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A Site Selection Web Exclusive, November 2018

Bourbon, Bats and Business: The Louisville You Don’t Know

Multi-dimensional Kentucky city to host TrustBelt in August 2019.

Big Four Bridge at Louisville Waterfront Park
Photo by Nick Roberts


Most people know about the rich history of thoroughbred horse racing in Louisville, Kentucky. What you may not, know, however, is that the home of the Kentucky Derby is also home to multiple thriving industries and a welcoming business climate that makes the city the perfect place to host the 2019 TrustBelt Corporates & Consultants Forum.

With Louisville Forward serving as the official host sponsor, the city of 617,000 people on the banks of the Ohio River will welcome attendees of the fifth annual TrustBelt Forum on August 19-21, 2019.

While a visit to Churchill Downs will certainly be in order during your stay in Kentucky's largest city, so too will be visits to various art and history museums, performing arts centers and a plethora of food and beverage stops.

Some 24.2 million visitors came last year, driven by Bourbonism – what the city calls the marriage of bourbon tourism and Louisville's world-renowned restaurant scene. With 23 new hotels opened or underway, Louisville is poised to welcome even more visitors. The landmark $300-million Omni Hotel project is the latest addition to the local hospitality landscape.

But make no mistake: the business of Louisville is business. From making Louisville Slugger baseball bats to producing world-class automobiles, workers in and around Louisville possess the know-how to make goods that discriminating buyers covet.

This has fueled an economic resurgence that recently propelled Louisville Forward to be named one of the top 10 performing economic development agencies in America by Site Selection magazine. The proof is in the numbers, many of which are staggering:

  • More than 58,000 new jobs have been added to the Greater Louisville economy since Mayor Greg Fischer took office in January 2011.
  • A record wave of over $13 billion in capital investment has been completed, announced or underway in Louisville since 2014.
  • 2,600 new businesses have opened in the city since January 2011.

As a result, the accolades are pouring in. Dell named Louisville one of the 50 Global Cities Enabling Innovation and Change Through Technology. Glassdoor named Louisville one of the 25 Best Cities for a Job and among the Top 10 Cities Where Pay Goes the Furthest.

The World Travel Association named Louisville one of the 15 Best Cities in the World for Food; and USA Today named it one of the Best Places to Visit.

A record wave of over $13 billion in capital investment has been completed, announced or underway in Louisville since 2014.

Other groups that have held meetings in Louisville brag about the city's performance, and attendees routinely say they can't wait to come back.

Join us for all three days of TrustBelt next August in Louisville, and you'll be saying the same.

Ron Starner
Executive Vice President of Conway, Inc.

Ron Starner

Ron Starner is Executive Vice President of Conway Data, Inc. He has been with Conway Data for 22 years and serves as a writer and editor for both Site Selection and the company's Custom Content publishing division. His Twitter handle is @RonStarner.


The TrustBelt report helps the US Midwest tell its economic resurgence story to the audience of Site Selection. The TrustBelt report serves as a comprehensive repository of news and analysis on corporate real estate and economic development activity throughout the Midwest. This includes content on every state in the region — Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Northern Kentucky, along with Western New York and Pennsylvania.

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