Breaking News
More () »

'We weathered the storm:' Report shows growth in downtown Louisville

The report highlights the success that different downtown industries have had through the pandemic.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Downtown Louisville is thriving. That's the view of a new economic report released Wednesday.

The report highlights the success that different downtown industries have had through the pandemic.

WHAS11 talked to one restaurant manager who said things have been looking up for a while, and he doesn't see that changing.

"Every week at the end of the week, we're exhausted, in a good way,” Troll Pub Manager Addison Durham said. The restaurant is on Washington Street behind Whiskey Row.

Durham said 2021 was a good year, and 2022 is off to a very busy start with more and more people coming through the door. 

Plus, it doesn't hurt being next the KFC Yum! Center.

"We anticipate a better year coming up than pre-pandemic, and I think that we're right on the edge of that right now,” Durham said.

He said that's even with the issues plaguing the restaurant industry right now - supply chain and staff shortages.

"We weathered the storm and I think the results of that are going to be a stronger business output from our end and I think the response is going to be equal to that,” Durham said.

So many other businesses have survived as well, and it's paid off.

A report from the Louisville Downtown Partnership says, as of October 2021, more than 40% of all hotel rooms in the Central Business District were occupied, up nearly 20% from 2020.

Also, the report shows that twice as many restaurants opened in 2021 compared to 2020.

"I think the overall feeling is that as new companies, new businesses, are opening that there is a confidence in downtown,” Rebecca Fleischaker, director of the Louisville Downtown Partnership, said.

Fleischaker said it’s a billion dollars worth of confidence. She said that's how much of an investment is being proposed, and is underway, in and around downtown.

Fleischaker said her goal for 2022 is to work on new usage of underutilized space, push for more American Rescue Plan funds to help small businesses and to attract new businesses.

She said the fact the report shows more than 13% of all workers in Jefferson County work downtown says a lot.

"There's a lot of attention that I think we need to give for the growth of those industries,” Fleischaker said.

Though the report breaks down the impact of each industry, Durham said he feels how they all come together.

"It's all a very teamwork-based industry down here at this point,” Durham said.

It’s a team that insists the future is bright.

Other stories

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out