Churchill Downs Racetrack is set to undergo a $300 million makeover which will include the construction of permanent stadium seating and a hotel.
Pending final approval of a Kentucky Tourism Development Incentive Act, the project will begin in December 2019 with projected completion at the end of 2021.
The development will transform the first turn of the 190-acre facility and provide guests the opportunity for never-before imagined Kentucky Derby experiences.
New permanent covered stadium seating for 4,700 will replace the 3,300 temporary grandstands historically located in that area.
It will provide a thrilling spectator experience to the thunderous racing and the famous Kentucky Derby walkover as well as an all-inclusive hospitality experience.
In total, the project will provide approximately 5,500 new reserved seating options for the Kentucky Derby and Oaks. Additionally, 6,700 existing customers will have access to upgraded amenities.
The new 156-room, 7-storey hotel will feature trackside suites, all of which will offer private balconies and covered panoramic views of the entire track, as well as non-track facing rooms that will offer access to a second floor party deck to watch racing.
A Penthouse banquet room, 27,000 sq. ft. ballroom and meeting rooms will add desirable event space throughout the year and will likewise include exclusive Derby package offerings that will offer spectacular track views and the full bucket-list experience that Kentucky Derby guests have come to expect.
Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said:
Derby Week guests can wake up to a sunrise view as horses breeze around the track and then have their Kentucky Derby in their suite.
We took exceptional consideration with the design approach to this project to ensure that the addition will seamlessly enhance and complement the historic nature and iconic aesthetic of Churchill Downs. Our goal is to create a one-of-a-kind venue not just for Derby week, but for the public benefit of our community and visitors of Louisville to enjoy throughout the year.
The hotel will include a 900-machine state-of-the-art HRM gaming floor, sports bar, VIP lounge and multiple year-round dining venues.
In addition to welcoming patrons throughout the year, it will be packaged with exclusive Derby Week hospitality access for 3,400 guests in the existing Section 111.
Millionaires Row 6 Renovation
Churchill Downs will create a finely-curated culinary experience for guests of Kentucky Derby 2020 with an $11 million renovation of 6th floor Millionaires Row. The update will offer upscale guest offerings and elevated service for up to 350 guests with a prime and picturesque view of the racetrack’s finish line.
The innovative concept will include an exclusive menu, deluxe drink and champagne packages as well as concierge service dedicated to meet tailored needs including pre-orders and dietary restrictions. Unique and interactive hospitality experiences punctuated with personal detail will be incorporated throughout the space including an in-room handicapper to consult for wagering along with premium and private bourbon tastings.
The renovated space will feature private dining rooms, lounge seating, window dining and a speakeasy bourbon room. More information on individual tickets to the new space for Kentucky Derby 2020 will be made available during an online ticket sale later this year.
Images: Churchill Downs