Life-Size Noah’s Ark To Open Amid A Flood Of Skepticism

A replica of Noah's Ark has been built in the rolling hills of northern Kentucky and it is, quite literally, of biblical proportions at 510 feet long.

It cost $100 million to build and is expected to draw up to 2 million visitors a year along with millions in tourism revenue, according to what the ministry calls an independent study. Looey says they’ve already hired over 300 staff and hundreds more jobs are on the way when the other phases — including a walled city and a replica of the Tower of Babel — are completed.

 

A replica of Noah’s Ark has been built in the rolling hills of northern Kentucky and it is, quite literally, of biblical proportions. The wood structure stands seven stories high and is the length of 1 1/2 football fields.

“The Bible indicates the original Ark was 300 cubits, using the Hebrew royal cubit that calculates in modern-day terms to 510 feet long,” says Mark Looey, a co-founder of Answers in Genesis, the Christian ministry that built the attraction. It’s the same group that opened the Creation Museum in 2007 in Petersburg, Ky., which promotes a literal interpretation of the Bible and other teachings: that planet Earth is only 6,000 years old and that man lived alongside dinosaurs.

The ark attraction has been mired in controversy for years, and though Answers in Genesis promises jobs and increased tourism to a region in desperate need of an economic boost, for many who live there, it’s very much a mixed blessing.

‘After The Flash And Bang’

The ark offers three decks of exhibits so sophisticated, you might think you stepped into Disney World.

There are no live animals on the ark, though. “There’s a zoo out back for them,” Looey says. Instead, the ark will be filled with lifelike models of animals — including dinosaurs and a pair of unicorns — designed by many of the people who also made exhibits for the Creation Museum.

The ark doesn’t float either. Ken Ham, Answers in Genesis and Ark Encounter president and CEO, says it wasn’t built to float. “We built it as a reminder, a reminder in regard to God’s word and the account of Noah and the flood,” he says.

A Noah’s Ark In Kentucky Encounters Controversy

It cost $100 million to build and is expected to draw up to 2 million visitors a year along with millions in tourism revenue, according to what the ministry calls an independent study. Looey says they’ve already hired over 300 staff and hundreds more jobs are on the way when the other phases — including a walled city and a replica of the Tower of Babel — are completed.

Many in Williamstown, Ky., the small town that sits right across Interstate 75 from the attraction, are waiting for it to open with bated breath. The town — the rural seat of Grant County, Ky., — has a population of about 4,000. It’s a middle-class bedroom community right between Cincinnati and Lexington, Ky.

Read More