Aquarium project off table after pitchman says he disliked ‘vibe’ on $5 million vote

Aquarium project off table after pitchman says he disliked ‘vibe’ on $5 million vote

A businessman who is trying to bring an aquarium to the Louisville area has put his plans on hold despite initial approval of a $5 million commitment from Harrison County, Indiana, to help fund the project.

Sleep Center of Kentuckiana CEO Ed Dana notified the county’s officials of his plans this month, saying he does not “have the right welcome vibe from community leaders” for his Indiana Fun World project.

Dana, who unsuccessfully pitched the plan across the Ohio River in Louisville in February, had called the project a way to “forever change Harrison County,” detailing eventual plans for a 200,000-square-foot, four-part amusement park that would have the aquarium as its centerpiece.

“Since I started talks with Harrison County only two council members made statements that they are in support and it seems that the rest are not sure or bluntly questioning either the development itself or the investment I am bringing to Harrison County,” Dana wrote in an Oct. 2 email, which was provided to the Courier Journal by the county.

Harrison County Councilman Gary Davis said several questions about Dana’s business plan went unanswered, including the total project cost as well as its money sources.

“All the council members would have been pleased to have had a development like this in Harrison County, but I don’t think we ever got to the point with this where we felt comfortable that this would be done,” Davis said.

Dana did not respond to multiple Courier Journal emails and calls seeking comment about the future of the project.

But Harrison County Commissioner Jim Klinstiver, a supporter of Indiana Fun World, said the project is “on hold” and that it was apparent that the Harrison County Council “wasn’t receptive at all” to Dana’s vision.

“He’s got other offers coming in,” Klinstiver said. “If he has one as good or better, he’d be foolish not to take it. Harrison County is hanging on by a thread.”

Source: Courier Journal


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