Beds before bourbon: Conventions look first for hotel rooms - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Beds before bourbon: Conventions look first for hotel rooms

When conventions draw crowds, much of visitors' money is spent on hotel rooms. But making sure the city has enough beds has been an ongoing conversation. (Source: Air 3/WAVE 3 News) When conventions draw crowds, much of visitors' money is spent on hotel rooms. But making sure the city has enough beds has been an ongoing conversation. (Source: Air 3/WAVE 3 News)
ICUEE brings with it a local economic impact of $16 million. (Source: WAVE 3 News) ICUEE brings with it a local economic impact of $16 million. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The International Construction and Utility Equipment Expo (ICUEE) calls itself the premiere event for professionals in those businesses.

The expo has been coming to Louisville every other year since 1987 and is one of the city's largest.

"Louisville's a great city," trade show director Tricia Mallett said. "Our attendees love it. Our exhibitors love it. Our members like it."

In three days, ICUEE is expected to draw more than 18,000 people. Show organizers estimate the local economic impact at $16 million.

Much of visitors' money is spent on hotel rooms. But making sure the city has enough beds has been an ongoing conversation between ICUEE and the city for years.

"It's, really it's the hotels," Mallett said. "We need to house all these bodies. So many people come into the area for our show...and we need a place to house them."

The expanded convention center and new Omni Hotel, currently under construction, are just the most obvious signs the city is getting the message. As conventions want to grow, their venues and hosts try to keep pace while anticipating future needs.

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"That really allows us for that growth we're looking for,"  Mallett said. "So we're always looking to grow - attendee and exhibitors. When more hotels pop up we can put more people in beds for our show."

The ICUEE exhibition currently has blocks of rooms in 20 different hotels. Plans are already underway to book rooms at the Omni in 2019.

Copyright 2017 WAVE 3 News. All Rights Reserved.

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