To close from August 2016 to summer 2018, the Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) will be undergoing a $180 million expansion and renovation. Its economic impact to the Louisville area in 2014 was estimated at $67 million.
Kentucky State Fair Board President and CEO Rip Rippetoe explained that continuing to hold events during renovation could slow project plans by eight to 12 months.
“If we try to co-exist with the events we have now, with the kind of major construction at the iconic facility we have, then it’s going to be a process that will take longer and cost more money,” said Rippetoe.
Rippetoe added that just under 20 conventions held annually at KICC were relocated to other facilities, including KFC Yum! Center, or rotated to alternative years in order for the venue to retain business during the shutdown. Working with Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, financial incentives, such as in-kind gifts, are being offered to the affected conventions.
Already booked at the new facility are the National Association for College Admission Counseling convention in 2019 and Sweet Adelines International Convention in 2020.
Meanwhile, operations and sales staff are moving to Kentucky Exposition Center during the renovation project.