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Kentucky Theme Park Builds $100-Million ‘Life-Sized’ Noah’s Ark

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WILLIAMSTOWN, KY - JULY 5: The Ark Encounter is seen July 5, 2016 in Williamstown, Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is a theme park centered around a 510 foot long reproduction of Noah's Ark. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
The Ark Encounter is seen July 5, 2016, in Williamstown, Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is a theme park centered around a reproduction of Noah’s Ark. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

Having already established the Creation Museum (probably best known for its exhibits arguing that dinosaurs and humans coexisted), Answers in Genesis have now created Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky.

WILLIAMSTOWN, KY - JULY 5: Patrons wait for tours outside the Ark Encounter July 5, 2016 in Williamstown, Kentucky. The Ark Encounter is a theme park centered around a 510 foot long reproduction of Noah's Ark. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Patrons wait for tours outside the Ark Encounter July 5, 2016, in Williamstown, Kentucky. (Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

The center of Ark Encounter is a five-story, 500-foot boat built out of wood that cost $100 million and can hold up to 10,000 people.

Attendees view the Noah's Ark replica during a VIP and media preview day at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees view the Noah’s Ark replica during a VIP and media preview day at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

To create this massive ship, Answers in Geneis turned to the Indiana-based Troyer Group, who bill themselves as “Heavy Timber Experts.” The lead architect Leroy Troyer notes he “grew up in the northern Indiana Amish community, and I had lots of experience as a boy growing up, and had a lot of experience in barn building,” all of which was put to use by this project.

An attendee photographs an exhibit of model dinosaurs inside the Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee photographs an exhibit of model dinosaurs inside the Noah’s Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Indeed, the Amish proved to be essential to the project, as Troyer says they wound up getting help from 15 Amish communities located in multiple states.

The interior of the Noah's Ark replica is seen at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The interior of the Noah’s Ark replica is seen at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The project differs from Noah’s original Ark in some relatively trivial ways: For instance, it’s unlikely Noah offered either a 700-person restaurant or gift shop. There’s also a more significant difference: This Ark does not float.

Attendees view inside a cage containing model animals in the Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees view inside a cage containing model animals in the Noah’s Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

That noted, it was a conscious decision to make the boat unseaworthy: Troyer says that, according to Genesis, the Lord has promised never to flood the world again, allowing them not to worry about that concern.

Attendees view an exhibit inside the Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Attendees view an exhibit inside the Noah’s Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

To read more about the Ark’s construction, click here. To visit Ark Encounter (adult tickets start at $40), click here.

Kenneth "Ken" Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., stands for a photograph inside the Noah's Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ham and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Kenneth ‘Ken’ Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., stands for a photograph inside the Noah’s Ark replica at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. (Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images)