The Closing Bell: Hotel mania in Louisville, and Jim Wood bets on Atlantic City

headerWe created The Closing Bell after we figured out staffers, contributors and insiders were sitting on too many biz-news scoops that couldn’t wait for the Monday Business Briefing.

Since then, TCB has become one of our best-read features, because scoops big and small can’t wait.

This will technically speaking be the first weekend of the summer. Reykjavik has the best Summer Solstice Celebration, with tons of your favorite Icelandic bands. You can just make it if you leave right now. Just tell your CEO that TCB said it’s OK if you take a long weekend. And if you are the CEO, you don’t have to ask.

But if you do leave, you risk missing the announcement of another new hotel…

New Hilton Garden Inn tops out at Fourth and Chestnut

Bill Weyland, left, at yesterday's topping-off ceremony.

Bill Weyland, left, at yesterday’s topping-off ceremony. Steve Schwartz with First Hospitality Group is second from right.

There are big plans in the Central Business District and on the fringes of downtown for a cluster of new hotels. But Bill Weyland, managing partner of City Properties, and his partner from Chicago, Steve Schwartz, have beaten everyone to the punch.

Thursday afternoon, Weyland, Schwartz, chairman and CEO of First Hospitality Group, and Atlanta-based restaurant consultant Bob Amick were on hand for the topping-out ceremony at the eight-story Hilton Garden Inn Downtown at Fourth and Chestnut streets. The shell is structurally complete and awaiting the tenant to finish build out.

1107 Hilton Garden Inn c1 t1 copyAt the top deck ceremony, the shell of the rooftop patio and restaurant are visible, which Schwartz called “the first of its kind in Louisville … a unique meeting space.” Amick, owner and founder of Concentrics Hospitality, an Atlanta-based consultancy that will operate the restaurant, had the most tantalizing details. The 14,000-square-foot rooftop patio bar and restaurant – 8Up (get it? Ate Up?) – “will be the biggest one I’ve ever done before.” The 80-seat main restaurant will be a one-of-a-kind effort that will fit into Louisville’s eclectic indie foodie scene, Amick said.

All the food service will connect to a large kitchen, which will service the restaurant, the outdoor patio, catering, hotel food, and the Henry Clay events spaces on Third Street, to which the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown will be connected.

The group is shooting for an October opening. The 121,700-square-foot Hilton Garden Inn Downtown at what Weyland has dubbed “Clay Commons” will add 162 rooms to the city.

Bosse Mattingly Constructors Inc. is the general contractor and Luckett & Farley Architects, Engineers and Construction Managers Inc. did the design.