Bourbon-themed hotel opens in Louisville

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by News release

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 21 at 5:41 PM

Louisville, Ky. (June 21, 2012) – Hospitality investor, RockBridge, and Louisville hotelier, Musselman Hotels LLC, Thursday announced the opening of the Marriott Louisville East.

The partners have invested more than $30 million in a top-to-bottom rebuild of the hotel opened June 21 under the Marriott banner. RockBridge and Musselman purchased the former Park Inn hotel at 1903 Embassy Square Blvd. in December 2010 and closed it in order to begin an 18-month transformation.

The new hotel boasts one of the largest meeting and event spaces available in the east end with 21,000 square feet, including an 8,000-square foot ballroom added during the rebuild.
The guest rooms offer luxury amenities including a 42-inch flat panel HD TV, refrigerator, walk-in shower, swing-out desk, in-room recycling and high-speed wireless access. Guests on the top floor enjoy a concierge lounge, which includes complimentary hors d'oeuvres and beverages for guests, as well as a laptop workstation and printer.

“The complete redesign and rebuild of this property will provide guests with the look and feel of a brand new full service hotel,” Jim Merkel, President and CEO of RockBridge, said. “These improvements, along with the return of the Marriott flag and reservation system to the property, will position it as the premier hotel in the market.”

Marriott Louisville East will be the largest of Musselman’s 15 hotel properties with 252 guest rooms on 10 floors. Musselman has hired approximately 125 employees at the hotel to service hotel guests.

“Our goal with Marriott Louisville East is to bring the service level and amenities that people come to expect from toptier downtown hotels to a convenient suburban location,” Chester Musselman, president of Musselman Hotels, said. “We
have assembled an experienced staff that will focus completely on taking care of our guests.”

Much of the new hotel’s décor takes its cues from Kentucky’s bourbon industry. The modern, open-concept lobby is highlighted with bourbon barrel-inspired woods and stone reminiscent of the Kentucky limestone distillers said enhance Kentucky bourbon’s flavor. Guest rooms feature Bluegrass-inspired artwork, and even the carpeting throughout the hotel’s meeting and event space appears to look like the flames that char the inside of bourbon barrels.

“Bourbon is such an important part of Kentucky and we want to share that experience with our guests,” Jeff Thompson, the hotel’s general manager, said.

Charr’d Bourbon Kitchen & Lounge will be the hotel’s signature restaurant. Musselman recruited Chef Ryan Montgomery, formerly of Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse at Belterra Casino, to head up the kitchen. The restaurant will feature local and regional ingredients in a bourbon-themed menu, and the restaurant’s bar will stock more than 80 different
bourbons.

“We will offer a true taste of Kentucky, including cutting edge culinary techniques combined with big city flare and southern charm,” Montgomery said.

Musselman Hotels has experienced steady growth over the past 10 years, positioning the company as a leader in the
marketplace.

“It is our mission to continually delight our guests by exceeding their expectations of service, while achieving the highest level of profitability for our investors,” Musselman said. “Marriott Louisville East will combine the exceptional talents of our employees with an individualized approach to hospitality to ensure continued growth for years to come.”

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