When Grant County, Kentucky decided to shell out as much as $18 million in tax incentives to creationist Ken Ham’s Ark Encounter museum, it made a bet that it was going to become a major tourist attraction.
Instead, as local news station WKYT reports, the Ark hasn’t brought in nearly as much money to the area’s economy as once projected, and the county itself is now “teetering on bankruptcy.”
“It’s been a great thing but it’s not brought us any money,” Grant County Judge-Executive Steve Wood said while taking a break during a recent budget meeting, according to WKYT.
Grant County faces a major budget shortfall that Wood has said might have to be solved through a combination of a 2% payroll tax and job cuts to the county’s workers.
Nonetheless, Wood tells WKYT that there’s no doubt the Ark has been a major disappointment.
“I was one of those believers that once the Ark was here everything was going to come in,” he said. “But it’s not done it. It’s not done it. I think the Ark’s done well and I’m glad for them on that. But it’s not done us good at all.”
The Ark Encounter, which opened in the summer of 2016, aims to offer a biblical re-interpretation of history in which human-like giants and dinosaurs existed together and regularly engaged in gladiator-style combat tournaments.