The Creationist organization, Answers in Genesis, has announced plans to begin fundraising for their fifth expansion of the Bible-themed attraction, Ark Encounter.
This week, the Ark Encounter announced that they would begin to start researching, planning, and building their rendition of the Tower of Babel on the park's grounds in Kentucky. According to Ark Encounter's press release, this Tower of Babel model will "tackle racism issues, showing how all people groups have developed from one biological race." This attraction will also be accompanied by an indoor scale model of what Jerusalem may have looked like at the time of Christ alongside a 'themed carousel.'
Answers in Genesis initially started their foray into tourism and education to build their museum to promote their particular view of Creationism. This museum, known as the Creation Museum, was built in 2007 after raising 27 million dollars in private donations. The museum saw much attention in the early years alongside criticism from the educational, religious, and scientific communities.
As numbers faded, the park announced intentions to build the Ark Encounter to expand the Creation Museum. The Encounter currently features a scale replica of Noah's Ark and is around 510 feet (155 meters) long. The Tower would be the next significant addition to the attraction since the Ark's addition.
Answers in Genesis' staff estimate that the project will take around three years to research, plan and construct the new facilities, but are hopeful about the project's ability to attract more visitors in the future.
According to AiG founder Ken Ham, Ark Encounter visitor numbers have been successful despite nationwide plummets in national tourism, with an estimated 7,000 visitors on the average Saturday.