When Gov. Steve Beshear held a Capitol news conference to announce potential state tax incentives for an amusement park built around a life-size Noah's Ark earlier this month, he cited a feasibility study that predicted the park would attract 1.6 million visitors in its first year.
However, neither Beshear nor other state officials had seen or read the study, which was commissioned by Ark Encounter, LLC, the group building the theme park.
"The press release was a joint effort, and the Ark Encounter provided the numbers for the release based on their own research, much like how we work with companies on jobs announcements — they give us the info about their job numbers and investment and we work together on a release," said Beshear spokeswoman Kerri Richardson in an e-mail.
The state doesn't have a copy of the report, according to responses to requests under the Open Records Act sent by the Herald-Leader to the state tourism and economic development departments and to the governor's office.
Officials with Ark Encounter also declined to give the Herald-Leader a copy of the 10,000-page report, including its 200-page executive summary.
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