LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) is officially open, following a two-year, $207 million renovation and expansion project helmed by EOP/HOK Architects and Hunt Construction and over 60 sub-contractors. State and local government officials, along with KICC facility officials and staff welcomed meeting clients, local stakeholders, interested citizens, and media to an open house Monday that showcased how the new facility will host small to large-scale events.
The program included comments from:
David S. Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues
Don Parkinson, Secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
William M. Landrum III, Secretary of Kentucky’s Finance and Administration Cabinet
Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville
Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism (formerly Louisville CVB)
Stacey Church, General Manager of KICC
Guests enjoyed entertainment by the Sweet Adelines, Oldham County HS marching band, Linkin’ Bridge, Cirque Louis and the Bourbon Straights and new audio-visual design and room sets by Prestige AV & Creative Services and Fern expo. Resident caterer Levy showcased their culinary program with a Louisville Biscuit Bar, KY Proud BBQ, Kentucky Bourbon tastings and samples of local vendor partners including Red Hot Roasters, Mayan Café, and Falls City Brewing.
Closed since August of 2016, the new build increased contiguous exhibit space by more than a third. Some of other highlights of the state-of-the-art building:
200,125 sq. ft. contiguous Class A exhibit space
40,000 sq. ft. column-free ballroom, with color-changing LED walls
52 meeting rooms and a 175-seat tiered conference theatre
Natural Light-filled and community engaging design reflecting Louisville’s Bourbon culture
15,000 meals-per-day kitchen capacity and a coffee-by-day, bourbon-by-night experience called Oak & Brew
Louisville is a unique convention city and has attracted the attention of meeting planners with its two convention venues, an arena, geographic accessibility, and 20,000 hotel rooms in the metro area. With the addition of a Bourbon District and ten distillery attractions, a growing culinary scene, 3000 new hotel rooms and expansions at many of its iconic attractions including Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Museum, and Muhammad Ali Center, Louisville’s reputation as a sought-after destination for both meetings and leisure travel is on the rise.
The city hosts five of the country’s largest trade shows according to Tradeshow News Network which will be among the first groups to use the new facility when they host their “Fastest 50” event in Louisville next week. There have been 84 convention groups booked for the future since the expansion was announced that will bring $246 million in estimated economic impact.