A Life-Sized Noah's Ark
The Ark Encounter is located on a beautiful piece of property off one of the busiest interstates in America (I-75) at an interchange just 40 minutes from downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, and 40 minutes from Lexington, Kentucky (and 45 minutes from the Creation Museum). About 190 million Americans live within 650 miles.
A life size, 510-foot-long Ark. Nearby: a lake, a large petting zoo, an animals & actors’ theater/multi-purpose room, a 2,100-seat restaurant, a queue-line garden next to the Ark, and a gift store under the Ark.
A pre-Flood walled city, the Tower of Babel, and other attractions. Construction will begin in phases once Phase 1 (the Ark) is operational. The Ark Encounter property at exit 154 in Williamstown, Kentucky, totals 800 acres and all utilities are available.
• The largest timber-frame building in the world: 510 feet long; 85 feet wide; 51 feet high based on the Bible’s dimensions (300 cubits long; 50 cubits wide; 30 cubits high) and using the Hebrew long cubit of 20.4 inches.
• Interesting fact: the Radiata pine used in parts of the Ark is harvested in New Zealand, shipped all the way to The Netherland for the acetylation process, transported to North Carolina for milling, and then shipped to the Ark site for installation.
• From ground level to top of bow: 104 feet.
• 3.1 million board feet of timber used for the Ark structure (not counting the wood in the exhibits). In board feet, that would be 612 miles, the distance between Williamstown, Kentucky, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
• Amish craftsmen are primarily responsible for construction of the timber-frame structure.
• The huge 66 lodge poles (55-feet tall) are Douglas fir and Edelman spruce, harvested in Washington and Montana. All of the square-cut timbers used inside the Ark are Douglas fir harvested and milled in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. All of the timbers, both lodge poles and milled timbers, were turned into timber-frame timbers using the large CNC equipment at Colorado Timber Frame in Boulder, Colorado, and shipped to the site and then erected by Amish timber-framing crews.
• Outside planks will consist of Radiata pine that is turned into Accoya, a treated wood created via the acetylation wood modification process, using acetic anhydride (vinegar) of Accsys Technologies PLC.* The massive curved “glulams” are the large curved “ribs” of the Ark, and are being built in Alabama.
• The Ark is built on 102 piers, each 15 feet high. The Ark’s keel is 12.5 feet from the ground. The roof of the Ark is 80 feet from the ground.
• A 600-seat restaurant is planned on the roof deck (it will not be opened in Phase 1 but will be ready for “fitting out” next year).
• Guests will enter deck one at the back of the Ark (between the middle and east towers).
Exhibits inside the Ark
• The Ark’s 132 exhibit bays will house world-class exhibits. They will feature distinctively Christian teaching, tastefully presented, and all done in a first-class entertaining and educational way.
• Patrick Marsh (Vice President of Design Attractions at Answers in Genesis) is the creative genius behind the incredible exhibits of the Creation Museum and now leads the exhibit design for the Ark. He is a world-renowned art director whose designs include the popular Jaws and King Kong attractions at Universal Studios in Florida. He has worked at other theme parks around the world.
• The Ark’s exhibits are constructed with Hollywood-like quality. The Ark Encounter and Creation Museum have set the bar very high for professional standards at Christian facilities.
Towers behind the Ark
• The three towers are 80 feet high each. The east and west towers each contain an elevator and emergency exit stairs. The middle tower contains two sets of emergency exit stairs and restrooms on four levels to service each deck (and the roof deck).
• The Ark with its towers can, by code, have 10,000 people exit through emergency exit stairs.
• Each tower will house a 90-ton AC unit, with an additional 36 smaller units at the back of the Ark roof.
• A 50,000 gallon cistern under the middle tower—with a 1,000 gallon-per-minute pump—is designed for fire suppression.
Parking and Shuttles
•The parking area contains 4,000 car spaces.
• 11 shuttle buses will carry guests from the parking area along a one mile shuttle road through a scenic valley and across to the Ark.
• Guests will experience being taken out of the modern world and emerge into Noah’s world.
• Shuttle buses (each capable of carrying 100 people) are being built in California at a cost of $3.2 million.
• America’s Research Group conducted primary-source research to determine the estimated attendance at the Ark Encounter. Primary research consists of personally contacting consumers and asking specific questions about a product or in this case an attraction, not just using a comparative study (which the state employed for its Ark attendance estimate). Based on its primary research, ARG estimates 1.4-2.2 million visitors in the first year.
• An economic impact study led by research from Jerry Henry and Associates forecasts that the Ark Encounter and Creation Museum will support the creation of around 20,000 jobs in the regional tourism industry over the first 10 years of operation of the Ark Encounter and bring about $4 billion of economic impact to the state of Kentucky.
• Research mirrors the experience witnessed at the Creation Museum: a forecast that the majority of Ark visitors will be from outside our Tri-State area of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. A good number of overseas visitors are expected. A majority of guests will stay in local hotels and over 20% are predicted to fly into the area.
• Attendance at the Creation Museum will grow.
• ARG’s primary source research indicates that the Ark will attract a wide range of people from the general public, not just Christians.
• The Ark is expected to attract major restaurant and hotel development and other developments in the Williamstown area.
• Ark Encounter’s phase 1 will open July 7, 2016, with an initial 40 days and 40 nights of guest-timed tickets to accommodate expected visitors; the Creation Museum will mirror the 40 days and 40 nights of opening times. A private, invitation-only opening ceremony for special supporters and media will precede opening day.
• Maximum ticket prices: $28 child, $31 seniors, $40 adult. Parking will be $10 per vehicle.
• The Ark Encounter is funded by donations, lifetime and 3-year charter boarding passes (memberships), bonds, and equipment leases. The project cost: $91.5 million, plus $2.5 million for a theater, $3.5 million for a restaurant, $2 million for paving the parking spaces, and $3.2 million for shuttle buses. Total: $102.7 million.
• Most of the funding is in place, with $6.1 million in donations still to be raised for the Ark structure itself and $5.3 million to be privately financed.
Some visitors to the construction site have described the Ark as one of the new “modern wonders of the world” and that it will have a major international appeal. AiG anticipates an increasing number of religious bus tours that will include the huge Museum of the Bible (under construction in Washington, D.C.) and the popular Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Answers in Genesis will be promoting its northern Kentucky region as a tourist destination to include visits not only to the Ark and Creation Museum, but other first-class attractions including: the Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium, Wright-Patterson Air Force Museum (Dayton), Kentucky Horse Park, King’s Island amusement park, and sporting attractions like the Cincinnati Reds, Cincinnati Bengals, and Kentucky Speedway.
*Accoya® wood is manufactured via a non-toxic treatment and uses fast-growing softwood timber from sustainable sources. The treated wood has very high durability and dimensional stability, allowing for reduced maintenance and is a viable alternative even to high-energy man-made materials. This planking is guaranteed for 50 years. The Radiata Pine is harvested in New Zealand, shipped to the Netherlands for the acetylation process, then transported to North Carolina for milling, and then shipped to us for installation.
For more information visit arkencounter.com or call 855.284.3275.