H&LA’s recent research for a project near Louisville, Kentucky revealed some exciting new hospitality-related developments happening in the area. These developments will have an impact on tourism, employment, and the general economy in Louisville and the surrounding areas in 2022 and beyond. On-going pandemic concerns may alter timelines for some of these projects.
- Churchill Downs Inc. is moving forward with plans for a new gaming and entertainment venue called Derby City Gaming in downtown Louisville, near the Kentucky International Convention Center. This 43,000-square-foot property will feature 500 historical racing machines, multiple bars, a live entertainment stage, and street-level retail shop selling Kentucky Derby-themed merchandise. Representing a total investment of about $6.4 million, Derby City Gaming is scheduled to open in early 2023.
- The new Lynn Family Stadium opened in the Butchertown neighborhood of Louisville in mid-2020. This soccer-specific stadium is now the home field of the Louisville City FC men’s team and the Racing Louisville FC women’s team. Representing a total investment of about $65 million, this new stadium marks a significant step in the revitalization of Butchertown and is expected to spur new development in the area for years to come.
- A new multi-sport complex called the Norton Healthcare Sports & Learning Center recently opened in the northwest section of downtown Louisville. This $53 million, 24-acre facility is now capable of hosting a wide range of local and regional events, such as track meets, volleyball tournaments, and concerts. The facility is managed by ASM Global, the same company that handles management and booking for the KFC Yum! Center and Lynn Family Stadium.
- In March 2022, U of L Health officials unveiled plans for a $144 million expansion of the main U of L Hospital in downtown Louisville. This project will create a new seven-story tower with more than 360 single-bed patient rooms, 20 operating rooms, and a 24-bed observation unit. In all, this project is projected to create more than 300 new jobs.
- In October 2021, GE Appliances announced plans to invest $450 million in its existing Appliance Park operations in Louisville. This massive investment signals a long-term commitment to the Louisville area and will lead to the creation of more than 1,000 new jobs by the end of 2023.
- Communications Test Design Inc. (CTDI), a global engineering and logistics company, is planning to open a new facility in nearby Jeffersonville, Indiana, within the River Ridge Commerce Center. This $20 million project will provide over 700,000 square feet to accommodate the company’s rapid growth and will lead to the addition of up to 1,000 new full-time positions over the next five years.
- In 2021, the Kentucky Kingdom and Hurricane Bay theme parks in Louisville were sold to Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment. One of the largest theme park operators in the nation, this company operates several well-known attractions such as the Newport Aquarium in Northern Kentucky and Dollywood in the Smoky Mountains region of Tennessee. Since the sale, Herschend officials have increased marketing efforts and instituted various technological improvements to support the parks’ overall performance.
- A new Topgolf attraction is now under construction at the Oxmoor Center shopping mall, east of downtown Louisville. This three-story, 65,000-square-foot facility will feature more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a rooftop terrace, and a full-service bar and restaurant. Located on the site of a former Sears store, the new Topgolf Louisville is expected to open in late 2022.