On Thursday July 12 at 11:30 a.m., Rising Star Casino and the City of Rising Sun will hold a ceremonial event to celebrate Rising Star’s new ferry boat operation. Members of Rising Star management will christen the boat and unveil the ferry’s name along with the winner of their “Name The Ferry” contest. (Note: image to the left is a stock photo and not the actual ferry boat.)
The City of Rising Sun is honored to host the event at our boat ramp at Front and Plum Streets. The boat docks at this ramp will be closed for public use between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The docks at Front and First Streets will remain open.
The ferry will not begin operation for about another month. The connector points will be at the end of Industrial Access Road in Rising Sun and Lower River Road in Boone County, Kentucky near KY 18 (about two miles up river from the Rabbit Hash General Store).
“At the risk of speaking magnanimously for all our residents, we all are excited for this property improvement and newest asset to Rising Star Casino,” said Rising Sun Mayor Brent Bascom. “I’d like to thank Full House Resorts CEO Dan Lee, Rising Star Interim General Manager John Sheldon, Assistant General Manager Chris Baulo, In-House Counsel Claire Hodapp, and their Construction Consultant Cliff Kortman, for making themselves available throughout this process and ensuring a successful event. I also want to thank Rising Sun City Manager Mike Northcutt for his hard work planning this from the city’s standpoint. His knowledge of the infrastructure on our riverfront was vital in accommodating Rising Star’s requests. Rising Sun Clerk Treasurer Rae Baker Gipson and Street Commissioner Paul Bovard were instrumental in providing suggestions to better utilize areas of our riverfront and direct resources that prepare our riverfront to be hosts. Finally, I’d like to thank the Ohio County Visitor’s and Tourism Board Executive Director Kendal Miller and Board President Jim McDaniel. They were eager to assist in the collection of contact information for invitations to all local elected officials here in Rising Sun and Ohio County. By doing this, it allowed Rising Star Casino and the City of Rising Sun to focus our energy on an event which will exceed all expectations. The City of Rising Sun is proud of our long relationship with Rising Star Casino and we look forward to assisting on future projects with their property.”
The ferry will transport up to 10 vehicles plus passengers. It will operate Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fees payable by cash only are as follows: vehicles and RVs- $5 one way/$8 round trip, motorcycles- $4 one way/$7 round trip, walk-on passengers- $2 one way/$3 round trip, casino employees- free on standby/full price non-standby, and a 10-ride pass is $40.
The ferry will be an economic benefit to both Rising Star Casino and the City of Rising Sun. Both entities expect to see an increase in visitor traffic. Boone County has a residential population of over 125,000. Of course, the ferry will also benefit Rising Sun, Ohio County and surrounding residents as drive time to northern Kentucky will be drastically reduced.
The earliest ferry between Rising Sun and Rabbit Hash was a hand operated flatboat in the late 1830s. At 50-feet long by 10-feet wide, it was dubbed a “superior ferry flat.” Kentucky required the boat to be kept on its side of the river as it was owned by a Kentucky franchise.
A horse powered ferry began operation between the two communities around 1850. A second ferry followed at the lane by Dam 38. A team of horses on a treadmill powered the ferries. Blind horses were preferred because they had no fear and were easier to manage. There were various owners and operators of a ferry between Rising Sun and Rabbit Hash up through 1945.