Louisville: Convention Facilities
Louisville's largest meeting facility is the Kentucky International Convention Center, expanded and renovated at a cost of $72 million. The expansion part of the project increased the facility's exhibit space to 200,000 square feet and added a 360-seat theater and a 30,000-square-foot ballroom. The center is located in the heart of downtown and connected by skywalks to the Hyatt Regency Hotel and two parking garages. This exposition center hosts conventions, trade, civic, and entertainment events. Another downtown facility is the all-purpose Louisville Gardens, located in the shopping district. The Gardens can accommodate groups ranging from 100 to 7,000 people.
The Convention Center's sister facility, the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, is located just two minutes from Louisville International Airport. It is one of the world's largest multipurpose buildings on one floor. Offering 30 acres and 1 million square feet of space, together with paved parking for 1,200 cars, it is within easy driving distance of hotels and motels. Its indoor arena, Freedom Hall, seats 19,000 people. The six-building complex hosts more than 500 events and four million people each year. Its multipur-pose building, Broadbent Arena, is the site of tractor pulls, basketball tournaments, and graduation ceremonies. The Hilton Garden hotel recently opened there.
Unique meeting space is available on the recently renovated Belle of Louisville, a 1914 paddlewheel steamboat; the Belle hosts receptions for up to 800 people or seated dinners for up to 308 people from April through October. Spirit of Jefferson, a sternwheeler excursion boat, also hosts chartered cruises and features two indoor climate-controlled decks. The Speed Art Museum accommodates groups of up to 1,000 people for receptions and 300 people for banquets after six p.m. except Mondays and Thursdays.
Hotel space in Louisville is plentiful—approximately 17,000 rooms are available in the metropolitan area. More than 3,000 hotel rooms are located downtown, with most within walking distance of the Kentucky International Convention Center. The Marriott Louisville Downtown, which opened in March 2005 adjacent to the Convention Center, boasts 616 rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting space. It is connected to the Convention Center via an enclosed pedestrian walkway. Other downtown properties include the 1,300-room Galt House Hotel, the 388-room Hyatt Regency Louisville, the 321-room Seelbach Hilton, the 298-room Camberley Brown Hotel, the 287-room Holiday Inn Louisville Downtown, the 182-room Doubletree Club Louisville-Downtown, and the 160-room Courtyard by Marriott Louisville Downtown. The dual appeal of a vital urban climate steeped in history makes Louisville an ideal place for large and small meetings.
Convention Information: Greater Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, 401 W. Main St., Suite 2300, Louisville, KY 40202; telephone (502)584-2121, (800)626-5646
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