Downtown hotels have the holiday spirit - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Downtown hotels have the holiday spirit

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LOUISVILLE, KY (WDRB) -- Downtown Louisville hotels are not just a place to stay. Owners want them to be a holiday destination.  And those hotels are spending millions of dollars to keep the visitors coming.  It seems to be paying off.

The locally-owned Galt House is in the process of hiring fifty new workers. Some are replacements, but a number of them are new jobs being created because event business is growing.  "The hotel will have the best December in history," says Rita Reedy, marketing director for the Al J. Schneider Company, which owns the Galt House.

It is not by accident that the number of hotel visitors is increasing.  "A lot of it is attributed to our special event Christmas at the Galt House," says Reedy.

The hotel has spent more than a million dollars creating Christmas attractions that are bringing in out of town guests for overnight stays during a time of year when hotel rooms used to remain vacant.  "We feel the economy is picking up and we are definitely having a good year as far as occupancy is concerned here at the Galt House," adds Reedy.

She says just this past weekend 8,000 people visited the Kalightoscope attraction, which is now in its third year.  Visitors come from as far away as Florida.

Word about the Louisville Christmas attractions get outs through social media as well as conventional advertising.  "We have bloggers, Facebook, Pinterest, visitors posting their photos of this wonderful event," says Reedy.

At the other end of Fourth Street from the Galt House, the Brown Hotel has just completed a $4 million renovation of all of its 293 guest rooms.  Hotel General Manager Brad Walker says his hotel is also having a good year and is looking forward to the strong business during the Christmas holidays.

"We grew in 2011 over 2010," says Walker, "and now we are growing in 2012 over 2011 so it's been a very good year overall, and the Christmas season so far has been good with a lot of Christmas parties."

The celebrations at local hotels continue through New Years Day.  "We are seeing families coming downtown," says Reedy, "they are dressing up in their beautiful Christmas outfits."

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