By Aaron Sseruyigo
Dubbed the Ark Encounter, a life-size replica of Noah’s Ark was opened to the public on July 7, 2016 in Kentucky in U.S.
Latest findings show that the bible inspired architectural design has attracted one million visitors during its second year of operation, according to spokeswoman Melany Ethridge.
The Ark Encounter (labeled by some visitors as the “Eighth Wonder of the Modern World”) showcases the biblical narrative of the great flood in Genesis by displaying a life-sized replica of Noah’s Ark that spans 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet high.
Answers in Genesis (AIG), which owns the Ark Encounter, told the Cincinnati Newspaper in Ohio that they have witnessed a 20 percent rise in attendance year over year for the ark.
“We are so blessed to have seen over one million guests visit the Ark Encounter in our second year,” Founder and President of AIG, Kenneth Alfred Ham said.
“Almost all attractions see a drop in attendance after the initial excitement of the opening year wears off, but we have experienced another remarkable year. Numbers are even higher than our excellent first year, partly because so many motor coach tours, a 20-percent increase, are arriving daily,” he added
On the ark there are various exhibits and animal statues. It also includes illustrations of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
When the park was being built, sources say that it won more than $18 million in tax incentives from the state, which outraged numerous groups, including The Freedom From Religion Foundation, because of the prospect of the state government interacting with a religious project.
The state reportedly tried to take away the tax credits because it contended the park was being used for religious indoctrination instead of a tourist attraction. But a federal judge ruled in favor of the Ark Encounter in July 2016, granting the park the right to the tax incentives.
“If they think the Ark is foolish, they can write that. That’s not a worry to me; I’m secure in my beliefs,” Ham said.
Admission to the Ark Encounter ranges from $15 for children to $48 for adults. Children 4 and younger are free, according to the website. It should however be noted that when the park opened in 2016, park officials anticipated 1.4 million to 2.4 million yearly visitors.
“We think the third year at the Ark will be just as strong as our excellent second year,” the officials said.