WILLIAMSTOWN, Ky. — The Ark Encounter is getting ready to celebrate its third anniversary next month. Guests will have many new venues to experience in the fourth year.

Answers in Genesis (AiG), which operates the Ark Encounter with a full-size Noah’s Ark as the centerpiece, continues to engage in major expansions through 2019. Not surprising, tourist-related businesses in northern Kentucky/Cincinnati continue to flourish, with new hotels being built throughout the area to meet the demand for lodging. Hotel and restaurant owners in the region are benefitting greatly from growing Ark attendance.

Ken Ham, the CEO of AiG, the Ark Encounter and the Ark’s sister attraction the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky (which has just seen record attendance as well), said, “I’m very pleased to report that while most attractions see their best attendance in year one and then experience a drop-off, we’ve seen the opposite. We’ve experienced another increase in yearly attendance at the Ark Encounter.”

The Ark Encounter themed attraction has been radically transforming recently, including:

new auditorium at Ark Encounter
A 2,500-seat auditorium has been added to the Answers Center at Ark Encounter.
Credit: Ark Encounter

 — The addition of a 2,500-seat auditorium inside the Answers Center, with a massive 70-foot-long LED screen on the stage. Well-known musicians and Bible conferences have been booked, including internationally popular singers and songwriters The Gettys (on Oct. 9) and a national conference against racism.

 — The doubling in size of the Ararat Ridge Zoo behind the Ark. A walk-through kangaroo and emu area will be opening in a few months. The zoo’s expansion will open progressively through the fall, with the addition of lemurs, sloths, African tortoise, aoudad goats and live animal shows.

— The opening of a large new family play area. Built by Playground Equipment Services, this family play area is accessible by all children and adults. This cutting-edge playground has been specially designed for children of all abilities.

The expansive playground features fun things like:

  • Inclusive Whirl (including  wheelchair access)
  • Mantis Cable Way
  • Mega Tower with slides
  • Rainbow Maze
  • Percussion Play
  • Custom Racetrack
  • Climbing Hill with Whale

Last year, the Creation Museum, 45 minutes away, opened a 4D Theater and will unveil new exhibits later this year. It is experiencing its highest attendance ever in 12 years.

Ham pointed out that with all there is to see and do now at AiG’s attractions, “many guests are telling me they need to come back a second day. So we have created a special ‘Explore More’ bonus ticket for our Ark Encounter and Creation Museum guests. On their second day at either attraction, guests can now take in all of the speakers and shows at the Ark’s new Answers Center and the museum’s Legacy Hall, experience the zoos at both attractions, hit the gift shops again, and feast on all of our great food items—things they may have missed on their first day.”

To enjoy a second day, guests will be given an “Explore More” ticket. They just need to present this ticket and receipt, pay for parking, and then explore more on their second day. Entrance to the exhibits inside the Ark and the Creation Museum is limited to their first day.

In addition, the attractions now feature annual family and single combo passes. These passes include unlimited visits and parking.

As the Ark Encounter begins its fourth year next month in Williamstown, Kentucky, and continues to expand, it looks forward to growing attendance and contributing even more to the region’s economy. Soon, the addition of new hotels will mean that more people will be visiting the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum. Ham noted: “I’m happy to hear that several entrepreneurs are putting up hotels to help fill the demand for those people wishing to visit the Ark and Creation Museum.”  

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics (i.e., Bible-defending) ministry based in northern Kentucky, near Cincinnati. 

The Ark Encounter, which sometimes draws 8,000 guests in a day, opened in 2016 and features a 510-foot-long Noah’s Ark. West of the Cincinnati Airport and next to the AiG headquarters, the Creation Museum has welcomed over 4 million visitors and has also become a major family attraction in the Midwest. For more information on the two attractions, visit www.ArkEncounter.com.