Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, has announced a proposed $300 million worth of improvements to the legendary home of the Kentucky Derby, including permanent seating in the venue, a 156-room hotel and renovations to the Millionaires Row area.
The covered stadium seating would be for 4,700 spectators, replacing the 3,300 temporary seats usually constructed for the race. The renovations are pending final approval of the Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, with construction scheduled to begin in December.
The new hotel will feature trackside suites with private balconies and covered panoramic views of the track. Rooms that do not face the track will have access to a party deck to watch the racing. The hotel will include a 900-machine gaming floor, sports bar, VIP lounge and dining venues.
“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,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “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.”
The sixth floor Millionaires Row will undergo $11 million worth of renovations, including drink and menu updates and new hospitality experiences such as an in-room handicapper to consult for wagering and premium and private bourbon tastings. The renovated space will feature private dining rooms, lounge seating, window dining and a speakeasy bourbon room.
Churchill Downs, which has held the Kentucky Derby continuously since 1875, says the improvements will provide about 600 construction jobs and establish about 300 new permanent jobs upon completion.