(RNS) Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham is disputing reports the ministry’s Noah’s Ark-themed park is taking on water.
The Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Ky., hasn’t seen bad attendance, Ham blogged on Answers in Genesis’ website, just bad press.
The 800-acre theme park includes an ark built to the measurements God gave Noah in the biblical flood account. Its exhibits defend a “young Earth creationist” interpretation of Scripture that maintains the Earth is about 6,000 years old and that flood account is literally, historically true.
America’s Research Group had estimated the park would attract between 1.4 million and 2.2 million visitors its first year.
As the Ark Encounter marks its first anniversary on July 7, attendance at the ark “will draw near the low end of the estimated guest number,” Ham wrote. Park co-founder Mike Zovath told the Lexington Herald-Leader it will attract its 1 millionth visitor by July.
In addition to the low turnout at the park, Williamstown businesses haven’t seen the flood of customers they had expected as a result of the park’s opening, according to the Herald-Leader.
Ham, however, has disputed these reports.
“Nowadays, it seems very few reporters in the secular media actually want to report facts regarding what they cover as news,” he wrote. “When it comes to reporting on theologically conservative Christians like those of us at AiG, whose ideology they strongly oppose, many writers have an agenda to undermine Christianity as they file their stories.”
The newspaper quoted the mayor of the nearby town of Dry Ridge saying the park “has been great” for business, and it noted county tourism revenue is up based on hotel tax receipts. But Ham seemed to take issue with anecdotal evidence from several Williamstown business owners that people visiting the park weren’t necessarily visiting their shops and restaurants.
Courtesy: Religion News Service
Photo: The full-scale Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter during a preview of the park on July 5, 2016, in Williamstown, Ky. At 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high, based on the measurements in cubits found in the first few chapters of Genesis, the ark is the largest timber-frame structure in the world, according to the Ark Encounter.
Photo credit: Emily McFarlan Miller, RNS