John Asher | Calhoun Construction

Churchill Downs has a plan to add more parking

Jun 7, 2017, 7:03am EDT

Churchill Downs Racetrack wants Louisville Metro Government to close several streets and alleys west of the track so it can expand its parking capacity. reports that in an application filed with Louisville Metro Planning and Design Services, Churchill said the closures would allow for “substantial parking and landscaping enhancements” on the west side of the track.

WDRB reported last month that an affiliate of Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN) had bought nearly three dozen vacant lots, houses and commercial properties on three sides of the Central Avenue track, spending more than $13 million.

Churchill Downs spokesman John Asher told WDRB that track officials are trying to decide the best use for the property.

Churchill CEO Bill Carstanjen told WDRB last month that company officials hope the newly acquired property would “have a purpose beyond just parking,” but he declined to elaborate.

Churchill Downs finishes $18 million renovations in time for Kentucky Derby

Apr 26, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Churchill Downs is finishing an $18 million project just in time for this year’s Kentucky Derby.

“We’re in the final stages of creating a new space for all our customers, horsemen year-round. We’re excited about everything we’ve done,” said Kevin Flanery, the President of Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The multi-million dollar Clubhouse Enhancements Project added more bars, more seats and more décor.

Now, fans can experience horse racing from new balconies, updated boxes, lounges and bars throughout the clubhouse areas.

“We have really tried to celebrate horse racing at Churchill Downs and the thoroughbred industry. You’ll see a lot of prints and accent points that are kind of hidden treasures in this new construction,” Flanery said.

A new, larger Stakes Room was built on the fourth floor.

The Directors Room, a place for owners and teams to celebrate after races, was moved to the third floor.

And the Turf Club and former Matt Winn Room were combined into one larger room.

“The Turf Club is sort of our private membership club, it’s the place where the folks who are here year-round relax and enjoy themselves. So, we’ve redesigned it and really tried to celebrate the history of racing there,” Flanery said.

The focus on the décor was very apparent.

Flanery described the details and furnishings in the new, larger Stakes Room.

“We tried to incorporate into the architecture things that are germane to the horse industry. You’ll see leather straps, obviously the bridle … The straps on the saddle reflect back to that, and behind it you see the murals on the wall, the screen prints celebrating races of years past.”

Other small details include walls showcasing lyrics and music notes from “My Old Kentucky Home.”

Etchings in granite bar tops mark the posts and finish lines on the racetrack.

And an old school flip clock will go off at the top of each hour for two minutes, signifying the greatest two minutes in sports.

Flanery says it’s details like this that he hopes achieve “Wow” moments for fans.

“We’re trying to create as many experiences as possible,” Flanery said.