Starwood hotels this year debuted two new properties in Kentucky: The 126-room Aloft Louisville East, which has 3,500 square feet of meeting space, and the 144-room Aloft Newport on the Levee, located across the river from Cincinnati, which has 2,250 square feet of meeting space. They are the second and third properties in the state for the brand.

In March, the Kentucky State Fair Board announced a rebranding for its facilities and in-house produced events. Kentucky Venues is the new identity for the Kentucky Exposition Center, Kentucky International Convention Center, Kentucky State Fair, National Farm Machinery Show, North American International Livestock Exposition and Kentucky Hoopfest.

The Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville is slated to reopen in 2018 with a new sustainable design and 34 percent more exhibit space.


Scheduled to open in spring 2018 is the 612-room Omni Louisville Hotel, which will have 70,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants, a “speakeasy” with bowling ally, and a spa. The property is located one block from the Kentucky International Convention Center.

In April, the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, in Lexington, opened a new dining venue called The 19th Hole. The new space comes after a $200,000 renovation of an already-existing golf lounge area.

In February, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour added two new members: Bluegrass Distillers, in Lexington, and Boone County Distilling Company, in Independence.

Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport was to open a new retail bourbon store this spring, in a partnership with Lexington's Cork & Barrel Wine & Bourbon Bar.

In March, the Bowling Green Area Convention & Visitors Bureau launched a new app called VisitBGKY. The free download allows visitors to access information about attractions, hotels, events, restaurants and shops.