Friday, January 05, 2007

Fairgrounds Renovations on target

So, for the first time in half a century, the South Wing of the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center is getting a facelift. And quite a massive one. The entire 215,000 square foot structure was razed last year to make way for a new and improved South Wing with 27 foot high ceilings and only 9 interior columns. And for a city that depends on the business this massive facilty brings in, it's not a moment too soon.

Because of this massive new retrofit, and an addition of nearly 200,000 square feet of new space that came online last Fall, several shows that were looking to leave Louisville are now renewing their agreements. We've even already picked up a massive new show from Nashville, The Pumper and Cleaner Expo International. While it certainly isn't a glitzy affair (they do sell septic products after all!) it will draw 75,000 visitors to Louisville with an impact of over 15 million dollars. Good news for a center that isn't even finished until late Fall 2007.

After this expansion is completed the Fair Board still has several projects on the docket to be completed before the decade rolls over; a new 600 room full service hotel is in the works as well as a new outdoor amphitheatre to lure in new concerts to the city. The hotel is expected to cost upwards of 100 million dollars, most of which will be paid for through bonds issued by the Fairgrounds Authority and backed by the state of Kentucky. The amphitheatre proposal will need 20 million dollars and to be approved by the General Assembly in the 2008 session.

No comments: