WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Art Encounter is scheduled to open to the public on Thursday but ABC 36 got an early look inside the massive, wooden boat.
The bible-based theme park was built in Williamstown, which is about 40 minutes north of Lexington.
The main attraction is a massive ark, built using the specifications listed in the book of Genesis in the Bible. It is 510-feet-long. Amish craftsmen were primarily responsible for the construction of the structure.
Inside the ark is 132 exhibits featuring Christian teachings. Designers say it is both an ark and a museum.
Builders call it the largest, free-standing, timber-frame building in the world.
The theme park also features a lake, a zoo and petting zoo, restaurant and gift shop. There’s also a nearby zipline.
Answers in Genesis, AiG, the organization that created the Ark Encounter, is an international Christian ministry. It also runs the Creation Museum in Petersburg.
Construction costs for phase one of the Ark Encounter were $100 million. The President and CEO of AiG says it was fully funded through private donations and bonds. He says no public funds were used.
Future plans for the Ark Encounter include a Walled City, the Tower of Babel, a first century Middle Eastern village, a journey in history from Abraham to the parting of the Red Sea, a walk-through aviary and other attractions.
Between 1.4-2.2 million visitors are expected in the first year bringing an economic impact of $4 billion to the state of Kentucky, according to an Ark Encounter press release.
Parking is $10 per vehicle.