A Kentucky Group Is Building a Giant Replica of Noah’s Ark

by thehipmunk

Kentucky: Come for the bourbon, stay for the life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark.

A Bluegrass State group is building a full-sized version of the biblical ark on converted farmland about an hour south of Cincinnati, OH—and it’s slated to open to tourists next year.

The Ark Encounter is expected to draw more than a million visitors to its location in Williamstown, KY. Here’s an inside look into the $90 million blast from the past.

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Inside the Ark Encounter

The full-sized replica of Noah’s Ark was designed to accurately represent the ark as it’s described in the Bible’s book of Genesis—right down to using dimensions designated in cubits. (Originally defined as the distance from a thumb to an elbow, the unit is now assumed to equal 20.4 inches.) When construction is finished, the landlocked ark will be 510 feet long, 85 feet wide, and more than 50 feet tall (minus the sail). All told, it will qualify as the world’s largest wooden timber structure and should fit up to 10,000 people.

In addition to being very (very) large, the ark will entertain visitors with hundreds of displays including a petting zoo, animal stalls, replicas of the animals presumed to have been on the ark (including dinosaurs), educational materials pertaining to Christianity, and even an animatronic Noah.

Construction began in the summer of 2014 and is slated to end by July of next year. In the future, the ark’s developers (who also created Kentucky’s Creation Museum) hope to expand the attraction into a Bible-based theme park including replicas of the Tower of Babel and the Walled City, a replica of a first-century Middle Eastern village, a walk-through aviary, an expanded petting zoo featuring live animal shows, an interactive children’s area, themed restaurants, shopping, and live entertainment.

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Paying a Visit

Presale tickets will be available on January 19, 2016, while the ark will officially open for business on July 7th. There will be several categories of tickets, including single-day, multi-day, and seasonal passes. Single-day tickets are expected to cost $40 for adults, $28 for children, and $31 for seniors (plus $10 to park), reports USA Today. (The project’s website merely states that “the average one-day ticket price is expected to be comparable to other regional attractions.”)

Williamstown is gearing up for a huge influx of tourism by developing new hotels and restaurants and widening the highway near the park. If you want to stay in a slightly more vibrant metropolis, book a hotel in Lexington—the Horse Capital of the World—which is less than an hour’s drive away. Or head to downtown Louisville, which is 1.5 hours away by car and boasts year-round fun for people of all ages. Or see two states in one trip by planning to stay in downtown Cincinnati—it’s 45 minutes away from the ark (by car) and combines a variety of cultural influences, from European flavor to Southern hospitality to Midwestern industrialism.

Williamstown, Lexington, Louisville, or Cincinnati: So long as you stay near the ark, you should be well taken care of in the event of heavy rains.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 3, 2015.

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