The Ark Encounter is a $150 million tourist attraction that is expected to open in 2016 in northern Kentucky. It is predominantly a full-scale model of Noah's Ark. Influential Christian apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis is teaming up with the private for-profit company Ark Encounter LLC to build the privately funded attraction. The Troyer Group from Indiana is responisble for the actual construction while Patrick Marsh, the Creation Museum design director, will be designing and "theming" the attractions. The announcement for its construction came in December 2010.
The attraction is more than just a life-sized Noah's Ark; it includes a petting zoo, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a medieval village, and even a historical Biblical journey from Abraham to the parting of the Red Sea. The Ark attraction is not only an awe-inspiring and historically accurate center of Biblical displays, but an educational experience. The huge project will educate visitors with a unique, hands-on approach on the details of Biblical history and why it is so important to appreciate Noah and his great service to God and the Earth.
The project is expected to have up to 900 staff and provide many much needed jobs for the state of Kentucky. Kentucky governor Steve Beshear wisely ignored the typical liberal, atheist prejudice against the building of an inspiring Christian attraction and supported its construction. The family-oriented Ark is expected to enlighten as many as 1.6 million visitors a year. The Ark Encounter will serve as a vital and beneficial Christian influence on not just the state of Kentucky but the country as a whole. Creationists such as Answers in Genesis' president Ken Ham view the Ark Encounter as a very important undertaking which will provide an important educational and spiritual center for Christians to get closer to their faith and for non-believers to realize and appreciate the authenticity of Christianity and its deep, historical roots.
In January 2014, Ham announced that funding for the project had fallen short, and asked donors for $55 million.