The Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) hosted a grand opening ceremony, Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 following a two-year, $207 million renovation and expansion project.

State and local government officials, along with Kentucky International Convention Center facility officials and staff welcomed meeting clients, local stakeholders, interested citizens, and media to an open house that showcased how the new facility will host small to large-scale events.

The program included comments from:

  • David S. Beck, President and CEO of Kentucky Venues.
  • Don Parkinson, Secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.
  • William M. Landrum III, Secretary of Kentucky’s Finance and Administration Cabinet.
  • Greg Fischer, Mayor of Louisville.
  • Karen Williams, President and CEO of Louisville Tourism (formerly Louisville CVB).
  • Stacey Church, General Manager of KICC.

Closed since August 2016, the new build increased contiguous exhibit space by more than a third. Some of other highlights of the state-of-the-art Kentucky International Convention Center:

  • 200,125-square-foot contiguous Class A exhibit space.
  • 40,000-square-foot column-free ballroom, with color-changing LED walls.
  • 52 meeting rooms and a 175-seat tiered conference theatre.
  • Natural light-filled and community engaging design reflecting Louisville’s bourbon culture.
  • 15,000 meals-per-day kitchen capacity.
  • Coffee-by-day, bourbon-by-night experience called Oak & Brew.

KICC is designed by the award-winning global architecture firm HOK, whose portfolio includes projects such as the new LaGuardia Airport Central Terminal B in New York and Ghirardelli Square Plaza in San Francisco. The facility offers a new sustainable design and open air environments with lots of windows and water conservation practices. The project team hopes to receive LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

The city hosts five of the country’s largest trade shows according to Tradeshow News Network which will be among the first groups to use the renovated Kentucky International Convention Center when they host their “Fastest 50” event in Louisville next week. There have been 84 convention groups booked for the future since the expansion was announced that will bring $246 million in estimated economic impact.

Select images from the grand opening ceremony are available below:

Kentucky International Convention Center Exterior

Beverage station at the Kentucky International Convention Center

Kentucky International Convention Center Ribbon Cutting