19:33 am

Awesome! Really good idea for a article and love the pic.

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Delany P.
6/21/2011 08:59:20 am

Great Article Joseph! Thanks for the awesome investigating!!
God Bless,
Delany

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