Louisville Magazine

Breeders Cup 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 16 of 35

#BC18 BREEDERSCUP.COM 15 whole new way of looking at bourbon are among the elements that combined to turn Louisville into more than a city known for hosting the Kentucky Derby. "ere was Austin and Nashville and now Louisville is kind of seen as the next breakout city," Fischer says proudly. Success in attracting visitors begins with the ability to provide quality accommodations. Louisville offered 3,800 hotel rooms in 2010; the number will jump to more than 6,000 next year. In the last two years alone, 1,500 new rooms were added to the inventory. Actually, the boon can be traced to 2005 and the opening of the Louisville Marriott Downtown. It represented Louisville's first new hotel of that mag- nitude since the 1970's. "at really started to spur our con- vention growth again," says Stacey Yates, vice president of marketing communica- tions for Louisville Tourism. "We really needed that property to offer hotel rooms to larger conventions." e creation of Fourth Street Live! in 2004 provided an entertainment and dining hotspot that continues to grow in popularity. "It really became a draw to convention delegates," Yates says. "It became our mini Times Square, if you will." Brisk convention business depends on a state-of-the-art convention center. at was brought about through a two-year makeover of the Kentucky International Convention Center that was completed this past August. Activities? e to-do list is so exten- sive it can hardly be completed in one visit. e KFC Yum! Center averages 120 events annually and ranks among the top 25 arenas nationally in concert ticket sales. e Louisville men's and women's basketball teams use the arena as their homecourt. Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Taylor Swift and Garth Brooks are among the megastars who have showcased their talents there. "It brought in way more events than we ever hosted in Louisville," says Sandra Moran, director of marketing for KFC Yum! Center. "It's really made us a destination city for concerts. It's made artists come to the city that never would have, and it's brought in tour- ism." In 2017, 53 percent of attendees lived outside Louisville. Louisville has long prided itself on its bourbon, but who knew it could be a magnet for tourists? Well, it has certain- ly become that with the establishment of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail in 1999 and the Urban Bourbon Trail in 2008. Once tastings are done, foodies can delight in an array of fine restaurants offering every cuisine imaginable. While Louisville offers many of the amenities of a bustling metropolis, it remains a delightful throwback in some respects. "It still has the feel of a town, not a huge city," says Louisville native Mi- chael Berry, president of the Kentucky Derby Festival. "ere are neigh- borhoods here that are distinct and unique. It's a very friendly place." ere remains space in the heart for the old-world charm of e Brown Hotel and the Seelbach. ere remains a taste for the Hot Brown, an open- faced turkey and bacon sandwich smothered in mornay sauce and first served at e Brown Hotel in 1926. Hot Browns are available at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Half of the lunches served at the hotel are Hot Browns. "e thing has such legs," says Brad Walker, general manager at e Brown Hotel. "I'm amazed." Elite racing, festivals, concerts, bour- bon and Hot Browns will come togeth- er as never before when the expanded Breeders' Cup World Championships return to modernized Churchill Downs and resurgent Louisville. e experience is sure to be amazing. Breeders' Cup Photos © Blame holds off Zenyatta in a stirring finish in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Classic.

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