LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Hundreds of thousands of tourists flock to Louisville every year for Thunder, Derby and other events.
Conferences and tourism have led to a huge boom for hotels in the city, and thousands of new rooms are expected in coming months.
Rodney Maubray Carrico is the General Manager for the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport and the President of the Greater Louisville Hotel Lodging Association.
"The hotels that have just built over the years, it's just crazy," Carrico said. "It's a huge number, huge growth pattern."
He closely watches each new hotel announcement.
"Everybody gets a little nervous when some other hotel opens," he said. "It's 'Are we going to be impactful? Are we going to lose some business? What can we do to save our business?'"
The city currently has around 16,000 rooms.
Numbers from the Convention and Visitor's Bureau show plans for 4,100 more, or a 25% increase, in the next couple years.
"We want to be a bigger city and we're getting there," Carrico said.
The question is at what point the city becomes overbuilt.
Right now, Louisville has a 67% occupancy rate. That is below Indianapolis's 68%, Nashville's 75%, and just above Cincinnati's 65%.
"Year over year, you're going to have ups and downs," Carrico said.
He said now the new Omni has changed the game for the whole city.
"It's the new kid on the block," he said. "It's going to be impactful for downtown."
Bourbon is the big driver of tourists.
"That's the big thing coming around, the bourbon trail, just everything is bourbon," Carrico said.
Paired with a new convention center, the hope is that occupancy moves back up.
"I think that's going to bring a lot more business," he said.
Of the 4,100 hotel rooms planned, about 1,500 are under construction now. They rest have only been announced.