The expansion and renovation of the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) in Louisville, Ky., is set to begin in August 2016 with an early completion date of summer 2018. To meet the demands of the construction schedule and remain within budget, city and state officials are working to relocate affected events during the 2016-2018 construction process.
Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Rip Rippetoe stated that the accelerated construction schedule will “keep this renovation on time and within budget, which is certainly a top priority.”
Projected to cost $180 million, the investment will increase contiguous exhibit space by more than a third, from 146,000 square feet to over 200,000 square feet, all within the existing footprint. The project also includes renovation of meeting rooms in the existing facility.
“The expansion of the Kentucky International Convention Center is yet another example of the continued growth and momentum that is occurring in Louisville and Jefferson County,” said Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. “When this project is completed, the expanded facility will dramatically improve Louisville’s future as a top-tier convention city.”
Karen Williams, president and CEO, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, believed the expansion will add to the city’s business tourism.
“Bottom line, the hospitality industry could not be more thrilled about the expansion of KICC and the increased business potential it brings to our tourism economy,” she commented.
Williams added that the proposed construction timeline “expedites how soon we can book more and new lucrative business than we could with the current space.”
With two convention venues, an arena, a downtown pedestrian skywalk and 17,000 hotel rooms in the metro area, Louisville hosts five of the country’s largest tradeshows according to Tradeshow News Network. By 2018, additional hotels will bring the total number of rooms in the area to over 18,000.
Announced January 2015, Sweet Adelines International is the first event to book the newly renovated convention center. It will bring its 2020 convention and 10,000 attendees to Louisville in part because of the new exhibit space and increased number of hotel rooms downtown.
“Louisville is open for business,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “We have one of the largest meeting spaces in the country with the Kentucky Exposition Center, which continues to attract some of the largest tradeshows in the country. We have a state-of-the-art arena. Just as one hotel opens its doors, we break ground on the next one. Now with this construction, groups like Sweet Adelines International are not waiting for the future. They know that the future is here. We are aggressively looking to book other groups who share this vision and are ready to get on board.”
For more information, visit www.kyconvention.org.