The rooftop lounge will have a capacity of 500 people — 250 seated, 250 standing.

 – Digital editor, Louisville Business First


Churchill Downs Racetrack has another improvement project in the works — a $5 million rooftop lounge.

The 20,000-square-foot rooftop garden will be atop the Starting Gate Suites, a seating area that debuted last year at the north end of the track.

The lounge, which Churchill Downs calls a rooftop garden, will provide covered reserved seating for more than 250 guests and about 250 additional standing-room-only tickets. More information about tickets to the space will be available during the track’s online ticket sale later this year.

The area will have several upscale bars and various food offerings. A tiered balcony will offer a view of races — and the starting line for the Kentucky Derby.

“Rooftop bars are a hot trend in the hospitality industry, and the addition of this sensational new space atop our Starting Gate Suites will be a great benefit to our facility and deliver another unique guest experience at Churchill Downs,” Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack, said in a news release.

Construction on the rooftop lounge will begin after the Nov. 2-3 Breeders’ Cup World Championships and be completed prior to the 2019 Kentucky Derby on May 4. The architect for the project is Populous, and Calhoun Construction is the project manager.

Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN) CEO Bill Carstanjen said last month that no big-ticket project was on the books at the track on par with last year’s $37 million Starting Gate Suites project.

By the end of 2018, Churchill Downs’ capital investments at the racetrack will have grown to more than $190 million in the last eight years.

And last week, Churchill Downs unveiled its $65 million Derby City Gaming facility, which you can see in this gallery.