Despite low occupancy rates in downtown Louisville, developers want to build five new hotels there in the coming years, adding at least 840 new guest rooms to the downtown area, local newspaper The Courier-Journal reported this month.
While local occupancy rates have been below 60 percent for several years, developers and tourism officials alike argue that demand for overnight accommodations will increase with the opening of several new attractions, including the KFC Yum! Center, a downtown arena that's scheduled to open this fall, and Museum Plaza, a 62-story skyscraper that will contain a 1-acre public plaza and park, condominiums, lofts, retail shops and a museum, not to mention two of the city's five planned hotels.
"When Museum Plaza finally gets its funding in place, and whey they start construction, it will be amazing to see what happens," Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Jim Wood told The Courier-Journal. "I would imagine that more businesses are going to move in around that to feed off that energy — and that's how your cities grow."
Currently, Louisville has 17,000 hotel rooms overall and approximately 3,860 downtown. Over the past two years, the city's lost 1,100 rooms — including 290 downtown — due to the closing of several older hotels.