Churchill Downs Renovation Creates New Hospitality Spaces

Edited from a release

Churchill Downs has begun accepting reservations for the daily group rentals of its Jockey Club Suites and other new hospitality and entertainment areas created during the first phase of its $121 million renovation.

All of the construction work on the three new floors of the Jockey Club Suites, located in the Grandstand area, is scheduled to be complete in early September. The new meeting and entertainment spaces created in the $26 million first phase of the "Building on Tradition" renovation of the historic home of the Kentucky Derby will be available to the public starting on Sept. 8. Churchill Downs' group sales team has already scheduled several events and is accepting bookings for occasions and meetings of all sizes, including the rental of many of the new Jockey Club Suites for the track's 27-day Fall Meet that will open on Oct. 26 and continue through Nov. 24. The suites and new meeting rooms will be available for gatherings throughout the upcoming holiday season.

"The completion of the exciting new meeting and entertainment spaces in the Jockey Club Suites provides a great opportunity for individuals, groups and businesses throughout Kentucky and Southern Indiana to enjoy a special experience at Churchill Downs," said Steve Sexton, president of Churchill Downs. "We have been talking for months about the benefits of the renovation to our patrons and the entire community, and we are excited to be just weeks away from being able to provide our patrons with the highest level of service in these new venues. The facilities on these three new floors will be major components of our guest service efforts during the upcoming fall meet, but the completion of the first phase of our renovation will also mark a major step in our effort to make Churchill Downs a year-round hub of entertainment and activity."

The new entertainment and meeting facilities available for rental at Churchill Downs as of Sept. 8 include:

*Jockey Club Suites--19 suites are available for the Fall Meet and special events year-round (excluding Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Weekend). That includes 17 single suites (most of which hold 24 people) and two double suites (which hold from 50 to 56 people). These Jockey Club Suites are ideal for a day at the races and other small meetings and gatherings.

*The Triple Crown Room--This 5th floor ballroom has a view that overlooks the skyline of downtown Louisville and is the grandest of all the entertainment spaces in the Jockey Club Suites. It offers 5,230 square feet of space and is perfect for gatherings of up to 400, including galas, dinners and wedding receptions.

* The Derby Room and Oaks Room--These 4th-floor meeting rooms will hold from 78 to 150 people (depending on choice of set-up) and offer state-of-the-art technology, high-speed Internet access, four video projectors with retractable screens, and in-room audio. The "Derby Room" consists of 1440 square feet and the "Oaks Room" contains 1320 square feet of meeting space.

* The Grand Foyer--This 4th-floor space covers 3,600 square feet and offers a view of the Paddock. It is ideal for cocktail receptions for up to 400 people.

* The Jockey Club Trackside Balcony--This 4th-floor outdoor area includes 2,340 square feet of reception space just a few feet from the historic Twin Spires.

Churchill Downs' group sales team can assist in the planning of events of any size in the Jockey Club Suites--including exclusive on-site catering by Levy Restaurants and options for Paddock tours during the Fall Meet or tours of the Kentucky Derby Museum.

The individual Jockey Club Suites may be rented for a minimum of 16 people for $1360 on weekdays and $1680 on weekends. Rental for groups of 24 people ranges from $1800 on weekdays to $2300 on weekends. Suite pricing includes the choice of an exclusive Levy Restaurants' buffet for the day; a six-hour bar package; suite attendant and concierge service; and programs and admission for all guests. Additional buffet options are also available in the Jockey Club Suites.

The Derby and Oaks meeting rooms may be rented at a cost of $500 per day. Pricing for use of the Triple Crown ballroom starts at $2500. The rental for those spaces includes tables, chairs and linen. Churchill Downs group sales representatives will work with those renting the rooms to create a Levy Restaurants' buffet based on their needs.

"Our group sales team has already received many calls about meetings and events both inside and outside of the upcoming fall meet," said Catherine Delaney, director of group marketing & sales. "These new meeting and entertainment areas allow Churchill Downs, for the first time in its history, to offer facilities to accommodate anything from an intimate gathering of friends to banquets and galas. We look forward to working with patrons, groups and businesses throughout our region to schedule and plan special events and business gatherings in these elegant new spaces at Churchill Downs."

More information on hospitality opportunities in the Jockey Club Suites and other new meeting spaces is available from Churchill Downs Group Sales at (502) 636-4450.

There will be no interruption of racing during the Fall Meet because of construction in Phase II of the Churchill Downs renovation. Along with the Jockey Club Suites areas, the track will utilize its Clubhouse boxes under the Twin Spires, Lower Jockey Club, Grandstand box seats, Paddock Pavilion and the semi-permanent First Turn Village facility to accommodate patrons in the Fall Meet. Trackside Louisville OTB will remain open throughout the meet for patrons who choose to enjoy racing at that location.

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