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So what else is new?

Now, not only has Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter boondoggle been delayed and delayed and delayed, but it has also shrunk. Cincinnati news reports money problems and that they’ve cut back on the grander version they proposed. You know, the big project that would create 900 jobs for the area, and got tax breaks from the state on that promise? Not going to happen. It’s been scaled down to almost a third of what was initially planned.

Answers in Genesis hoped to break ground on its "Ark Encounter" project nearly two years ago. Since then, the 172-million dollar project has been scaled back, redesigned and slowed down by a sluggish economy.

The Williamstown on the property the Ark will rest on doesn’t look much differently than it did in February of 2012. That was a few months after the original groundbreaking date. Planners insist it will be built, but they can’t say when.

…Ark Encounter’s project manager, Mike Zovath says they are working every day on the design for displays and content. They hope to get all the necessary permits for drainage and underground utilities by the end of November. But even if they had them today … "Right now we don’t have the money for construction, yet."

The Ark project has enough money to continue moving forward with the design and architecture work — but not enough to build it. They’ve raised between $12 and $15-million. " We need about $45-million to break escrow and start construction for a $60-million end project," Zovath says.

The scaled-down $60-million dollar project would include parking lots , a ticketing area and the Ark. The walled city and other features would come later. Zovath has faith in the project and points to the Creation Museum as something critics said would never be built. "I’m absolutely positive it’s going to happen."

We all know what faith is worth. Nothing at all.

Give it a few more years, and they’ll deliver a toy boat in a rubber tub with some plastic animals scattered around.

Comments

  1. blf says

    Isn’t Ken “piglet rapist” Ham’s child abusing creation fantasyland also reported to be, at least thought to be, in some financial difficulties now?

  2. says

    No, it’s simply not enough faith. You know, the lack of faith that keeps all creationists, including the IDiots, from doing real creation science.

    Oddly, there’s never enough faith to do anything.

    Glen Davidson

  3. ianeymeaney says

    So Ham has not fleeced enough bacon out of the sheep who follow him? Baaah!

  4. kieran says

    Makes you wonder how Noah managed in the first place, it’s not like he had thousands of followers to bilk for the money for his project!

  5. Anthony K says

    I wonder how much Moses had to put into escrow?

    “What? They should be on deck א, with the other large cats.”
    “No, no, Noah: you misheard. I said there were several liens against your boat. You’ll have to pay your shipwrights if you want to launc—oh hey, it’s raining.”

  6. says

    The scaled-down $60-million dollar project would include parking lots , a ticketing area and the Ark.

    For $60 million??

    Fuck, give me $100, a case of beer, and a long weekend and I’ll build a goddamned ark.

  7. says

    I would be willing to bet that financial situations of the people behind this investment are doing quite a bit better than the Ark Encounter’s financial situation. Watching conservatives run things these last…twenty years…my assumption is that everything they do is a grift, but sometimes they manage to foo themselves into thinking they are actually trying to accomplish something.

  8. says

    Too bad they don’t know any supernatural carpenters that could help them get this thing built fast and cheap.

  9. Anthony K says

    Fuck, give me $100, a case of beer, and a long weekend and I’ll build a goddamned ark.

    [Inspects Alexandra’s work]

    I applaud your thrift and ingenuity, but what happens if lightning hits that mast? You’ll be without sail and down a breeding pair of dimetrodons.

  10. robro says

    …the 172-million dollar project has been scaled back, redesigned and slowed down by a sluggish economy.

    So, it’s the “economy” that’s to blame. Not the dumb ass idea or the inability of the project management to get the job done. That’s framing for you.

  11. Anthony K says

    So, it’s the “economy” that’s to blame. Not the dumb ass idea or the inability of the project management to get the job done. That’s framing for you.

    Look to the birds of the air; for they do not reinvest nor diversify their portfolios, and yet your heavenly Father pays them quarterly dividends. Is your market not much more bullish than theirs?

  12. says

    You know, the big project that would create 900 jobs for the area, and got tax breaks from the state on that promise?

    Fuck I hate Austrian School bullshit. Putting aside the fact that the Kentucky House and Senate were probably eagerly anticipating it, this is helped along by our acceptance and worship of the fucking ‘jerb creators’ >.<

  13. Rich Woods says

    @Alexandra #7:

    Fuck, give me $100, a case of beer, and a long weekend and I’ll build a goddamned ark.

    If you can finagle a second case of beer, I’ll bring a hammer.

  14. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    A parking lot?

    Here’s an idea: Build a floating replica of the ark, you know, like it was a boat or something, and take it on a tour of the world.

    We don’t need no stinking parking lots.

  15. Anthony K says

    Whatever. I’ve got enough duct tape and paper clips to MacGyver a solution.

    Paper clips? Great. Now it’s Microsoft Ark.

    It looks like you’re attempting to ferry sauropods on an inadequately sized vessel. Would you like help?
    ☉ Get help building the ark. Or in understanding how fucking big that tree-munching thing in front of you is. Or just in general.
    ☉ Just fuck the whole thing and go worship Ba’al instead

  16. says

    “So, how many kinds of animals are in the petting zoo? And how many people are needed to care for them? And how much space do you use to store their food?”

  17. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’ll be like a cruise ship, but without any toilets.

    The toilets would be seat of rope with your ass out over the waters…

  18. says

    “Scaled back”?! This sounds like a PERFECT opportunity for a MIRACLE. Wow it’d surely show the skeptics the power of god if suddenly somehow the park became profitable.

  19. chigau (違う) says

    Alexandra

    Fuck, give me $100, a case of beer, and a long weekend and I’ll build a goddamned ark.

    One case of beer for a long weekend?
    It better be a two-four.

  20. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m surprised they haven’t decided on a duct-tape ark considering the Mythies success with the product. Pullet Patrol™ Products is ready with a low-ball offer on water-soluble adhesive duct tape…. ;)

  21. qwerty says

    The Hamster doesn’t have enough balls to build it where it should be built. Namely in a shipyard and then launched.

    His replica is ridiculous.

  22. davidct says

    Just where is this “God” when you need him. Could it be that this project is not its will. If you are insisting on doing “God’s” work you ought to check with the deity first. It does talk to you – Right?

  23. says

    Richard Woods:

    If you can finagle a second case of beer, I’ll bring a hammer.

    I’ll make it three– anyone want to bring some nails?

    chigau:

    One case of beer for a long weekend?

    Sad to say, I’m a lightweight now. Being pregnant and nursing have made me into a cheap date.

  24. Lofty says

    Just where is this “God” when you need him.

    He’s probably off throwing rocks at a black hole somewhere, hoping someone gets the encoded message beamed out in gamma rays.
    “YHWH WZ HR”

  25. Lofty says

    anyone want to bring some nails?

    Ooh, I think there’s some on those torture devices over there I can use. Lend me the hammer and I can straighten them good as new.

  26. Seize says

    Now, not only has Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter boondoggle been delayed and delayed and delayed,

    Had it been more sudden, would we call it an Ark Attack?

  27. robster says

    Ha! They could rename the “attraction” the Dingy Encounter or the Inflatable Raft Encounter perhaps. Or, get Hollywood involved and make a movie. How about “Raiders of the Lost Ark” errr…that’s been done. Was it a premonition?

  28. Gorg says

    Had it been more sudden, would we call it an Ark Attack?

    Howz about “ArkNado”?

    (…sorry….)

  29. Dr Pepper says

    $60 million should be plenty to get the government of Armenia to let you build a vacation camp around the real thing. It is still up there, right?

  30. DLC says

    I wonder exactly how much of his own money Ham stands to lose if this deal implodes. On a guess, not very much. Most likely Ham has no faith in his own enterprises and so only invests the minimum.
    I also have to wonder how much Ham and his mob pay themselves out of that 23 million they scammed.

  31. grumpyoldfart says

    They’ve probably already decided not to build the ark, but there’s millions of donated dollars that have to be shifted (legally if possible) into their own pockets. It might take years of salaries, consulting fees, success fees and Christmas bonuses before they finally declare bankruptcy.

  32. drivenb4u says

    The amount of money they still do have is staggering to me. That they can even get in the playing field of 30+ million dollar projects is extremely worrisome. and DLC I don’t doubt Ken pays himself a comfortable chunk of it. I’d guess at least a couple hundred thou or so a year.

  33. woggler says

    You are an atheistic evolutionist liar. Ken Ham has enough money he can not only build the ark, he can stock it, float it (he has purchased the Atlantic Ocean) and resurrect Noah. What say you now, God-hater?

  34. Brother Yam says

    Compensation of Leaders (FYE 06/2011)
    Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
    $148,999 0.74% Kenneth Ham President

    Nice work if you can get it…

  35. Menyambal --- Ooo, look! A garage sale ... says

    I know! Let’s have the ark built in sections, in different places, just like a modern ship, than have all the pieces assembled at Ark Encounter. Everybody can just follow the blueprints in the Bible, right?

    They could just pray to God for the fiddly dimensions, like rib spacing and such. It’ll work great.

  36. John Morales says

    [meta]

    woggler, you need to learn to finesse ere you further essay your Poeing.

    (Course, then you’d need a sarcasm tag ;) )

  37. playonwords says

    If it is ever made it will be concrete, steel and some fancy wood cladding because of “the economy” – just like they meant to make it the first place.

    As an aside; it would be interesting if some engineers and biologists could work out the mechanical properties of the Gopher wood used in the myth and to see if a timber like that could even exist.

  38. says

    Nerd, Naked Bunny:
    Why the need for toilets?
    They tossed all the poop overboard remember?

    Sheesh. Simplest explanation and all.

    Or maybe god disposed of all the crap, like he did with the flood waters.
    He has been shitting on humans for a few thousand years. I wondered where it all came from.

  39. Adam Etzion says

    So, OK, supposedly the original Ark was built over a ~100 year period, with around 8 people helping build it. That’s without a large budget, power tools or formal shipbuilding or structural engineering expertise, mind you.

    So let’s say power tools cut the time it takes to build the ark in half (although we should probably cut it by more, what with wood, nails and other construction material being more available today than they were to the alleged Noah, the employed laborers being more skilled, and the time it takes to collect and transfer the required supplies being much lower)

    That’s 50 years.
    Now let’s say we add more people, with experience in the shipbuilding field and construction fields. Say we have around 200 people.

    50 years X 8 workers = 400 work years

    400 work years divided by 200 workers means it should take around 2 years to build the thing, assuming they’re following the same measurements provided to Noah in Genesis.

    Now, they say they need 60 million dollars, right?
    Assuming they pay their 200 workers the average $41,000 annual construction worker salary, over two years. That leaves them with 43.6 million dollars.

    Now, let’s be lenient and say they need 3/4ths of that to build the surrounding facilities, bathrooms, classrooms, gardens and whatnot.

    That still leaves them with $11 million to spend on supplies and other stuff to construct something a pre-bronze age guy did with his bare hands, more or less.

    So, for argument’s sake, even if they DO build the thing, and even if it IS seaworthy, and even if they DO mange to fit two of every “kind” of animal on it, if that’s the budget it’s going to take, they’re still not proving it was doable.

  40. David Marjanović says

    A dollarsixty-million must be a very special kind of million.

    Whatever. I’ve got enough duct tape and paper clips to MacGyver a solution.

    Just be careful you don’t accidentally build a nuke from a pocket knife.

    He’s probably off throwing rocks at a black hole somewhere, hoping someone gets the encoded message beamed out in gamma rays.
    “YHWH WZ HR”

    …This is Anthony-K-level humor. :-o

    As an aside; it would be interesting if some engineers and biologists could work out the mechanical properties of the Gopher wood used in the myth and to see if a timber like that could even exist.

    Or I could be a spoilsport and point out that it’s most likely a copyist’s mistake for “pitched wood”.

  41. Lofty says

    “pitched wood”.

    Probably an ancient recipe for polyurethane 2 pack resin and plywood. It’d raise the strength-to-weight ratio in any case.

  42. Rich Woods says

    Give it a few more years, and they’ll deliver a toy boat in a rubber tub with some plastic animals scattered around.

    Raising the possibility of yet another definition for “kind”: the plastic animals out of the cornflakes packets will never macro-evolve into plastic animals out of porridge oats packets.

  43. otrame says

    What a great morning. 1. The air conditioning in my south Texas home is now working. 2. You guys are hilarious.

    Alexandra, build your ark down here. Three cases of beer will get you an old abuelo and his youngest grandson. They’ll get it done in two days, there will be fajitas afterwards, and half the money will be left over to send to the family in Mexico. It might be painted purple and orange, though.

  44. raven says

    This looks like a con operation more than anything else. It’s common enough it even has a name. Affinity group fraud.

    Fundie xianity is full of sociopaths, grifters, and scammers, especially the leaders. The Crouches of Trinity Broadcasting are reported to own 12 mansions and several private jets. Robertson is a billionaire by doing nothing more than droning stupidly decade after decade.

    1. The Ark Park is supposed to be owned by a for profit corporation and operated by a nonprofit corporation. This convoluted and nonsensical corporate structure is a red flag right there.

    2. Cons always get paid first. I’m sure these guys will spend it all on salaries, benefits, and perks until the money is gone. Even if the Ark Park is never built.

    They can stay in the planning stage forever.

    3. Even if they build it and it goes BK, so what? They got paid first and there is residual value in the land, utilities, and scrap wood and metal.

    4. Religious theme parks don’t have a good history. Two went BK and the one in Florida was struggling. As US xianity shakes itself apart, their target audience just gets smaller, dumber, and poorer.

    It’s not all bad. Much of the money fundie xians donate is spent on mansions, jets, fast cars, cute teenage girls and boys, expensive drugs and alcohol, jewelry, tropical vacations, and anything else that money can buy.

    So, if any fundies are reading this. Check your bank balance. Send it all to the xian scammers of your choice. Luxury car makers need to eat too.

  45. raven says

    Compensation of Leaders (FYE 06/2011)
    Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
    $148,999 0.74% Kenneth Ham President

    Nice work if you can get it…

    The Ham’s compensation is quite possibly far more than just salary.

    There are legal ways to divert huge amounts of money from corporations to the executives. That is how Romney ended up with a $100 million IRA in Bermuda. This has been raised to an art form in the USA.

    In general, they all have platinum health care plans, fully funded pension plans, and expense accounts that frequently equal their salaries. Plus they employ all their relatives with the same deal. If you add up all the salaries, pensions, perks, and expense accounts, one family could easily be raking off 1/2 million or a million a year.

    With really good lawyers and accountants it can be much more. I still wonder how Romney ended up with that $100 million IRA offshore. I want one too.

  46. busterggi says

    Financial problems? Surely the solution can be found at AIG – they claim to have the answers for everything.

  47. skaduskitai says

    900 jobs? Haven’t they read the bible? It only takes 8 adults to care for an entire zoo with every species on earth represented! Eight people is more than enough to care for 60.000 animals (according to creationist nuts 30.000 species), please let us see 8 people work themselves to death for a year failing to manage the insane logistics of caring for that many creatures, it would be so awesome. They could make a reality TV show of it!

  48. says

    In the Gilgamesh version the entire kingdom pitches in to build the ark to save Utnapishtim and his family, and by extension, humanity from the hostile gods. It’s a stark contrast to the Genesis version where God singles out one man to stand by and laugh while the rest of us suffer and die.

  49. Seize says

    It appeals to me deeply that the best way to defeat the Ark would be to jump into its bowels with a chain saw.

  50. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    It appeals to me deeply that the best way to defeat the Ark would be to jump into its bowels with a chain saw.

    I sincerely hope this was not a sharknado reference

  51. Ogvorbis says

    Even if they build it and it goes BK, so what?

    Failure to grok in fullness. Burger King?

    “pitched wood”.

    must.resist.penis.jokes.

    Well, the original was, I think, built out of gopher wood. And yes, my mind went the same place yours went for “pitched wood.”

    Haven’t they read the bible? It only takes 8 adults to care for an entire zoo with every species on earth represented

    Well, now we have all those evil liberal laws — minimum wage, overtime compensation, safety and health regulations.

  52. raven says

    Even if they build it and it goes BK, so what?

    Failure to grok in fullness. Burger King?

    Bankrupt.

    This principle underlies much of Wall Street and corporate America.

    Get paid huge amounts of money up front. If everything goes BK so what? Doesn’t anyone read the 8K’s, 14K’s, and prospectuses? It said it was risky You simply retire to your vacation home in the Bahamas and cry. Or the US government bails you out with a trillion dollars.

  53. moarscienceplz says

    re $149k+bennies paid to hammy baby:
    Sure, it sounds like a good gig, but what CEO would accept a job that required constant lying? Oh, wait…

  54. Lofty says

    The promise of a premise is all that’s needed to keep the fundie dollars rolling in.

  55. says

    Well, now we have all those evil liberal laws — minimum wage, overtime compensation, safety and health regulations.

    It’s a proven fact that creationist ministries are unfairly hindered by the evil payroll tax.

  56. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    It’s a proven fact that creationist ministries [ethics/moral] are unfairly hindered by the evil payroll tax.

    Funny how they won’t render onto Caesar…

  57. David Marjanović says

    must.resist.penis.jokes.

    :-D

    I didn’t think that far. Also, it’s a quote. :-)

  58. Ichthyic says

    It was all about artificially inflating the value of the land, and illegally using public funds to do so.

    it was never about building a park.

    really really.

    always follow the money.

  59. says

    Well they better get moving… the one thing KY did right was to limit how ling those ‘tax breaks’ we good for and in mid to fall 2014 many of those tax breaks die off if these is no ‘appreciable work’ being done on the site… a just getting permits won’t cover that.