Welcome to The Closing Bell. This is your last stop for biz scoops and big news before the weekend — a roundup of stories that can’t wait till Monday.
Psst: Brown Hotel also has Pappy 25 … for $800 a pour!
Last week, IL shared the news about Matthew Landan and his Haymarket Whiskey Bar offering the ultimate Pappy experience for Derby high-rollers looking for bourbon gold and willing to drop $5,000 for a few sips — and unlimited pinball, among other things.
Well, now we hear the Brown Hotel also scored a bottle of the highly coveted, very rare Old Rip Van Winkle 25, and it’s getting into the Derby spirit as well by offering pours for a mere $800.
Airbnb: Guests this weekend will pump $3.5 million into Louisville economy
Hoteliers aren’t the only ones cashing in the thousands who will need a place to stay during the Kentucky Derby weekend.
More than 4,500 guests are expected to stay at a Louisville Airbnb listing this weekend, the home rental site stated. Airbnb estimated that the guests would spend $1.5 million at businesses during their stay and another $2 million on their accommodations.
The number of guests staying in an Airbnb is up 30 percent this Derby weekend compared to Derby last year, according to Airbnb.
The top five states where Kentucky Derby guests will come from are: Illinois, California, New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
“Home sharing is allowing Louisville to substantially expand lodging capacity and take full economic advantage of the Derby,” Laura Spanjian, Airbnb’s Midwest policy director, said in a news release. —Caitlin Bowling
Omni Louisville climbs higher and looks to Derby 2018
Headed into Derby week, the Omni Louisville hotel and luxury apartment development reached more than two-thirds of its final height.
At its current 23 stories tall, the construction project will undoubtedly be noticeable to guests coming in for the Kentucky Derby, and the Omni has taken to social media to try to let visitors know that it will be open by this time next year.
Currently, construction workers are drywalling, tiling and placing wood trim on guest room floors, as well as installing a glass exterior wall that faces Second Street.
Construction of the precast parking garage structure and the installation of large pieces of laundry equipment will start soon.
Once it’s all said and done, the hotel will be 30 stories tall with 612 hotel rooms and 225 luxury apartments. The estimated total project cost exceeds $320 million. —Caitlin Bowling
Derby City Chop Shop opening a second location
Local barbershop Derby City Chop Shop is growing, the business announced on Facebook.
“The time has come that we can finally announce that we are going to begin renovation on a great building in Germantown! It will take a while to get it running, but we will have another place to open our doors to all those who have been so loyal and hopefully most of those we have lost along the way,” barbershop owner Adam Hedgespeth stated in the Facebook post.
The new location, the post reveals, is across from Check’s Cafe on East Burnett Avenue, and an opening date has not been set yet.
In the post, Hedgespeth noted that the barbershop had nearly expanded a couple of times before, but those instances didn’t work out. However, the new location was needed as Derby City Chop Shop continues to see days with two-plus-hour wait times.
“The support and patience has honestly always been pretty unbelievable and never taken for granted,” the post reads.
Derby Museum is permanent home for trainer D. Wayne Lukas’ collection
Thoroughbred trainer D. Wayne Lukas has groomed more champion racehorses than any other trainer in the modern era. Need proof? He is the Breeders’ Cup all-time leading trainer in purse money won and has four Kentucky Derby wins, six Preakness wins and four Belmont wins.
Known as “The Coach,” the hall-of-famer announced on April 30 that the Kentucky Derby Museum would be the permanent home to all his memorabilia throughout the years.
The extensive collection will include his Derby and Oaks trophies, Breeders’ Cup trophies, a painting of Winning Colors at Keeneland by Peter Curling, a bronze sculpture of Serena’s Song by artist Nina Kaiser, multiple Eclipse awards, photos from his quarter horse and thoroughbred training career, and much more.
“When I was considering a permanent home for my collection, the museum was an ideal fit to protect and showcase my legacy for many years to come,” said Lukas in a press release.
Low airfare reminder: Allegiant flights out of Louisville starting soon
Discount airline Allegiant will start offering nonstop flights out of Louisville International Airport on May 19.
The first flight offered will head to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The following week, the airline will start selling tickets to Punta Gorda Airport, Orlando-Sanford International Airport, and St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport year-round and seasonal flights to Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport and Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport.
Prices for the flights will start as low as $44 for a one-way ticket with additional costs to check luggage, for snacks and to reserve a window or aisle seat.
“We wouldn’t come into a city with six routes off the bat if we didn’t expect there to be a decent amount of bookings,” Krysta Levy, a spokeswoman for Allegiant, said previously.
The Louisville Regional Airport Authority hopes that the addition of the flights will open the door for more destinations to be added in the future, and city officials also have stated that more flights at the airport can help attract businesses to Louisville. —Caitlin Bowling
National brand making a pit stop in Louisville for pop-up shop tour
New York-based label Faherty Brand is passing through Louisville on Saturday, May 13, as part of its Summer 2017 Mobile Beach House Tour.
Faherty Brand will post its mobile beach house up at Rodes For Him, located at 4938 Brownsboro Road, the Louisville retailer announced. The pop-up’s hours of operation are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The brand is “dedicated to creating premium products for life’s great moments at the beach and all those times you wish you were there,” according to Rodes For Him. Faherty, which was founded by identical twin brothers Mike and Alex Faherty, offers clothing for both men and women.
Brand specialist Samantha Denette will be on hand at the pop-up event.
Goodwood Brewing also makes cameo in ‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’
On Monday, we shared the news that Louisville plays a prominent role in the coming “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” film. It’s so big, in fact, that Brown-Forman is releasing a new brand of Old Forester — also featured in the movie — called Old Forester Statesman.
After the article ran, we received an email from the folks at Goodwood Brewing tipping us off to a small cameo they play in a bar scene. Turns out you can spot one of their neon signs in the background if you pause the film’s trailer at 1:16.
Paige Peterson, Goodwood’s marketing and events coordinator, tells us that “Kingsman” producer and graphic designer Dominic J. Sikking stopped by the Louisville brewery about a year-and-a-half ago while he was in town scouting the city. He loved the beer so much, he asked Goodwood CEO Ted Mitzlaff if he could feature the brand in the film’s bar scene.
“Ted laughed and asked how much that would cost,” explains Peterson. “He said, ‘Nothing,’ (and to) simply send signage and other swag to their set in England. We signed the pertinent contracts and shipped the requested items.”
Grocery delivery business starts in Louisville, Southern Indiana
The online and mobile grocery delivery business Instacart kicked off Thursday in Louisville and parts of Southern Indiana.
The program allows users to order groceries online and have them delivered to their home at a set time or within two hours of ordering. Customers pay for the price of the groceries and can tip the driver using the website or mobile app.
There also is a membership fee of $99 a year, or $14.99 a month. However, for those who sign up now, Instacart is offering a free membership for the first year.
“We’re really looking for demand, which we measure by the number of folks going to the Instacart website or downloading the app,” said Dave Osbourne, Midwest general manager for Instacart. “There is some demand and interest already.”
Instacart operates in 45 cities and has national partnerships with Whole Foods Market, Petco and Costco. It hopes to develop partnerships with Kroger and Meijer locally as well.
“There’s not a lot of competition in terms of fresh grocery delivery,” Osbourne said. “We think we have an advantage because we are partnering with these local stores that they already know and like.”
The only other fresh grocery delivery in town is Green Bean Delivery, which gets its product from farms and organic food companies.
The company’s normal hours for delivery are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day but the hours depend on store hours. Delivery from Costco has a shorter delivery window, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, for example
Instacart encourages customers to be home when their groceries are delivered to ensure cold foods make it quickly into the refrigerator or freezer. However, the company will leave deliveries outside if requested.
UofL to name new cancer center director
UofL plans to name Dr. Jason Chesney as the new director of the James Graham Brown Cancer Center.
Chesney would succeed Dr. Donald Miller, who has served as director since 1999 and will return to the faculty.
Dr. Gregory Postel, the university’s interim president, said in a press release that the search committee chose Chesney from an “outstanding pool” of candidates.
“Jason’s full understanding of how interwoven research is to the delivery of innovative patient care will help us remain leaders in pioneering new and better treatments for people who suffer from cancer,” Postel said.
Chesney will remain interim director until he is approved by the board, which is expected to vote at its May 18 meeting.
The oncologist earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, a doctorate and a medical degree from the University of Minnesota and performed his residency at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College-New York Hospital. Chesney joined UofL in 2003 as an assistant professor, became associate professor in 2008 and professor in 2014. He has served as the cancer center’s deputy director since 2012.
The university said that Chesney was the principal Investigator “on several cancer trials that resulted in the FDA approval of ipilimumab, the first drug to show an improvement in the overall survival of metastatic melanoma patients.” He also holds nine U.S. patents for new cancer therapies and “his laboratory research has resulted in two Phase 1 cancer trials of novel cancer drugs that are currently available to advanced cancer patients.”
The university also said that Chesney is an “internationally requested speaker,” has authored more than 75 scientific papers and served as a reviewer for national research organizations including the National Cancer Institute. —Boris Ladwig