Louisville to get $22 Million upscale new downtown hotel, no public support announced


Louisville Hotel

Construction will begin early next year for the 2015 opening of a 175-room boutique hotel downtown at First and Main Streets in downtown Louisville across the Whiskey Row district, developer Steve Poe announced Wednesday.

The $22 million, eight-story, Aloft brand hotel will feature a bar on Main Street, drawing on local attractions including the KFC Yum! Center arena.

The price of $22 Million for 175 rooms works out to about $125,000 per room as opposed to the $172,000 per room budget for the 3 Star Doubletree planned for downtown Evansville.

“I am excited to have this hotel built right in the heart of Louisville’s downtown, with the restaurants and bars of the entertainment district,” Mayor Greg Fischer said in a release. No commitment of public funding to attract this investment has been released at this time.


  1. Editor
    Please tell me how much taxpayers are throwing in or is it private investors
    Like it should be ?
    That’s my only complaint I have with Evansville building a hotel , it’s total
    B.S. In my opinion.

    • I seriously doubt if the Louisville hotel had a PLA attached to it. I see the taxpayer subsidy as a union payback for their support of Winnecke. Unions don’t have the stranglehold on Louisville as they do here in Evansville. My understanding is that the unions had to sign off on our hotel deal.

  2. Sorry I didn’t catch the last sentence until I read it again but my ? Was already sent.

  3. The Louisville hotel is not a convention hotel and lacks the ameneties associated with a convention hotel. Therefore, a lower construction cost per room. Also, the Louisville hotel is within two blocks of Yum! Center and Kentucky Convention Center. Their hotel will get business from its surroundings, our hotel will help generate business for its surroundings. No point in pretending to do an apples to apples comparison, right. Just keep feeding the community trolls and spreading misinformation.

    • Odd analogy you use between the happening private sector hotel and the unwanted taxpayer hotel. In Louisville, a team of horses, the Centers, will pull the wagon (hotel). In Evansville, the wagon will pull the horse.

      • Understand the difference between a traditional hotel and a convention hotel and you’ll see the difference.

      • Using your analogy: Our convention hotel is the soil that grows the oats (convention planners & attendees) that feed said horses, Ford Center & the Centre, that generate overflow business to be carried by the wagon (other area hotels). Sometimes, I need to know when not to reply. Further down the rabbit hole you have taken me.

      • First try to get the feed bucket off the horse so the wagon can pull the plug someplace.

    • Speaking as a “community troll”, as opposed to an “Administration” troll, I must agree with you that this is a false comparison. Evansville in no way compares to Louisville. The KY hotel is in close proximity to real attractions and shopping. “Convention amenities” that cost $47,000/room is pretty steep, don’t you think?

      • I love how your ego tells you that I’m always speaking specifically to you. What does a “community troll” do other than post contrary comments on CCO & CP?

        • No, I didn’t think you were speaking directly to me. I just opted to answer you as one of the many you were taking a poke at. FYI, there is more than one “Administration troll”, too.
          Do you not enjoy any sort of adversarial conversation? I do. It’s really boring to just converse with those who agree with me.
          So, how do you account for the huge disparity in per room costs?

          • THe disparity in construction costs per room is due to other amenities in our hotel that aloft brand hotels do not have. aloft is a good hotel brand but their target is a hip, young crowd. That’s why they have their WXYZ nightclubs in them. Also, I don’t mind adversarial conversations. I just wish that it wasn’t the same broken record. I feels like I’m battling a hydra.

      • +1 Our hotel cost is supposed to cost $43.8 million with 253 rooms; this does not include the cost of the parking garage and connectors which total another $17.5 million. The Louisville hotel will include a nice bar with 2800 feet of meeting space, and Aloft is a 4 star boutique hotel, which is a step up from the three star being built here. Seems like a lot more money per room for the Evansville hotel just to have some extra space for meetings and a restaurant. $8.3 million more for a three star versus a four star is difficult to reconcile, given the Evansville hotel is a convention hotel, which is lower in quality in terms of amenities than a boutique hotel.

        The Evansville hotel is not foregone conclusion, as financing has not been formally announced, and the drop dead date for this announcement is March 2014. This game is still in doubt despite announcements about management being selected.

        • Not to mention what will this hotel appraise at if you can build a four star for $47M per unit less than what we can build a three star..that extra space and restaurant better be gold plated.

    • Two blocks from WHAT? A new downtown arena and a convention center. It is by definition a convention hotel by virtue of its location. Surely you can see the parallels. The situation and the timing are as identical as is possible. The only difference is the bridge to nowhere. This is as apples to apples as you are gonna see.

      • Your logic tells you that Evansville, the Centre & Ford Center are the same as Louisville, KCC & Yum! Center. I don’t even know how to respond to such an illogical position.

        • There are many things regarding economic development that you do not grasp. Your last post etches that in stone.

          • Talking in circles without making a clear statement does not win an argument. I will agree with you on the fact that there are many things that I do not grasp. Unlike most of the people that post to comment boards, I do not claim to know everything. I also find that the more I learn, the more I realize that there is a lot more to learn. That’s how I grow my knowledge on things. My mind is always open to more knowledge. You, on the other hand, believe that you are the foremost authority on everything that you post and insult people that disagree with you. Your brain is as absorbent as the stone that you mentioned. I do not speak for anyone or at the request of anyone. I do not follow a party line. I speak because I care about my community and exercise my 1st ammendment right on this site & CP. I welcome & appreciate discussion and enjoy being the target of so many on this site. I just wish that everyone had the guts to step from behind their pseudonyms.

        • Phillip the only logical explanation I understand is $$$$ ,louisville is building their new hotel with private money . Evansville is using taxpayers money in the form of subsidies ,which means we basically lose funds from taxes or we loose city services ,I don’t agree for one minute the way were doing it
          I didn’t fall off no turnip truck
          Have a good day my friend

          • Louisville’s hotel will not help to contribute to economic development in their city, but it will benefit from the economic development that was made prior. We did not have a convention hotel that we needed. The construction of the convention hotel will generate new spending and new wages in our community. That is the reason why we are doing it.

  4. My logic indicates to me that illogical local obsessions with reviving downtown Evansville has become an albatross hanging on the neck of taxpayers. Demographics don’t bode well for downtown Evansville. Some business leaders are no longer supportive of Evansville because of this downtown obsession. I cannot think of one person besides the current and past mayor who took a leadership position in reviving downtown and any followship they received was following the dollar.

    • Logic does prevail sometimes while everybody argues a point,In political decisions the trend shows “not so much”. That’s pretty much nation wide though.
      It would be nice for your location to have a nice downtown. That could be something incrementally possible with planning to correct the basic infrastructure problems that now make the riving of the downtown commerce district illogical. Spreading the cost incrementally with each infrastructure blend creates location attraction,that’s how its done in locations that have pulled the notion off.
      I say this has been shown to have viability in other regions,access logistics and throughput customer timing is the keyhole fit with the successful plans.
      I looked at Phyllip,s comment that kind of sounds like what the hotel opposition was saying last summer,no perceived or compared viability per some other regions close by.
      Just saying maybe when looking from afar its seen some applications are sometimes really possible with the right planning.
      The Evansville downtown commerce district needs customer throughput,and support timing solutions to compete with some other regional features already in place. 24/7.

      Most true journeys start with a destination.

    • How is it logical to not fill the donut hole of economic development in the city? I would be willing to bet that you, Elkaybee and the other posters that are bearish on downtown and the core neighborhoods never venture into those areas. If you are downtown on most weekend evenings, there is activity. That is exponentially increased on nights when there are events at Ford, Victory and/or the Centre. On nights when there are events at multiple venues, downtown is bustling with families and individuals coming to enjoy their downtown attractions. Only a fool would suggest further development on the east side when you already have to sit through multiple cycles of traffic lights to proceed through an intersection. We need the businesses and the taxes to remain in our city. Downtown is a great place to develop. I’d like to see a grocery store open downtown and department store like when Strouse’s was down there. Why would we continue to ignore it like we have in the past? You can’t be a suburb of nowhere.

      • FYI Phyllip, I lived downtown for years and sponsored the Washington Ave Historic District’s application to the National Register. I got it named to the Register in less than six months, although it usually takes well over a year.
        I took a serious look into moving back there recently. There was not a good selection of mid-priced housing and the inconvenience of living there made me decide to stay where I am. If a grocery store and department store had a good outlook for profit, they would be there. The axiom that “retail attracts retail” is a major problem for the long dead downtown. I worked in the Civic Center when I could run downtown and buy an outfit for myself, my husband, or my children at lunch. After work, I could stop at Sears and go to the grocery at the Great Scot. It was a nice lifestyle.
        The cold, hard fact is that Vanderburgh County now has two small cities, one on the Eastside and one on the Westside, with some historic houses, publicly financed boondoggles, and blight in between. Newburgh and Mt.Vernon are the suburbs of the two towns Evansville has become.

      • One more thing, and then I will get “off your back.” You make a very false assumption that downtown was being ignored when it was in its death throes. That is not true. It was just before your time, in the ’70s and ’80s. There were CDBGs devoted to trying to keep Main St. alive. The “walkway” was an attempt to keep it relevant, and there were some merchants that kept their downtown stores open long after they were profitable. Everything we could try, in imitation of other cities, we tried. I guess that is why I am always preaching that we should “innovate, not imitate.” Downtown evolved from retail to offices, and lost its vitality. The surrounding neighborhoods went into decline as the long-time proud homeowners died and landlords took over.
        When the old Depot that stood near the Civic Center was demolished and Main St was cut off for the brick box that is the seat of local government, the city’s Aorta was blocked and it began to die.
        Sorry for the nostalgia, but seeing downtown die was hard.

        • Then fight to revitalize it instead of dismissing it. No part of any city truly dies, it just needs dedicated people to make it relevant and vibrant. Look at Franklin St. It’s getting better and better, due to the stakeholders investing their time & effort into getting the job done. They didn’t rely on others. They didn’t blog about it or write exposes. They got off their butts and made it happen. I will always support any positive initiative that is for the betterment of our community.

          • I fought to revitalize downtown probably before you were born. I knocked on doors to organize neighbors, wrote grants, and advocated for downtown for a very long time. I finally had to accept defeat. People with their own “get rich quick” agendas got grants and then went broke over and over. I see the same thing happening all over again, except this time there is not as much Federal money to spend.
            The Franklin Street area is doing very well, but it is smaller, property prices are less, and there is middle and lower middle income housing close by. Now, if they just don’t block off the street with a public building they should do well.
            Here’s a reality check. The Casino appears to be headed for oblivion within a few years. The District doesn’t have a very good track record, either. Downtown couldn’t even attract an Imax theatre.

          • Phyllip. Elkaybee is totally spot on
            I remember back in the late 60’s and 70,s downtown was busy we had farmers daughter ,had to wait to get in there even during the week ,Funkys
            Was crowded many many nights
            You talk about how franklin street is better and better .i agree with you
            it’s due to private investors investing their hard earned money along with working long hours making their business a success ,,,they didn’t come up with government subsidies
            We used to have F’s steakhouse ,2 Tennesseean restaraunts ,and a bakery
            downtown ,along with many more but they slip my mind at the moment
            My guess is your to young to know about em
            If I was a gambling man I’d say your a paid blogger for our mayor
            Have a good day my friend

          • Phyllip let me give you another perspective, I own a business that use to be located downtown we moved out many many years ago because the writing was clear to see year after year declining business because of folks moving out of the area. If we would have stayed our business would be in the list of closed businesses.

            As a business owner if your customer base moves you either go out of business or you move to where that base is. There is absolutely nothing downtown to entice folks to live there, the Centre and the Ford Center will ultimately have no effect on the downtown, and the hotel will not save it because it isn’t even on life support it is DOA!

            You can not get private monies to invest in downtown because there will be no ROI which is why to get a hotel we as taxpayers have to foot the bill for yet again another hair brain idea, we have to have it to get conventions…pure BS, if the need was there and the market indicated a reasonable ROI Dunn and ONB would be building a hotel and paying the city for the right to do so.

            I have said for many years the ONLY way to fix downtown is to station a team of bulldozers on the back forty and shove everything south to the river, sounds extreme doesn’t it? LOL

            We’ll see how you feel when you are in your twilight years and have watched 100’s of millions of your tax dollars wasted on downtown and they are still talking about the next “great thing” that will revitalize it.


          • Blanger: I agree completely that a structured and planned re-purposed downtown is probably more acceptable than constant additional same plan redevelopment, while not addressing the actual roadblocks in your downtown business , commerce district.

            “The bulldozer method can be applied in abstract”,however,that’s called conceptual innovation. Innovation usually flourishes if a need or an problem is solved by a conceptual application or process of the innovative thought or vision is incrementally applied. (identified objectives,goals)
            One thing here,Evansville is incrementally already putting enough “stuff” in the Ohio,no room there for the downtown.
            “Solve that problem” through planned innovation applied, that’s a federal mandate. ( innovation evolved forward)
            That first then other problems planned into and blended in so in creating that, you advance the whole metro area. Other infrastructure problems addressed with planning can evaporate with it,conceptual evolution planning creates the structuring.
            You then have the other problems reined in for productive movement forward. (revenue sustainability)
            That sets standards for every other “striving to thrive” community on the planet. Others must solve the very same issues moved forward.(applied leadership,partner blending)

            Planet first, environmental responsibility moved forward. (result)

            Do this and see how many district hotel rooms you might fill anywhere there. (sustainable growth)

            “No problem can be solved by the same level of consciousness that created it.” (An Old German Physicist,)

            “Concordia res parvae cresent” (Ovid)

            “work together and accomplish more”

            Sorry,tossed in the Latin for ole Phyllip….bugs’em enough he might remember the point as taken when freely offered…. 😉

        • Couldn’t have said it better. I felt connected to downtown. I also worked downtown until 2 years ago. Went to high school downtown. Garvin Park and Sunset Park were city jewels that were connected until that Civic Ctr thing was built. The Civic Center was the death blow and we needed to let downtown survive or die on it’s own. I live close to Green River and am watching my neighborhood die, the oldsters are passing on and their homes are going up for sale, not pretty. The city is moving east, west and north.

      • Looking in from the outside here,Your defense is loosing the darn game(foot shot) Phyllip you just told the offense where to play the field.holes in the line,weakness in the backfield. (telegraphed it) Read what you posted out loud as if you were speaking to a investor from another area….. You just highlighted all the dang standing drawbacks in your downtown for further investigation,why would you point out the problems and then defend them?
        Good thing you don’t sell automobiles or something commission/percentage based for take home. geez.
        LKB I hear you about the downtown even though I don’t reside there, family still lives in the region. One thing I refer to about the downtown there is I have family that built buildings downtown and operated retail there for 100 years or more.
        One mans personal daily journal speaks to the history involved in creating what you now call Evansville. His people thrived along the corridor pretty much until the civic center was started. They always said that’s its no parking, no access,no business.
        The first guy was an innovator,pioneer, visionary, builder not an imitator.
        The Man started in Wales,came across a long wide ocean at age 17,landed in New York’s port of entry,waited, worked, learned and studied the new land, his younger brothers finally caught up with him and they all moved down the Ohio to the state of Indiana,Madison Indiana. After the state decided to move the Capitol, after long debate and study the brothers found Evansville,a small perfectly located river town trade center, and new pathway needing an awakening,they had plenty of company in that vision.
        The downtown,the parks the educational system,both private and public are testament to what a few innovators can do with the right direction and a working evolutionary plan.
        The cemetery’s are full of them,the tall monuments so to speak,The vision still exists,only innovation that creates solid results can set those spirits loose again.
        LKB,your right innovate don’t imitate. Some of us still know just how that is done,that’s another story though,and that my friends doesn’t come free today. I am looking at an actual program showing the names of the first graduating class from Evansville high school,1856-1863 43 names,not bad I guess for the day. There is also a list of founders and trustees 36 men and superintendents 8 of them.
        Lots of information its a recognition day exercises program from April 28 1898 its in a metal large storage container safe I have now from my Family. The history in this stuff is amazing. Quite a place Evansville was in 1898,there is a bunch of tin photos of family in this, someday I’m going to have to display the stuff,the river front is a mud bank circa 1886 there is huge brick building overlooking the river front the handwritten caption indicates the building was wholesale wood mill or something,its right where main and riverside is now. There is a Marine hospital down river,and one called the Gilbert hospital where the present Shriner building is now.
        They’re are so many photos and etchings of the downtown business district then its not that much different today. The family home is still there in the Historical District. “The customer access throughput looks to be about the same as well, aaanaad there in lays the whole problem.”

        Guess, I could show that young fellows tin citizenship entry photo from New York,put a picture with the building still on main street.
        History,got’a love it,or is that make it….”adds a voice from the past”

        PS: collaborators, eewwugg!..When hearing the elders speak of “collaborators”, back in the day ..a good trait? “Not so much”.

        “I am enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination.”(an old German physicist)

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