Churchill Downs has made a significant investment in downtown Louisville with the opening of the Derby City Gaming Downtown venue. This $90 million expansion of the Twin Spires racetrack is set to revitalize the area and make it a popular destination for horse racing and betting enthusiasts. The venue features historical horse racing betting machines, multiple bars, and various entertainment options.
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, President and CEO of Greater Louisville Inc., expressed optimism about the impact of the new venue on the region, stating that it affirms the commitment to growing in the area and should make the entire community optimistic about the future of downtown and the regional economy.
The facility, which opened its hotel portion in June, has been expanded to include a luxury hotel and various amenities, marking a significant investment in downtown Louisville by Churchill Downs Inc. According to William “Bill” Carstanjen, this project holds personal significance as it aims to make Louisville a special place and positively impact the community.
Derby City Gaming Downtown spans 43,000 square feet and includes 500 Historical Racing Machines. With gaming options, a gift shop, and three dining options related to the Kentucky Derby, the venue is expected to attract both locals and tourists.
The economic impact of this new venue is expected to be substantial, providing between 150 and 200 jobs for the local community. Additionally, the facility’s proximity to the Kentucky International Convention Center and other tourist attractions is anticipated to draw significant revenue for the city.
Historical horse racing machines are projected to be a major revenue source, with estimates suggesting they brought in $2.3 billion from July to September, compared to $34 million from traditional horse racing. Economist Thomas Lambert of the University of Louisville predicts that the facility will generate approximately $28.6 million in annual revenue for the city.
With operating hours from 9 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, the Derby City Gaming Downtown is poised to become a major hub for entertainment and economic growth in downtown Louisville.