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Old 05-03-2011, 03:26 PM
 
85 posts, read 247,121 times
Reputation: 49

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Good day Gents,

Newbie here. In Houston Texas for the Oil trade show. Come over from the UK, Liverpool to be specific. Sorry to ask a question right up.

I don't get here much so thought I would try to get to the Kentucky Derby up in Louisville. I don't have tickets, single gent here, but will figure out something if I can get a flight and a bed out there.

Seems like flights from Houston are running 1000 us dollars to Louisville and Indianapolis....May 05/May 06 to May 08.

Do you chaps know what nearby airports I can try? How about some nearby towns I can try to get a hotel room at....for less then $250?

Help a friendly Brit out.
Long live the Queen

Cheers,
Andrew
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:01 PM
 
11,934 posts, read 9,872,756 times
Reputation: 22226
Louisville's airport is obviously the closest - next would be Lexington's Bluegrass Airport and the Greater Cincinnati International Airport (which is in northern Ky, despite its name). Renting a car would be the best way to reach Louisville from either Lexington or northern Ky - both airports have rental booths. Time is very short, however, and that's going to mean high prices for plane tickets.

Can't help with accommodations, but again, surrounding or nearby communities are more likely to have vacancies than Louisville. Check Shelbyville, Frankfort and Carrollton, Ky, New Albany, IN, etc. The farther away from Louisville, the better your chances of reasonably priced accommodation - normally $250 would be more than ample, but this is Derby Weekend.

Once at Churchill Downs, you will be able to get an infield ticket without difficulty, but it can be (and usually is) a wildly exuberant scene. Rain is forecast - you cannot take an umbrella into Churchill Downs, so hooded coats or ponchos are best. If you wind up in the infield, be sure to wear shoes that can handle the mud which is likely (Kentucky has had record-breaking rainfall this spring). The Churchill Downs website should include a list of rules and suggestions about what to bring and what to leave out. You cannot take anything in glass bottles inside and I'm not sure about liquids in general, though plenty of liquids of various kinds plus food will be available nearby.

Oh, yes, if you're in the infield, don't count on seeing any horses other than those on the big screens unless you're right up against the rail...but there will be plenty of other entertaining sights! Be sure to bring your camera.

If by remote chance, you obtain a grandstand or box seat, you'll find a far more elegant atmosphere than that in the infield, and will wish to dress, etc., accordingly.

Hope it works out - may your horse win!
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: London, KY
723 posts, read 1,534,295 times
Reputation: 569
I'm from that area, so I can give you a few pointers. As for flying in, I would say your best bet is to fly directly into Louisville. You should be able to find some decent deals online for round trip from Houston to Louisville. Just a quick Google search confirms that Continental and United fly nonstop from Houston to Louisville.
As for hotel rooms, I think you will be hard pressed to find a good rate at a local hotel, at least this late in the game. Best bet would be to rent a car and check out rooms in LaGrange, Shelbyville, or in Bullitt County. You could find a cheap room in Louisville, just not sure it's the best side of town. All three locations I mentioned are 15-20 miles from Churchill Downs.
As you are probably aware, unlike the UK, we don't have much of a passenger rail service. So you're stuck with having to rent a car at the airport and navigating the Interstates around town.
Do you have tickets? I'm not sure how that works. I know tickets can be had, but at a pretty steep price. Unless you're planning to sample the debauchery that is the Infield. Maybe some of the locals can advise further...
Take care, good luck!
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Location: London, KY
723 posts, read 1,534,295 times
Reputation: 569
Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigCreek View Post
Louisville's airport is obviously the closest - next would be Lexington's Bluegrass Airport and the Greater Cincinnati International Airport (which is in northern Ky, despite its name). Renting a car would be the best way to reach Louisville from either Lexington or northern Ky - both airports have rental booths. Time is very short, however, and that's going to mean high prices for plane tickets.

Can't help with accommodations, but again, surrounding or nearby communities are more likely to have vacancies than Louisville. Check Shelbyville, Frankfort and Carrollton, Ky, New Albany, IN, etc. The farther away from Louisville, the better your chances of reasonably priced accommodation - normally $250 would be more than ample, but this is Derby Weekend.

Once at Churchill Downs, you will be able to get an infield ticket without difficulty, but it can be (and usually is) a wildly exuberant scene. Rain is forecast - you cannot take an umbrella into Churchill Downs, so hooded coats or ponchos are best. If you wind up in the infield, be sure to wear shoes that can handle the mud which is likely (Kentucky has had record-breaking rainfall this spring). The Churchill Downs website should include a list of rules and suggestions about what to bring and what to leave out. You cannot take anything in glass bottles inside and I'm not sure about liquids in general, though plenty of liquids of various kinds plus food will be available nearby.

Oh, yes, if you're in the infield, don't count on seeing any horses other than those on the big screens unless you're right up against the rail...but there will be plenty of other entertaining sights! Be sure to bring your camera.

If by remote chance, you obtain a grandstand or box seat, you'll find a far more elegant atmosphere than that in the infield, and will wish to dress, etc., accordingly.

Hope it works out - may your horse win!
Good point about going further out for a hotel room. I can remember that rooms in LaGrange were full on Derby weekend. I'm thinking the OP will be better off making the long trek to Carrollton, Frankfort. Maybe Elizabethtown would be a good option? Only a 30-40 minute trip on I-65 between Louisville and Etown.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:06 PM
 
11,934 posts, read 9,872,756 times
Reputation: 22226
So did you get to the Derby, or settle for watching on TV? If you attended, what were your impressions?
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